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Cecilia and Risper

Every day, while Kenya was gripped by severe drought, Cecilia faced the harsh reality of trying to provide for her family whilst her youngest daughter, Risper, who is deaf-blind, was left home alone. However, thanks to our incredible supporters, Cecilia found crucial support and resources in a local group for people with disabilities to help her care for her daughter.

Cecilia holds Risper up. They are stood in front of a wall.

Risper is a 10-year-old girl from Meru County, Kenya, who lost her vision and hearing to meningitis when she was just a baby. Years of malnutrition have left their mark on Risper, who is much smaller than others her age and can’t move around on her own.

“It is not easy to raise a child who cannot see or talk. Risper is entirely dependent on me.”

Cecilia, Risper’s mother, faced an agonising choice every day. She had to leave her daughter behind while she earned a living selling vegetables on the market so her family of six could eat.

“I am never comfortable when I am away.”

The weight of providing for her family whilst caring for her daughter was hard on Cecilia, but her spirit remained strong.

Cecilia squats down and weeds, where her bean plants are growing.

How we helped

Thanks to our supporters, Cecilia connected with a local Organisation of People with Disabilities (OPD) which improves access to healthcare and rehabilitation services. Thanks to this group, Cecilia finally believed that there could be a way out.

The local OPD is part of a CBM project implemented by our partner, the Diocese of Meru. It has been an important source of support for Cecilia, not only offering invaluable guidance, but also giving her access to vital resources to help her daughter. Risper is now growing stronger everyday thanks to nourishing fortified porridge, physiotherapy, and assistive devices that wouldn’t have been possible without our supporters.  

“Body-wise she has improved. She was weak and feeble, now she will be stronger and probably walk.”

Cecilia now also finds hope through the Savings and International Lending programme offered by the OPD. Through the small loans they offer, she can continue running her vegetable business, ensuring her family’s survival.

“I’ve benefitted a lot from the group.”

How you can help

Together, we can help more families like Cecilia’s and give them a chance at a better future.

All photos: ©CBM/Hayduk

Risper and her siblings sit down on the floor.
Risper lying down in bed. Cecilia is sitting next to her with a hand on her leg.