Nyalal is a 17-year-old girl with multiple disabilities. She was born deaf and is unable to speak. She also has multiple amputations – cuts and splinters that became horribly infected. This is what deep poverty and no access to clean water and medical care looks like up close.
Nyalal was born in a refugee camp in northern Kenya. She has never known any other life.
Nyalal’s mother fled to Kakuma camp in 2002 while she was pregnant with Nyalal. She also brought her stepdaughter Nyareat with her.
We are told by Nyalaud “I remember those days. Life was really bad in South Sudan. Kids were being kidnapped; so sleeping was a problem. It’s their culture to steal children. People want to enlarge their family. They would kill the parents. They would throw them in the river to drown. We had to leave because of this and because of the war.”
I remember those days. Life was really bad in South Sudan.
She can’t attend school in the camp because it isn’t accessible. There is no ramp into the class, no accessible toilet. So her single mom has to leave her alone in the house, where she is vulnerable and at heightened risk of abuse.
“It has stressed us because we have to leave her alone sometimes. She cries a lot when she is left alone,” Nyalal’s step sister, Nyareat, tells us.
Nyalal’s knees are dirty and are very rough looking. Nyareat tells us “we don’t have a good latrine for her to use, so we have dug a hole close by and put up sacs for privacy.”
Our partner hospital in Kenya has found Nyalal and scheduled her for treatment. They believe they can fit her with prosthetic legs that will allow Nyalal to be more mobile and less vulnerable. Prosthetic legs will give Nyalal the ability to go to school, to connect with friends there, to be part of her community.