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HEAL Africa – Beni’s Story

17 January 2023
Beni, a young boy, posing for the camera.

Who are HEAL Africa and what do they do?

HEAL - Healthcare, Education, community Action, and Leadership development.

HEAL Africa compassionately serves vulnerable people and communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) living without access to basic healthcare. However, the approach is not just to bring about restoration of the body physically. It is a more holistic approach, as healing a person from their experience of violence or poverty requires more than tangible medical treatment. HEAL Africa tries to be more effective in finding the root causes of the problem and helping with that, such as training and a reintegration kit (chicken, rabbit, sewing skills etc) to help a person to restart their life.

“The specialist said that Beni needed to have surgery in hospital, but I knew we couldn’t afford the medical bills. I thought I was going to have to go to prison to help my son.”

Story from HEAL Africa – Mercy Fund

From the moment Beni* was born it was clear that something wasn’t quite right. Perhaps it’s something that would have been picked up early in a pregnancy scan in the UK and been treated within the first few months of his life.

Beni is now four years old and lives with his father, Joseph, in one of the outer districts of Goma city in the DRC. And he’s lived his life so far with a congenital malformation in both legs. Essentially, something happened while he was in the womb that meant his legs didn’t form normally. As a result, they visibly curve outwards rather than being straight. As a baby it affected his ability to crawl and get around, and these days it makes walking challenging and sometimes even painful.

From early on Joseph knew that Beni needed medical treatment. But he also knew that he couldn’t afford it. Joseph is a motorcycle taxi driver, but he’s endured long periods of unemployment over the years and at times he could barely afford to feed his son, let alone get him the medical care he needed. Recently, after coming to terms with the challenges that Beni would face for the rest of his life, Joseph resolved to find someone that could help. Joseph and his extended family did everything they could and saved up the $70 required to see an orthopaedic specialist and get some tests.

By the grace of God, Beni was taken to the HEAL Africa hospital for surgery. Thanks to the generosity of WorldShare supporters, HEAL Africa has a ‘Mercy Fund’ which they use to cover the medical bills of vulnerable patients who desperately need medical treatment but can’t afford it. Beni was an obvious candidate for help from the fund and HEAL offered to cover the cost of his surgery and any additional medical care. Beni recently had the surgery and it was a great success! He now faces six weeks in plaster casts, but after that he’ll be able to run around like any other four-year-old.

“I am so grateful to HEAL Africa”, says Joseph, “I am so glad that I didn’t have to go to prison to see my son walk properly for the first time.”

*Names have been changed to protect those we serve.

Stories like that of Beni exist because of the vision of HEAL Africa and supporters like you, all flowing from the goodness of God.

How can I get involved?
Every day, the HEAL Africa Hospital receives poor and displaced people who urgently need essential medical assistance but cannot afford it. HEAL Africa uses its ‘Mercy Fund’ to provide free treatment, care and a hospital bed, costing £65 a day.

Giving towards the Mercy Fund to cover the cost of a hospital bed is one of the ways you could get involved. You can do this easily by clicking here to give via our “Freedom Gifts”.

Not able to give financially, but want to give your time? Why not pray for the work? You can access our prayer resources here, where you can find all our latest prayer/praise requests on our prayer calendar which you can subscribe to receive monthly.

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