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Help For Bulawayo Boy Thembani

by African baobab Foundation
08 Feb 2012 at 08:42hrs | Views
Thembani Phiri (15) suffers from congenital elephantiasis, mostly caused by an obstruction of the lymphatic vessels, which results in extreme swelling of the skin and tissues, typically in the lower trunk and body. Born and lives in Bulawayo Thembani has been struggling all his 15yrs and it is time we all united and helped him and many other Disabled children in Zimbabwe, said Mr Ncube.

The disease, which can be very painful and uncomfortable, usually affects the legs and genitals, resulting in baggy, thickened and ulcerated skin, along with fever and chills. It also causes complications like obstructed blood vessels, which limits blood supply and causes the skin to become infected and gangrenous.

Making matters worse is that Thembani's  parents are financially struggling and unemployed, while his leg has grown so big that he has been rendered immobile. Besides treatment, he urgently needs a wheel chair to move around. If he fails to get immediate help,
the boy is in danger of failing to lead a normal life. Mr Ncube said that he is appealing to all those businessman from Bulawayo or Zimbabwe in general to show their generosity and help this Youngman.

All is not lost for him though. African Baobab Foundation, an international charity organisation based in the United Kingdom, has responded to his plight and seeks to help to help the Youngman.

"We are hoping to raise funds for this young man so that, not only does he get money to go to school and achieve his dream of writing his O level exams in June 2012, but also gets the wheelchair he needs and medical help," the organisation's founder and chairman, Freeman Ncube, said.

Ncube's first call was meant for medical practitioners.

"We are appealing to doctors, professors, medical specialists, anyone that has knowledge of this condition to help with either information or even a way to get Thembani to be as close to normal as possible."

However, Ncube is quick to point out that Thembani's case is a drop in the ocean of his organisation's involvement with disabled Zimbabwean children.

"There are many other cases of disabled children who have either dropped out of school or are in serious need of medical and financial help," added Ncube.

"African Baobab Foundation is looking for ways to engage with the ministry of Education to increase its budget on special schools."

Financial and medical assistance form just part of a wide vision that African Baobab has.

"We believe in creating an enabling environment for people with disabilities to live independently, access information and a right to enjoy a lifestyle they choose."

The organisation also seeks to afford the disabled equal access to social services and to protect children with disabilities from violence, abuse and exploitation. The promotion of an environment of acceptance, understanding and non-discrimination is also high in its

But Thembani remains the topmost priority now.

Mr Freeman Ncube mentioned that, "We are looking at raising $2000 for his school fees and a wheel chair. After that we will find out about how he can get help with medical expenses. We will keep updating the public on his progress and donations."

African Baobab foundation has developed a "Sponsor a disabled child programme", which galvanises efforts by well-wishers to sponsor a disabled child and give them a chance to go to school and be normal like other children.

"We will be happy if people can help us in sourcing old wheel chairs, toys and educational material suitable for children with different types of disabilities," said Ncube. We are working on partnering up with a organisation that will help us repair wheel chairs and other equipment that will be of any use to these lovely children.

People who want to donate can do so through African Baobab foundation Account number: Lloyds Tsb 25454068 sort code 77 91 24 United Kingdom Ref Thembani or go to our website and use our safe payment and donation system Paypal ref: Thembani.

"Those who want to donate direct to Zimbabwe can contact Betty Mazire on + 263 773474121 or contact me on +44 7760964122 or "

"Mazire is our focal contact person and Director of the Disabled Association of Zimbabwe, whom we are working with on this case, after DAZ referred it to us.
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Source - ABF