AKAYEZU TheodetteAge: 10 Published on June 7th, 2020
Theodette and her family met Love With Actions in 2017. She was born a twin, one of seven children in the family. Her twin sister Bernadette is not disabled. Her mother, Dancille, knew from the start that something was wrong with Theodette, and as she grew it became more obvious. She was not walking or developing at the same rate as her sister. When she first came to LWA at age 9 Theodette could not sit or stand upright. She moved around using her hands and knees. She also has some mental imitations. She speaks, but not very well. When her father, Augustin, first saw his disabled daughter he went to his family and friends telling them that his wife was a prostitute because “that child” could not be his. He said his wife was cursed. In the following years he beat and verbally attacked his wife. Neighbors started saying the devil lived inside Theodette. No one seemed to care if she ever received any medical attention. Her abusive father even prevented her from leaving their home out of shame. Before meeting LWA Theodette had never left her family’s compound. However, her older brothers did try to protect her. Dancille remembers “three painful, sleepless months which were full of tears and quarrels. I was lonely and desperate. Then I met Love With Actions.”
Dancille and Theodette started coming to Love With Actions in July 2017. LWA provided them with loving care and health insurance for the entire family. Dancille found community and support there. In the spring of 2018 LWA offered a healing and reconciliation workshop for all of the parents. By the grace of God Theodette’s parents experienced true healing and have restored their marriage. Together they now have a real love for Theodette. They plan to have a religious wedding in June 2019 because of the peace and joy they now have in their family. In the summer of 2018 Theodette began treatment at Rilima Orthopedic Hospital, including casting of her legs, surgery and physical therapy. She is now able to walk with the aid of a cane. Dancille says she no longer feels alone since joining LWA. She feels close to the other women at the LWA Center for Family Empowerment and looks forward to meeting with them to weave baskets and to sew. LWA has truly changed the future for this family.