Angela Larkan, Founder and Director
This holiday season, we’d like to share one of the many extraordinary stories of help and hope that were made possible by Thanda. Meet Noluthando.
When Noluthando was just 3-months-old, she was badly injured in a fire. Her left hand was disfigured and she lost both of her legs. Her whole life, she had been confined to a wheelchair that barely met her needs. Because her one hand is disfigured, she had little control over her chair, so if no one was available to help her, she was at the mercy of the hilly, uneven ground around her home. Noluthando often ended up injuring herself simply trying to leave her hut. Her father left the family when she became disabled and they survive on her mother’s earnings from selling sweets outside the local school. Any better solutions for this smiling, outgoing girl were beyond their means.
Noluthando is very bright, but her lack of mobility meant that she had to attend a special needs school, even though she does not have any learning disabilities. All Noluthando wanted was to be able to move around freely, to be safe and independent so she could attend the local school.
A local support group, the Masisizane Disabled Support Group, brought the girl’s case to Thanda’s attention. Today, thanks to the help of the South African Airports Company physiotherapists and Thanda, Noluthando has artificial legs and is able to walk for the first time in her life!
Raah, Thanda’s manager, asked her how life had changed since she received her legs. “It is better than before,” she said. “Now I can walk outside, which is something I was not able to do before. Things have changed enormously at school. Before I had to ask my young school mates to help push me because I was always in a wheel chair, and sometimes they didn’t want to help. They used to say that they were tired and I was a burden to their shoulders.”
Noluthando is doing exceptionally well in grade 5 at school. When Raah visited her, she shared her school report card with him. She has a 91% in economic and management sciences, and 90% in mathematics. Her mother proudly reported that when Noluthando is at home, she “spends almost the entire day reading books.”
“Whatever challenges I am facing, I would like to thank Thanda and the South African Airports Company for their help and support,” Noluthando’s mother told Raah. “There are many people who have come here and promised to help and they never come back. It had been more than ten years waiting for them to come back. It did not even take a year to get help from you and I am very thankful for that.”
There are so many children like Noluthando who need your help. When you give to Thanda, you enable projects like this one. Join us in making life-changing differences for those who need it most and give to Thanda this holiday season.