It was 3:30 am and I was awaken by Imprint Hope’s House Manager…Clare, can you come and check on Gift.
I rush downstairs and find all of the mothers at our center praying over little Gift who has a raging 105.7 fever. She had been vomiting all night and looked incredibly pale and dehydrated. We rush her to the local 24-hour clinic to get her on an IV. It turns out Malaria had been living dormant in her body for a very long time and re-surfaced in raging force that night…
Jump ahead to that same morning and you have a mother express in class that for her whole life, she has never been happy. She has been abused and ridiculed and feels as though she has never belonged anywhere. And now she is rejected by her village because they believe her child’s disability is contagious and a curse, so they refuse to engage and interact with her anymore…
Fast forward to lunchtime and you see a mother lying her child with a disability on her lap with his neck arched backwards. She then proceeds to shovel chunks of food into his mouth. She explains “Its the only way he will swallow because all of the food always falls out when he sits up straight. I don’t know what to do. Can you help?”
Jump ahead one hour in therapy and I’m working with a child who is blind and has Cerebral Palsy. She incessantly grinds her teeth to give her body some input on where she is in space and is only accustomed to the lying down position because she has been lying down on the dirt ground for the past 5 years. Then her mother expresses in tears that every time she touches her daughter, she starts to cry. I don’t know why. Can you help me?
Leaving an “imprint” of hope on families hearts can be exhausting, overwhelming and abundantly fulfilling.
What does it take?
It means showing up and being present. It means throwing fears into the wind and with no hesitation living for the heart that shows up in front of you. It means trusting that a way will be found even when you can’t understand ‘how.’ It means living with a perspective that life is far too short and therefore you should seize every moment with humble gratitude. It means living for the moments that transpire on a daily basis for those ARE the moments that make up the journey of LIFE.
The mothers and children at Imprint Hope’s Center all have a story. They all have a heart that is aching from lack of resources on how to survive in this brutal world. They are aching to find answers on how to help their child with a disability survive.
I can’t unsee what my eyes have seen our families go through. The memories pierce my heart and propels action. My heart longs for a shift in perspective for families in Uganda that at times seems untouchable and unattainable for Ugandan Culture.
However, I do know that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with ONE step.” For that one step and a courageous heart can cascade into a stampede of truth that spreads across the country of Uganda.
Imprint Hope’s vision is to inspire, empower and uplift families to dare to hope for a dignified life for their child with a disability. To give them the tools to educate their village on the inherent dignity of their child with a disability.
For when you impact ONE daring heart, they can go “imprint” love that will transform the world.
Thank you for helping us fight this fight.