fighting TO survivE
the dream of mis pratt
Patience could only crawl along the floor by dragging her legs and pulling herself along with her hands. Learn More
Long before the phrase ‘child advocacy’ was coined, was the passion of Marion Pratt, who worked as a nurse with Liberia’s largest hospital. Mrs. Pratt retired from her position as Director of Nurses to dedicate herself to the care of the ATCH residents, whom she lovingly referred to as “my children”.
Mrs. Pratt trained the staff to handle the children tenderly, lovingly, and carefully.
Liberia then fell into a 14 year war that destroyed infrastructure and gutted the home of its resources. To combat this, Mrs. Pratt solicited the help of the United Nations for the safe-keeping of the children, eventually turning them over to the latter before she herself fled the country.
Ten years later, Mrs. Pratt’s dream is left to be fulfilled.
In Liberia, children with cerebral palsy are abandoned and left to die.In 1985, with the assistance of the British Ambassador, the Antoinette Tubman Cheshire Home was established to address the needs of these children.
The first home, built in the immediate countryside outside of Monrovia, the capital city, was funded by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation International (LCFI). Presently, there is no consistent funding to cover the cost of maintaining the home.
Many of them died during the civil war. Starvation. There were times during the intense fighting, where neither the staff nor Miz Pratt could access the Home to deliver food to the children and staff stranded there.
CEREBRAL PALSY IN LIBERIA
Miz Pratt’ as she was called, had trained the staff - basically ‘volunteers’ who had no formal education, but were willing to take a nominal ‘salary’ - to care for the children. I watched in wonder as the children reacted to her when they saw her. Such glee! She had taught the staff the importance of constant, gentle touch when interacting with a child. She taught them how crucial it was to be playful with them - as one would a normal child. She taught them how to engage with the children.
"Site under construction more to come.״
"Site under construction more to come״