The Newsletter for Through the Roof
The Newsletter for Through the Roof
Mixed blessings in Bidi Bidi
Through the Roof ’ s Wheels for the World team in Bidi Bidi Refugee camp , Uganda
By Lucie Myall , team member and physiotherapist
Pray with us for Disability Awareness Sunday
Share your stories
Making sense of our senses
Transformation in Kerala
No : 87 SUMMER 2023
Our Wheels for the World team recently showed the refugee community of Bidi Bidi , northern Uganda that everyone is uniquely loved and valued in God ’ s sight – but not in the way we originally expected …
We returned to Bidi Bidi , one of the world ’ s largest refugee camps , near the South Sudanese border for our first visit since June 2019 . Five of the nine team members were on that trip and were excited to serve again with new and old friends . Since then , there had been supported distributions where the UK team supported our Hope Health Action ( HHA ) partners supplying wheelchairs and mobility aids through skilled support online .
Frustratingly , the container bringing over our wheelchairs was extremely delayed in port and only arrived once we were heading home . A disappointment for the team , but God gave us alternative opportunities for productive use of the time , working with HHA ’ s stock of chairs , and assessing other local disabled people for the HHA team to serve with the wheelchairs once they arrived .
We were anxious to get working and serve some of the most needy people in the world . We began at the Rehabilitation Centre , supporting our HHA Wheelchair Technician colleagues , Scovia and Moses , with provision of a wheelchair from their existing stock .
Therapist Lynne was able to get a child on his feet and demonstrate his potential to walk , to both the wheelchair technicians and his family , showing that a wheelchair is not always necessary and that supportive footwear , along with a walking aid would be more suitable , once it arrived .
Much of our time with the HHA staff was spent mentoring and teaching , identifying factors for providing specialist chairs and helping with the needs of people with more complex conditions that may benefit from support when lying and sleeping . It was a joy to see the skills our partners had learnt and the reassurance we could offer through encouragement and sharing realistic expectations around what we can achieve with the recipients we ’ re serving .
We were blessed to support Scovia as we reviewed Karim , a 5-year-old boy with Cerebral Palsy who already has a wheelchair from the supported distribution in 2021 . His needs are extremely complex , with widespread contracted muscles , epilepsy , and pain – along with malnutrition . We worked together with his mother and family to create a supported position for lying and sleeping and modified his wheelchair to make him more comfortable and better supported .
Reflection , learning and working in partnership with the HHA team enabled us to share professional skills as well as show to the community that we are all loved and valued in God ’ s sight .
Despite the frustrations of the delayed container , power problems and some tough working conditions , the team did amazing work with people living in difficult conditions as refugees from South Sudan . You can read more about the trip in the full blog posts at www . throughtheroof . org / international-blogs . Thank you for your support in making this work possible – please donate to enable future trips at www . throughtheroof . org , or by calling 01372 749955 .
www . throughtheroof . org