Most modern stories of philanthropy come from wealthy givers living in developed countries. But sometimes, the most powerful displays of generosity come from those with the least to give. Read this story of how a Ugandan mother generously gave what little she had left, and the incredible difference it made for her daughter.
Gloria is a 12-year-old girl that Ekisa serves. As a student at Ekisa Academy, she benefits from individualized therapy sessions to improve her mobility. During the first school term of 2020, Gloria started to show up to school less and less. Our social workers investigated, and discovered that her mother was sick and no longer able to prepare her for school. Gloria’s mother’s condition continued to worsen until she was prevented from doing any activities involving exertion. Because of her disabilities, Gloria was totally dependent on her mother, her only caretaker. Right after this discovery, the pandemic hit and lockdown shut down Uganda. Our therapists were not not allowed to provide therapy at homes for a few months, but our social workers were allowed to check in and bring medicine to families like Gloria’s. What happened next is unbelievable.
When Ekisa therapists were finally given permission to do home visits, they immediately went to see Gloria and her mother. They found Gloria’s mother bed-ridden, and she could hardly sit on her own. They also found something shocking. Gloria still looked healthy, and had even attained some milestones! Gloria’s vocabulary had increased to include words like “mummy,” “bring,” “give me,” and others. Compared to before, the words were not randomly spoken, but instead used intentionally! She began picking up toys and engaging with them for the first time. She even started to move along the ground, and change to various positions, all on her own!
There is no explainable way Gloria could have obtained all this by herself and yet there was no one there to help. This means that in spite of the delicate condition Gloria’s mother was in, she still went against the doctor’s orders of total bed rest and looked after her child this much!
This past May, Gloria’s mother passed away after a long fight with her disease. Up until her final moments, she showed love, sacrifice, and generosity -- giving everything she had for Gloria. She knew her days were numbered, but still chose to ensure her daughter had the greatest quality of life possible. She leaves a lasting legacy of love, and because of her, Gloria continues to grow and flourish.
Stories like Gloria and her mother’s show us what it means to be generous in the face of adversity, in moments when we feel like we have nothing to give. We invite you to reflect on the love from Gloria’s mother, and how you can show great generosity to those around you, and those across the world.
Next week, on Giving Tuesday, you'll have the opportunity to do just that. Be on the lookout for an email on Monday.
Gloria and her mother in 2019.
Note: Gloria is now being cared for by her aunt.