Halima could handle the fact that her daughter Izza was born with clubfoot. She could handle the journey to Niamey for treatment—three days and two nights across more than 1500 kilometers of Nigerien desert. She could even handle that treatment for Izza would mean staying in Niamey, separated from her husband, home, and native language for nearly an entire year.
What almost broke her was the rejection and persecution she had to endure because her daughter was born with a disability.
So Izza could receive treatment, Halima made the difficult decision to stay with some of her husband’s relatives in Niamey, but they were not well received. The community—including her own family—mocked Izza for her disability. They made up a derogatory name for her. Halima was made out to be a bad wife for leaving her husband in order to care for her daughter. Often, Izza and Halima lacked food.
Halima decided she couldn’t take anymore. She planned to leave Niamey and take Izza back home, but after meeting with a CURE Clubfoot counselor, she changed her mind and stayed until Izza had finished treatment.
Today, Izza is enrolled in school and spends every day walking on two straight feet, and mom Halima is so thankful for the encouragement that prompted her to see treatment through to the end. She says she is especially grateful for the love shown by the counselors, and she is now an advocate for CURE Clubfoot in her area.