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HEAL Africa provides holistic care for the people of Democratic Republic of Congo
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HEAL Africa has a ward of children who are getting surgery for a wide variety of conditions: rickets, polio, clubfoot, cleft palate. Here's the true story of one of them.

Picture of Asifiwe

Asifiwe has a bright, beautiful smile. He's four, and came with his twelve year-old uncle, who is also his caregiver. Asifiwe had rickets and his legs were unable to hold him up, so he got around by pulling his legs behind him on the floor. His uncle carried him over the rough, uneven lava in the hospital compound.

His mother was unmarried, young and unemployed. He probably didn't get enough food, so contracted rickets. He didn't get medical help because it probably wasn't available. His mother didn't know what to do. He comes from an area of Congo that has been under control of various militias for the past twelve years.

He was identified by a program of HEAL Africa called "Children like Us", which raises awareness about diseases and birth conditions that can be treated, and brings them into Goma for treatment at the HEAL Africa hospital and learning center.

While at the hospital he has had his first experience with school. "Healing Arts" is a new program which provides school and art for children who are at the hospital for several months at a time. He's had his first operations to straighten his legs. While his legs are in casts, he is learning to play games and draw. One day he'll be able to run and play, just like the other kids in the village. His mother may learn to read as well, as he's learning. She may attend the nutrition classes which are given weekly at the hospital.

Will Asifiwe be able to attend school when he returns to his village?

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