Rescuing Children: Little Akhona

Post by Patricia Deacon on Ingane Yami - Published April 23rd, 2021

Akhona is the newest little girl to call Ingane Yami home.

She arrived at the Village a few days before the South African lockdown, on 8 March 2020.

When Akhona first arrived it was clear she was in dire need of some love and nurture. Her little body was covered in mole like spots, her tummy was too big for her frame and her one leg was larger then the other as a result of hormones she had been given at birth. She had just learnt to walk and was not confident to climb down steps, let alone go near the jungle gym.

For the first few months, during hard lock down, the only intervention we were able to give was that of a loving and secure home environment, a healthy balanced diet, and lots of love and attention from her mom and ‘big’ sister. Can you believe, that was enough to completely clear up her skin! Her tummy came into proportion and her entire countenance changed. In July, when we were able to go back to work, one of our social workers began working with Akhona on her gross and fine motor skills, under the guidance and advice of our volunteer O.T. Within a few weeks Akhona had gained tremendous confidence in her ability to run, jump and play.

Since joining the school full time in the beginning of the year, Akhona has continued to grow from strength to strength. She has come out of her quiet and timid shell and is expressing herself more and more, both verbally and in her body language. As Akhona is now learning both English and Zulu, she has developed her own mix of Zulu-English that only her teacher and mom really understand; with some words being crystal clear, and others ending up as a proper mash-up! Her gross motor and fine motor skills have made tremendous progress as she is now able to run, climb on the jungle gym and swing on the swing! She is forever asking her teacher to push her “higher, higher!”; something she would have never had the confidence to ask for a few months ago. Her ballet teacher also cannot believe the improvements, as she’s able to balance on one leg and stand on her tiptoes.

Akhona is truly a beautiful little girl, with so much potential! Restoration is something that happens gradually, year after year. We have already seen so much healing and restoration in her life already and we cannot wait to see that continue to take place in the months and years ahead.