08

Dec

2018

IRADUKUNDA Melissa

9 years old

Melissa is the youngest child in a family of four, living with her mother Donatille. She has Down Syndrome, but is high functioning and presently attends nursery school in Bumbogo. She is a very happy and social little girl who loves spending time with her siblings and neighbor kids. Her older siblings are aways supportive and look out for Meliss’a best interests. Melissa’s father died when she was only 4 months old, leaving Donatille alone to provide for her family, with no help from the extended family. She sought medical help for Melissa, but when referred to a neurologist she did have enough money to pay for a visit. Melissa starting sitting up at age 3 but still could not talk. She started walking at 4 and now is energetic and very talkative. She loves to sing and dance. Donatille supports her family by buying wholesale sorghum and reselling it in small quantities. It is traditionally used in Rwanda to make juice, beer and porridge, so the demand is high.

Love With Actions met Melissa in 2018 and she is now benefitting from physical therapy and doing well in school. Donatille is a part of the LWA income generating programs for mothers. She says “It helps me to be with others, so I’m not alone, to discuss and share our lives. Learning to weave baskets is a dream come true! Now I make enough money to take care of my family needs.” LWA is lucky to have met this lovely family.

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