A 9-year-old orphaned boy, crippled in the leg dropped out of school because his siblings could no longer carry him to school. But hope was restored when Rotary Club provided him and nine other polio victims with wheelchairs. ABDULRAHEEM AODU narrates the story of Isaac whose hope of becoming a pastor was regained.
Growing up is difficult in itself considering the state of infrastructural facilities in the country. For an orphan, it is strenuous especially with little support, but growing up for a crippled orphan is even more strenuous such that more often than not, it leads to frustration.
This is the story of disabled Isaac Iliya who grew up as an orphan living with his aunt and her children. Despite being crippled from a very tender age in Kaduna, he was unperturbed as his siblings enabled his access to education by carrying him to and from school every day. He desired to be a pastor.
His ambition was, however, truncated at age six when the school was relocated and he grew too big for his siblings to carry on their back for that long distance. He became unhappy and lost hope of ever achieving his dream of education and becoming a clergy.
Explaining how Isaac became crippled, his aunt, Mrs Dorothy Kukon, said it was inexplicable. “I’m presently the mother of Isaac. His mother who is my elder sister died shortly after giving birth to him. So, I took him right from birth. Since then, he has been with me.
“Isaac is presently nine years old but he can’t walk. I noticed before he turned a year old that something was wrong because we were trying to see that he moves and start walking, but there was no effort. I have tried all possible best to see that he walks. I took him to hospital to see neurologists, yet it didn’t work out. So, I decided to leave everything to God.
“In all the hospitals we took him to, they didn’t diagnose him of anything. Rather, they said that we should go for therapy. We went through series of therapy but all to no avail. We have tried our best, but it didn’t work out.
“So, I am sure his own is not a case of polio. The doctors didn’t mention anything like polio to me. And I took him for every immunisation vaccine right from when he was a baby. So, I still wonder what could be the problem.
“His siblings, that is my own children really love him and would do anything to see that he goes to school like them. But the problem was that, the private school they were all going to was relocated away from our neighbourhood three years ago and Isaac had also gained more weight.
“So, they could no longer carry him on their back to school. That is why I reached out to Daharatu Mismas Foundation to help us get wheelchair for him.”
Rotary club to the rescue
Following an appeal by Daharatu Mismas Foundation, Rotary Club of Kawo, Kaduna, District 9125 donated tricycle wheelchairs to Isaac and nine survivors of polio in Kaduna.
The district governor Victor Onuwugha said the gesture was part of the club’s ways of assisting the less-privileged in the society. “These polio survivors were carefully selected to benefit from this gesture because we have learnt about their struggles to be useful to themselves and the society, despite their disability status.
“This donation is to assist them, to aid their movement in the course of going about their normal businesses, as each one of them is either working, learning a trade or going to school.”Isaac’s hope restored
Isaac could not contain his joy upon getting the news of being presented with a wheelchair and wouldn’t even eat his meal until he sees the wheelchair. In his excitement mode, he said, “I’m very happy. May God bless these people that gave me wheelchair. Now, I can ride my wheelchair to school on my own.
“My sister tried for me a lot when she used to carry me on her back to and from school. I used to feel her pain too. I never liked it, I would have loved to stand on my feet and walk too like others. But I thank God that now I have the opportunity of going to school again. I will now make new friends. I will read well because I want to become a pastor,” Isaac said
Expressing her joy after seeing Isaac’s happiness restored, his aunt has nothing but gratitude and appreciation to Rotary Club Kawo, Kaduna and Daharatu Mismas Foundation, saying, “I’m happy that Daharatu Mismas Foundation has reached out to Rotary Club which has given him and nine others wheelchairs.
“Yesterday when I broke the news to him that he was going to get his wheelchair, he jumped up and said, ‘thank God. Now, you are going to buy me uniform, shoe and books and I will go back to school.’ I said, by the grace of God, I will do that and you will go back to school.
“Isaac so much desires to go back to school. In fact, since that yesterday, he has not eaten till now out of excitement. If I tell him to come and take his food, he would say, ‘I’m okay, let’s just go and take my wheelchair’. This is the miracle I was trusting God for because I really wanted him to go to school, but I cannot afford the daily transport. With this, I’m going to enrol him in a private school close-by.
“The real reason I want him to go to school by all means is that Isaac called me one day and said, ‘Mummy, I am a pastor’. And I asked him again, ‘Do you mean you want to become a pastor?’ He said, ‘yes Mummy’. Then I told him that if he wants to become a pastor, he has to go to school, to which he said there was no problem about that as was ready to go to school.
“I believe Isaac would be great in life. He is a child that speaks his mind out, but he doesn’t just talk anyhow. I believe that there is a divine voice behind this when he told me that he would become a pastor. I have been praying for him and I believe that he would succeed,” she said.
NGO founder couldn’t hold back tears of joy for Isaac
The founder of Daharatu Mismas Foundation, Hajiya Daharatu Ahmed Aliyu, who facilitated the donation of wheelchairs to Isaac and the polio victims could not hold back tears after seeing Isaac beaming with smiles and happiness.Seeing that, she said, “This is the best moments in the life of this foundation. In fact, I am overjoyed today and I’m shedding tears. This is because I see Isaac very happy and smiling. I’m also very happy that a chance has presented itself for a nine-year-old boy who dropped out of school over three years ago to return to school. He dropped out of school not only because of resources, but because his family could no longer carry him on their back to and from school.
“I’m happy that our foundation, which has been reaching out to get support for Isaac, is today receiving a wheelchair for him from Rotary Club of Kawo, Kaduna. We thank the district governor of the club, Mr Victor Onuwugha.”
Daharatu, however, urged all well-meaning Nigerians and organisations to emulate Rotary Club, while appealing for further support to enable Isaac complete his education.