19-year-old Rahma Haruna of Kano, Nigeria is a cheerful and friendly girl. Despite her disability, she tries to maintain a positive attitude and hopes for a better future. The young woman has abnormally developed arms, legs and a large part of her torso. Up until now, she had spent her whole life in a plastic bowl, because her family couldn’t afford to buy her a wheelchair.
When she was born, she was a healthy and normal child. When she was 6 months old, she got a high fever, suffered abdominal pain and her limbs stopped growing overnight. Since then, her life has been very sad – a small plastic bowl became her place of refuge.
Her 10-year-old brother Rahmy – Fahad carries his older sister to the city on a daily basis, where she begs for offerings from passersby. They come from a very poor family and are forced to go out onto the streets to survive.
Rahma’s father had to sell everything he owned to pay for his daughter’s treatment. Currently, they have nothing and can’t even afford to buy a wheelchair for the child. In the village where the family lives, residents believe in superstitions and everybody thinks that an evil spirit has cursed Rahma’s father. That’s what they believe caused his daughter to become so ill. In many religions, curses are a common explanation for both physical and mental disabilities. People don’t have sufficient knowledge and think that diseases are only the result of supernatural activity.
That’s not all! On the next page, you’ll find the second part of this post.