Please see below for the latest in our Alumni Annals series, a lovely and moving account of one student we worked with a few years back named Angela. The report was prepared by Toa tutor Glory Mongi with whom I remember well accompanying to KCMC Hospital one day with Angela and her mother. Glory and I spent the day teaching and entertaining Angela in the waiting room as she was shuttled between various doctors and underwent many different tests. I am happy to share that Angela is doing much better now.
“There was a student called Angela who started Standard One in 2016 at Msandaka Primary School. The government teacher who was her class teacher said that when Angela started school she was abnormally fat and she was getting difficulties in walking and that made other children to stare at her when walking. Also, she was not able to hold a pencil well and she had problems in class. The government teacher, Madam Restituta Njau, cooperated well with The Toa Nafasi Project in helping Angela and both staffs spoke with Angela’s parents.
The parents said that Angela had problems with her legs as she was growing more, the legs continued to have problems and the weight was increasing, but no one knew why. Plus, she didn’t know how to read or count at all and she did not like studying or playing with fellows.
As a Toa Nafasi tutor, I noticed that the child was not attending classes frequently; she would come to school but stay outside and wait. The other students were always staring at her because she was so big and she was always late because her legs were failing her. She would get tired very easily when walking or engaging in sports.
We supported her and showed her love but because of her weight, we took her to the hospital for a medical checkup to see if she had a hormonal problem or a disease that cause her to be so large. She was treated well and the weight decreased a little bit. The doctors also gave her shoes to support her legs that were becoming bowed and her parents pledged to reduce her carbohydrates at mealtime. Then, Angela started to love involving herself in sport games and playing with friends.
We also sent her to the special facility at Building a Caring Community (BCC), the center that we partner with for children who need even more help than Toa can provide. They taught her to hold a pencil well and then to write. By using different syllable cards and songs in teaching her, she managed to know reading and counting and changed to become a good student. Angela’s parents appreciated the support they got from Toa Nafasi and they agreed that children should be given much support in every stage of growth and learning in order for them to achieve their goals. Angela is now in Standard Four and doing well in her studies.”