“Maybe now Mncedisi can go to school,” said his grandmother Grace.
Now that he has a PET – a way to get to school, a way to be mobile – maybe the 8-year-old boy can be educated.
It was all Mncedisi Magagula’s idea to attend a TLC (The Luke Commission) outreach. He heard about the mobile medical hospital coming to his area on the radio.
“I wonder if they have wheelchairs for me? Please may we go,” asked the boy his grandmother.
Grace Maseko had not intended to leave their homestead that day. She lives 12 km away and did not have money to board a kombi [Microbus]. But when she heard the hope in her grandson’s voice and knew he had always wanted to go to school, she borrowed the emalangeni [money].
Mncedisi cannot walk. But he does have strong arms, making him a perfect candidate for a child PET, different than a traditional wheelchair.
The cart is donated by Personal Energy Transportation affiliates throughout the Unites States, usually made up of retirees who give their time, expertise, and funds to build and send carts throughout the world. PET International is one of TLC’s treasured partners.
Grace said Mncedisi’s legs have always been weak. They were small when he was crawling. He broke both legs at age four. “They kept breaking,” his grandmother explained.
Grandma Grace tried to get help for his grandson. “A doctor said my boy needed calcium, but the medicine was expensive so I could not buy it.”
Grace is Mncedisi’s sole caregiver. His mother married another man, and his father is serving a lifelong prison sentence.
Seven children or grandchildren live on Grace’s homestead, ranging in ages from 35 to Mncedisi. Three are in school. With Mncedisi it will be four.
Grace is thankful that the Swaziland government allows her grandchildren to attend primary school free, although she does pay fees for a high school student, and she does need to buy uniforms.
Does she have a job besides caring for everyone? Yes, she was a farmer who grows and sells maize. Others at her homestead work with her, but no one else has outside employment.
“At first, I wasn’t going to come today, but I am glad I listened to Mncedisi and came to see if you could help, “ smiled his grandmother.
“I am thanking God almighty. He has heard my cry for my grandson.”
She asked for a Bible in SiSwati [language used in Swaziland by the Swazi people], and TLC paid to take the PET, grandma, and Mncedisi home.
How will get to school everyday? “I will use my PET and drive it like a car,” the boys answered.
“We will figure out a way,” Grandma Grace agreed. “God looked down on us today. This is first step, a first blessing.”
by Janet Tuinstra with gratitude from TLC to all dedicated PET volunteers and donors