MUGISHA Ezekiel, 2 years 4 months
Before meeting Love With Actions (LWA) his mother Antoinette felt alone and did not realize how many families shared her struggle. Her son, Ezekiel, suffers from Cerebral Palsy. He is completely reliant on his mother’s care and lacks the ability to feed himself or play like other children. His birth was difficult, and doctors gave him a slim chance of survival. Antoinette reports that he did not cry or make any sound when he was born and for the two weeks following she never heard him cry, well-known to be a marker of issues to come. Today, none of Antoinette’s other seven children or husband care to help her as she looks over Ezekiel. Thankfully, Antoinette’s husband did not leave her after Ezekiel was born. Peter (her husband) stays at home with her and the other children but fails to care for Ezekiel. Antoinette faces little discrimination at home but her husband’s family has never been accepting. While the husband himself does not participate or support their discriminatory behavior, he does not stand up for his wife and son either. At LWA we realize the source of their hatred is likely rooted in a lack of education to comprehend what happened to Ezekiel. Often times, in Rwanda,diseases like his are thought to come from a demon, curse, or poison. Occasionally, as in Antoinette’s case, family members and neighbors will even blame the disease on the mother.
Through all of this, Antoinette still perseveres. With the help from Love with Actions she is more educated on the disease her young son is living with. Antoinette participates in sewing project as part of LWA’s income generation program. Ezekiel is happiest with his mother, listening to music, or playing with toys. The sewing project program allows them to be together even as Antoinette works.