Julienne finds freedom

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The first time 14-year-old Julienne was called a “witch,” she was too young to grasp what the word meant. But she wasn’t too young to feel the sting of her own relatives’ rejection and to know that her condition made her different … an outcast. Julienne was just … Read More

Out of hiding

Underneath the swirling pattern and bright dye of Djenabou’s scarf was a massive goitre that had been growing for over 18 years. For more than half her life, she’d carried its weight … a weight producing far more than the physical effects of a mass slowly closing her … Read More

Seven long years

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She had been excited for a while. Mairamou and her husband eagerly anticipated the birth of their first child. But after a long, painful labour, she lost the baby. The tragedy was intensified because the prolonged labour caused physical damage that left Mairamou with a condition known as … Read More

A brighter future

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No one is prouder of this ray of sunshine than her father, Emmanuel. Cecilia brims with delightful energy, and Emmanuel is always one step behind her, ready to help her in the right direction. But, until recently, Cecilia needed more help than most little girls. “She smiles all of … Read More

The tiny warrior

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The first sight of three-month-old Paul revealed a feather-light bundle cradled in his desperate mother’s arms. His skin was paper-thin and his body remarkably tiny. He weighed just over two kilograms – less than he had when he was first born. The tiny baby was born with a … Read More

Valerie starts over

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It was a stranger who eventually told Valerie about Mercy Ships. One day, the 14-year-old left the shop on an errand, only to be startled by a woman following her, trying to give her information. “I was scared,” remembered Valerie, “but, looking back, I think that woman was … Read More

Me first!

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“It was the stunning World Cup victory in 2010 which brought me to name my son after football coach José Mourinho,” says Maurinho’s dad. It makes sense, then, when his mum describes her son’s competitive nature. “When Maurinho says that he wants to achieve something, he will not … Read More

Overcoming the impossible

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When Valerie was four, she asked her father to pull her out of school. “I didn’t want to go anymore,” she recalled. Her legs had begun to bow outward. Her father complied, eventually sending her to live with her uncle’s family in the city, closer to help. But, … Read More

Rose and her Dad

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Pounding yams … hand-washing clothes … head-carrying water or goods to sell … feeding a baby … all common tasks for women in many parts of West Africa. For some, it’s part of living; for others, it’s a matter of surviving. For a young girl like Rose, having … Read More

Following in Mum’s footsteps

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  Juliette understood exactly what her daughter Orlane was suffering. You see, Juliette has also lived clubbed feet since birth. She was broken-hearted when Orlane was born with the same condition. Correcting club feet is complex. The Mercy Ships medical team can straighten babies feet with casts and physiotherapy over … Read More

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