Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope is very glad to announce the agreement of a new child amputee project in Andhra Pradesh, India. The project will be led in partnership with HEAL, a UK charity with more than 20 years’ experience of supporting orphaned and impoverished children in Andhra Pradesh. In the first two years, the project will reach out to 80 child amputees – providing them with ELoH’s long-term and holistic support so they can regain mobility, play and go to school.
The project is due to start in August 2015 with the building of a limb centre, which will be attached to a larger HEAL health centre. In early 2016, the identification of beneficiaries will begin and approximately 80 children from poor, rural villages will be enrolled into the project. The children will be transported to the limb clinic and provided with prosthetics, mobility devices and life-saving surgeries. They will also be given emotional support to rebuild self-esteem after their experiences of stigma or trauma.
This will have a crucial effect on the social development of the children, as a lack of mobility often represents a significant obstacle for amputees to go to school. In India, children with disabilities are five times more likely to be out of school than other marginalised groups, and it is vital to challenge this to ensure they have the opportunity to move out of poverty and build good lives for themselves and their families.
The project builds on ELoH’s successful work in Sierra Leone and Liberia and the local experience and expertise of our partner organisation HEAL. India was chosen as the new project country based on a variety of factors that made the need for our services particularly clear. Firstly, it is estimated that 9.9 million people live as amputees in India and the level of lower limb amputations is among the highest in the world. Furthermore, access to healthcare is inadequate or lacking completely in rural settings and amputees rarely receive the support they need. Lastly, between 88% and 95% of the population in Andhra Pradesh live below the poverty line and it is very difficult for families to access medical care that can address complicated health issues.
As a result, child amputees are often seen on the streets, begging, and out of school. Still, 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. Charity Manager Isabelle Trick says:
“We are very excited to begin this new project in a new country, on a new continent. Despite recent growth, a quarter of all child deaths globally still occur in India and children with disabilities are among the most excluded in society. Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope’s projects have already helped more than 250 children to lead happier, more active lives and we look forward to offering the same support to child amputees in Andhra Pradesh.”
Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope has earmarked £64,280 for the first two years of the project. It is an exciting expansion for our organisation and a great opportunity to reach out to child amputees in a new part of the world. This would never have been possible without all our fantastic supporters. Your kind donations, challenging fundraisers and wonderful events have been central to ELoH and to our ability to provide life-saving, long-term medical care for 80 new child amputees in India. If you want to contribute to our India project don’t hesitate to go to our donation page.