At age 6, Malawian Rita Bonzo suffered a serious accident which left her without the use the legs, and all through the rest of her childhood and into adulthood she struggled to get around with the help of others in the village of Lameck.
But despite the challenges she faced for most of her life, Rita married and has since given birth to eight children and never gave hope that one day she her fondest dream would come true – that she would be able to become independent and traverse throughout her village on her own.
“For her daily life, Rita depended greatly on her family members and kindhearted neighbors,” reported Nisha Mandani, founder and director of Bread and Water for Africa® partner, the Our AIM Foundation (OAF), who added that her situation had been discovered during a visit by OAF outreach staff to the Lameck village.
“Assessing her condition, the team decided to put her at the top of the list of beneficiaries for aid from a shipment of medical equipment shipped to OAF in Malawi by Bread and Water for Africa®,” said Nisha.
That day came on the afternoon of Friday of September 10, when OAF staff visited her village and presented her with a wheelchair shipped over from the United States by Bread and Water for Africa®.
“This was her red-letter day,” says Nisha.
The village chief commended OAF project manager Ishmael Kadango for the wonderful job OAF had done in collaboration with Bread and Water for Africa® in coming to Rita’s aid. (He also noted that over the years various individuals and nonprofit organizations had come to the village and promised to provide her with a wheelchair, but her hopes were dashed when all they did was to take photos and leave, never to return.)
“Rita was overjoyed when the team delivered her the promised wheelchair,” Nisha told us. During the ceremony, “Rita could not express her joy and extreme elation — she was in tears. The entire village was astounded and ecstatic that someone had finally helped Rita and thanked OAF and Bread and Water for Africa® for this gift.”
The village chief says he is proud of the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® for coming through for Rita.
“She has been struggling and expecting help for years,” he said. “We have had people from many organizations and agencies coming with empty promises. Thank you, Our AIM Foundation and Bread and Water for Africa®, for this gift. We are proud as her fellow villagers.”
And as for Rita herself, “Words cannot really express how I am feeling. Now I can move independently and go to the market on my own.
“I am very appreciative for this gift to Our AIM Foundation and Bread and Water for Africa®. Only God can reward for this.”