Annette in her old chair

Annette is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her mother near Kyenjojo, Uganda. Annette is paralyzed from the chest down. She had malaria when she was six years old, and it settled in her spine. Our partners Abel and Anita Waiswa introduced us to Annette and her mom last summer.

Annette is in the 11th grade. Every morning, her mother gets her ready for school and sets her on the back of the motorbike which has come to carry her to school. She hangs on over seven miles of bumpy roads, then her friend Rachel carries Annette to her wheelchair so she can get to her classes.

Annette, Rachel, and Mike

Annette, her friend Rachel, explaining the problem to Mike Henderson

However, when we met Annette, her wheelchair was broken and her mom had no money to buy a new one.

We came home and told Annette’s story to the congregation of a church in Maine. The kids in the Vacation Bible School at the Advent Christian Church in Friendship, Maine, raised $400 to buy Annette a new wheelchair. We sent the money to Abel and Anita, who travelled to Kampala by bus (five hours), bought a new wheelchair, and delivered it to Annette.

Annette's mom lifting her into her new chair

Now, Annette is happy. Her mom is happy. Her friend Rachel is happy. Abel and Anita are happy. And the kids at the Advent Christian Church on the coast of Maine know they have made a difference in the life of a girl in Uganda who can’t walk.

Annette is Happy

The old broken chair and the new one. Abel and Anita Waiswa looking on.

By the way, Annette is #2 out of the 270 11th graders in her district.

She plans to be a doctor.

(Read more about the work of the Hearts & Hands Foundation)