GIHOZO RACHELAge: 5 Published on June 7th, 2020
Rachel was born August 25, 2015. By the age of 5 months her mother Clenia realized she had developmental delays. She was taken to the hospital and the family was told that Rachel would be severely disabled for the rest of her life due to cerebral palsy. Her vision is also seriously impaired, which may be caused in part by being left in a dark room for most of her first 2 years. The news of cerebral palsy was hard for the Clenia and her husband Jean Bosco to accept. They wondered how they could love such a child. Even today the husband and 2 other children struggle to accept Rachel’s condition. The older children say Rachel is “not their responsibility” even though in Rwandan culture it is expected that older siblings help to care for the younger ones. Clenia regularly experiences discrimination, harsh words and abusive actions at home. Her family do not give her the same love they once did. She was lonely and hopeless.
Despite these difficulties Clenia tries her best to make a happy life for her little girl with the help of Love With Actions. Gilbert invite her to join Love With Actions in 2018. Due to malnourishment Rachel was started in the feeding program and has now gained enough strength to participate in physical therapy. Her joints are becoming more flexible and she has started to smile. She can sit propped up in the corner and has even regained some sight. Clenia says “I was taught how to weave and sew and I am earning money from both. “ Clenia has shown herself to be a very talented weaver and her baskets are in demand.