On a recent trip to Niger, a teacher told me that one of her students, 7-year-old Maryam, had been rejected by other schools because they believed she was mentally ill. When I met Maryam, her eyes shone brightly, and her positive, gentle spirit radiated infectiously. Like her teacher, I saw that she was articulate and intelligent, though she spoke more softly and slowly than her peers.
Maryam suffers from cerebral palsy caused by the death of her mother during childbirth. Orphaned and sickly, Maryam was adopted by a compassionate nurse. The Remember Niger Coalition (RNC) Sponsorship Program and the inclusive environment of our partner schools allow Maryam to attend school. Her mother shared that she was thankful for such an opportunity but remained discouraged as physical issues continued to bar Maryam from reaching her potential. She needed medical treatment that her family could not afford. Thanks to your generous financial support, I was able to offer Maryam’s mother assistance with her medical care. Stunned, her mother tearfully showered me with hugs. Clearly, a burden was lifted, and hope was restored for the future of her child.