Philipo is a little boy from the Maasai people in Tanzania who was born with a birth defect which prevented his ears from forming properly, leaving him with conductive hearing loss. Unfortunately for Philipo, the Maasai culture considers any type of disability to be taboo, believing the disabled person to be cursed.
Life was extremely difficult for Philipo growing up. Due to his disability, people would easily become frustrated with him, "sometimes resorting to physical abuse," our mission partner in Tanzania reported.
Can you imagine being deliberately mistreated or threatened for something completely out of your control? This was a daily reality for Philipo, and is still a reality for many other men, women, and children with disabilities throughout East Africa.
The mistreatment is most likely correlated to a lack of education amongst the perpetrators regarding disabilities. In certain cultures, the only knowledge available about disabilities is the belief (or assumption) that one's physical ailments are directly related to his or her spiritual status. Perhaps the treatment of people with disabilities in cultures like these would change dramatically if people were introduced to the knowledge that disability is not at all a sign of a curse.
Throughout the Gospels, we witness Jesus and his disciples caring for and even healing those suffering from a variety of physical ailments. Jesus instructs us in Matthew 25 to love and care for the "least of these." Those with disabilities certainly qualify!
Thanks to YOU, the "least of these" are being cared for and loved around the world in the name of Jesus Christ.
Philipo is currently a student at a Christian nursery school for which IDES regularly provides nutritional food assistance because of your generous love.
According to our mission partner, when Philipo was brought into the program, "he had few friends, wasn't attending school, and was in poor health and spirits."
But, you showed up for Philipo, and many children just like him. Now that Philipo has been attending the school and participating in the nutrition program, his health is improving and he is being welcomed into a community of people that love him as he is -- a precious child of God.
"Nowadays, Philipo is seen on our Saturday tutoring days playing soccer with the other boys at break," our partner said. "He is getting one-on-one tutoring...and his strength and joy [is] increasing each time you see him!"
Your partnership with IDES is transforming Philipo's life in the name of Jesus. Thank you for making this work possible.