Hope for Thembani

Fifteen-year-old Thembani Phiri suffers from congenital elephantiasis, which results in extreme swelling of the skin and tissue.

The disease, which can be very painful and uncomfortable, usually affects the legs and genitals, resulting in baggy, thickened and ulcerated skin. It also obstructs blood vessels and causes the skin to become infected and gangrenous.

Thembani’s unemployed parents have been unable to afford the care their son needs, which has resulted in the boy’s leg swelling to the point where he is now unable to walk.

African Baobab Foundation, an international charity based in the United Kingdom, has responded to his plight.

“We are hoping to raise funds for this young man so that he can get money to go to school as well as the wheelchair he needs and medical help,” the organisation’s founder and chairman, Freeman Ncube, told The Zimbabwean.

“We are appealing to medical specialists who can help with information about this particular condition.”

He added that African Baobab Foundation was looking for ways to engage with the Ministry of Education to increase its budget on special schools.

“We believe in creating an enabling environment for people with disabilities to live independently, access information and enjoy a lifestyle they choose,” he said.

“We are looking at raising $2000 for Thembani’s school fees and a wheelchair. After that we will find out about how he can get help with medical expenses. We will keep updating the public on his progress and donations.”

For more information on how to help Thembani contact the organisation on [email protected]

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