In September 2015 Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope launched a new project in Andhra Pradesh, India. In the first two years, the project will provide 80 child amputees with ELoH’s long-term and holistic support, including access to prosthetics, surgeries and emotional care. This will have vital empowering effects on the children, enabling them to regain mobility, rebuild their self-esteem and go to school.
Medical and emotional support: Based on our deep understanding of the complex issues facing child amputees,the project has been designed to include made-to-measure prosthetic limbs, mobility devices, physiotherapy and life-saving surgeries. The beneficiaries will have access to this care until they are fully grown – long-term support which is essential to respond to children’s regular need for new prosthetics and medical treatment as their limbs grow.
The child amputees will also receive emotional support to overcome stigma and negative societal norms. Amputees are often deemed less worthy than their able-bodied peers and this can have damaging effects for their psychological well-being. Our emotional support will enable the beneficiaries to rebuild their self-esteem and grow into strong individuals.
Education: The lack of prosthetic limbs poses an acute barrier to child amputees receiving an education and children with disabilities are five times more likely to be out of school than other marginalized groups in India. By giving them back their physical mobility and strengthening their self-confidence, the project will provide the children with the conditions for going back to school. This is fundamental to build the capacity of the individuals and to enable them to break out of the cycle of poverty they often become trapped in as adults.
Who? 80 child amputees from poor, rural villages.
Where? Paradise Village in the Indian state Andhra Pradesh.
What? Providing medical and emotional support to child amputees, enabling them to regain their physical and social mobility.
Our partner organisation? The project is carried out in partnership with UK-based charity HEAL, who has more than 20 years’ experience of supporting orphaned and impoverished children in Andhra Pradesh.
Why is our work important?
In India, an estimated 9.9 million people are amputees and the level of lower limb amputations is among the highest in the world. The lives of people with disabilities are often defined by poverty and marginalization. Children with disabilities are five times more likely to be out of school than other marginalized groups, and one in four children with disabilities will experience violence during their lifetime.
In addition, access to healthcare is inadequate or lacking completely in rural settings and amputees rarely receive the support they need. Andhra Pradesh is one of the poorest states in India with up to 95% of the population living below the poverty line, and families are rarely able to access medical care that can address complicated health issues such as amputations.
As a result, child amputees often face severely reduced mobility which has a crucial impact on their social development – child amputees are often seen out of school, and on the streets, begging. Despite the significant need of support, there are few organisations in Andhra Pradesh specialising in the particular needs of child amputees, and at ELoH we are very proud to step in and fill this gap.