Partnerships and Deo Kundi

Deo and therapist working through rehabilitation

Deo and therapist working through rehabilitation



Sometimes when groups work together, each contributing various elements towards a final goal, the chances of achieving the goal improve and of course all invested share in the rewards. Such was the case with Deo Kundi and his prosthetic leg.  It is worth recounting all the partners in this small but significant project for without them we might not have had the same success.

It was  Ros Penty and family in 2009 who funded Deo’s first leg after the mine collapse where he was initially injured.   Amputees should always have prosthetic no matter their developmental level but Deo outgrew his first leg and since had been navigating with crutches and attends boarding school at Lombeta School.    Fellow classmates there that first advocated for a new leg and promised to raise whatever they could to contribute.  On the Canadian side, Sasha  and his Oak Bay leadership group a bake sale held on Oak Bay Avenue.  Later in the year Solana, Lauren and Lockie held a bake sale at Central Middle School which was very generously patronized by hungry students who enjoy cupcakes a lot.  Thrifty Foods donated $60 worth of baking supplies and chocolate milk and Starbuck’s donated cups and napkins.  Later on a cold call to Custom Prosthetic Services for patient and  prosthetic information Geoffrey Hall generously gave guidance and then asked what Deo’s shoe size was.  He said he might have some materials “hanging around”  to donate.  Two weeks later I picked up a box containing a full set of titanium parts for an above the knee amputee,  and  the knee joint alone a remarkable device.  The value was self-evident but only when we got to Tanzania did we discover that this represented the lion share of the costs.  Extra cash donations before departure helped to provide for this project too -thanks to John Lydon and family.


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In Tanzania  we visited the outpatient Orthopedic Dept at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi which is, amazingly,  the site of the  prosthetic teaching center for all of Africa.  Department head, Prosper, saw us right away, heard our story of Deo and remarked that he knew Deo was “out there” from the  now retired prosthetic tech, Omar Kinyango who made his first leg. Even we did not have a contact number for Deo and it was only through a fellow student Raziki, who studied with Deo at Lombeta, that we got connected.  Using that cell number guided our taxi driver in bringing us  to Deo’s house.   Deo and his father have made numerous trips to KCMC which is far from their village in Kyrua but depite the challenges of travel have not missed an appointment, often getting up before dawn to travel.   Deo kindly allowed us to observe the process of fitting the leg but I think he enjoyed going through the process with Solana, Lauren and Lockie.


Recently we received photos of Deo in training with his new leg from Rory and Karia, young Canadians volunteering in Tanzania and who agreed to follow up with Deo while we were at Kilema and after our arrival home to Canada.  Without their help we would have left mid process and perhaps missed the best part, Deo walking the double bars, with his new leg.  Our thanks to Karia and Rory for shepherding this process to it’s successful conclusion.

Rory and Karia report from February 11,2014,”  At the appointment today the orthopedic technician, Donald, in the purple shirt, indicated there would be 2 more appointments total.  The first, scheduled for next Monday Feb 17th, would see the conclusion of the rehab and fitting and the second, a few days later, would see delivery of the finished prosthetic to Deo.    He also stated that this has been very successful and there have been no major issues.  Further the prosthetic will be covered in a mesh like material and then I assume painted, as requested by Deo so will try to get you a picture of the finished product as soon as possible.  In case you are interested the appointments take him 4 hours and have him practice walking though due to a lack of equipment they do not have any stairs for him to climb  so he may be lacking some leg strength at the time of delivery.  He does however seem to be very comfortable and happy and his only worries are related to his pending O level exam results!”

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A small project…. but  but very big for Deo and with many partners, a success.  Thank you everyone!


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