The story of Nishooki demonstrates how important relationship building can be. Dr. Gunn, educator and Executive Director of Africa's Promise Village (APV) and a group of Rotarians from Lakeway Texas were at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center with another amputee, Kadogoo. The chief of a rural Maasai village came in to the orthopedic ward. He walked over and handed me a baby and asked for help. The child, less than two years old, had been born with a badly deformed leg. The group had not been aware of the child and they were not financially prepared to help. The mom was forced to return to the village with only a promise from the Lakeway - Lake Travis Rotary Club members that they would return to Texas, speak to the Rotary Board, and see what could be done. The mother was very frightened of the doctors and insisted that one of the Rotary members was there before she would allow the doctors to examine the child. Thankfully, Dr. Gunn had made multiple trips to the mother's village and a level of trust had been established.
It took many, many trips from that remote village to KCMC in Moshi before Nishooki was prepared for surgery, had the procedure, and obtained recovery support. Following a period of healing, Nishooki was fitted for an artificial limb. The day she was fitted for an artificial limb and stood for the first time, Nishooki who was three by then said "Momma, take me out, I want to walk!" What an amazing day for Nishooki, her mother, and those club members who had provided the funds needed to change this child's life. Today, this lively four year old attends school, runs and plays like any child, and is thriving.
She continues to receive care from the medical center two or more times per year as she grows and requires a longer artificial limb. The Lakeway - Lake Travis Rotary Club has continued to cover the cost of medical care for her. As a result of the relationship between the members of that remote Maasai village and the child, a life has changed forever. Dr. Gunn is providing the funds needed to allow her to attend Promise Village School and will continue to cover the cost of her education. It all came about as a result of the trust between Rotary Club visitors, members of a rural Maasai village and a mom. It is a testament to the importance of relationships and the willingness of Rotary Clubs to offer help to those in need. You can follow the journey of this child through pictures from her first day to today seen below.
In 2010 a small child named Kodogoo was found crawling in the dirt in front of her family home. The child was three years old. When the Matron stopped the car to investigate, she found the child was missing a lower limb. The Matron convinced the father to allow her to take Kadogoo to Arusha for medical treatment. Dr. Gunn was called and raised funds for the necessary surgery and the child lived at Intel Orphanage while she healed.
Since that time, Kadogoo has become self-sufficient, managing the care of her artificial limb and attending school with other children her age. She has proven to be a good student and has grown into a beautiful young lady. Kadogoo will enter high school after completing Primary Level 7 and current plans call her to attend high school at St. Mary's in Arusha as a boarding student. Her education and living expenses are covered by Dr. Donna Gunn, Executive Director of APV.