BISMILLAH AR-RAHMAN AR-RAHEEM, As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum wa-Rahmatullah wa-Barakaatu,
Picture yourself as a child starting to grow up and make sense of the things around you. Now picture yourself being stared at in ridicule and being teased.
Picture yourself, helpless and defenceless, unable to go where you need to because you have no family to help you and no legs to carry you.
For Maryam Mustafa, aged 12, this is a constant reality. Born with Tetra Amelia Syndrome, a very rare congenital disorder, Maryam has no legs. Before reading any further, please watch our video above and get an introduction to this amazing child.
Born in Morogoro in Tanzania Mainland, Maryam, has short stumpy feet attached to her torso. Shocked at her appearance, her superstitious parents believed she is a curse and would bring them bad luck and wanted to sacrifice her. Her grandmother, however, intervened, and moved her to Zanzibar in order to protect her.
“Although the early days were very difficult especially because Maryam didn’t have siblings to help her with day-to-day activities, it seems I was destined to cope with the challenge and blessing of raising such a girl” says Maryam’s grandmother.
The challenges of school made Maryam struggled mentally and emotionally as well as physically and questioned her value and purpose in life. Every second became a mental struggle with no end in sight.
Today, Maryam lives with her grandmother in a rundown mud house. Their toilet is a hole in the ground in an open area in the backyard and their roof is torn apart. During the rainy season, they have no shelter from the harsh torrential rains.
Maryam is currently in Grade 6 and has proven to have higher-than-average intellect. She manages to attend school regularly despite there being zero facilities for handicapped children and no mentoring or support for her special circumstances in public schools.
Al Noor Charitable Agency for the Needy of Zanzibar in cooperation with International Istiqaama Muslim Community of Oman under “Tuelekezane Peponi Group” has launched a joint project to construct a ‘special needs’ house for Maryam to give her a fresh start and a chance at a normal life.
Apart from the funds needed to complete the construction of her house, we also want to help Maryam see that tomorrow will be better than today. With the right counselling, attention from professionals and faith in Allah, we are confident that she will grow up to understand that there will always be barriers and obstacles in life but that she should not fear them.
Help us boost this young Muslim’s morale and show her that we stand beside her through her struggles. For each of us born healthy and whole, this is a true test of conscience!
Our Prophet (saw) said:
“You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.” (Bukhari)