Hope for Liyema
Liyema (4) is a little boy, with cerebral palsy (CP), who lives in Dlovu Village in the Eastern Cape with his mom, Aphiwe, and his grandmother Ntombizine. His grandmother looks after him most of the time, as his mother is still at school. Liyema made contact with the Rural Ability Programme (RAP) because his grandmother attended a presentation that RAP’s Community Disability Worker (CDW) Nosiphiwe hosted at the clinic about developmental delay and CP. Ntombizione had the opportunity to speak to Nosiphiwe (CDW) and a home visit was arranged with Shannon, RAP’s Project Coordinator.
In the beginning, the family had little understanding what CP was and that Liyema actually has the capacity to do most things, like other children, but that he may just have to do them a bit differently.
With the support of the RAP team, Liyema is now trying to pull himself up to a standing position and is able to feed himself with a spoon. He is able to speak and to complete small sentences to communicate his needs i.e. when he needs to use the toilet or that he is hungry. He can even go to the toilet on his own, but his gran has to help him if he is wearing pants with a button.
He was totally dependent on his grandmother when we first met him and spent most of his time on his grandmother’s lap – Nosiphiwe had to explain to the family that he needs to learn to do things for himself and that their job is to help him to be more independent.
His grandmother was encouraged to get him a plastic toy motor bike and he absolutely loves to ride it – also giving him a wonderful opportunity to strengthen his muscles while playing.
RAP helped Liyema’s family to accept that Liyema is different, but that he has potential to learn, grow and develop.