When Imanya was six months old a baby she was left alone in her home stumbled into the open fire. She was burnt so badly that the hospital couldn't save her tiny feet.
The tragic accident left her with a lifelong disability which would have changed the course of Imanya’s life, had it not been for Gamara Joseph, the headmaster of the Airport View Primary School in Torit. Joseph heard Imanya’s cries one day during a visit to the village. He intervened and offered Imanya a home and a chance to go to school.
In 2018 Imanya received her first prosthesis from a Red Cross supported facility in Juba and returned home to Torit with her new artificial feet.
For a long time she didn’t know how to use them. ‘At the age of six, her mind and legs had forgotten how to correspond,’ Joseph explains. ‘We had to train her for three months, before she started walking on her own with the aid of crutches.’
Recently, a growing Imanya returned to the capital with Joseph to be fitted for her new prosthetic legs.
‘We came Monday,’ Joseph says, asking Imanya to show how she takes her prosthesis off the thin stump under her knee.
While she puts it back on again, Joseph says that she is still wearing the old prosthetic limbs, because he isn’t sure that the new ones fit properly. They will do some testing when they get home.
‘I almost decided to postpone our return to Torit,’ Joseph shares, explaining how he got sick with malaria two days ago. ‘I started the treatment and decided to fly home today as planned because it’s better to recover in your home.’
Arriving in Torit, Imanya is met from the plane by a teacher and some friends from the school. They accompany her back to school.
‘Traditionally, a disabled child is neglected and abused, but they are human beings and equal in the eyes of God,’ Joseph says. ‘Now Imanya has a lot of friends at the school and she can even climb trees with them. With God’s help, Imanya will be an example to the community that disabled [people] have value.’
'With God’s help, Imanya will be an example to the community that disabled people have value.' Gamara Joseph