When she was still a baby, Asha was diagnosed with cyanotic heart defect. Her community believes this to be a curse and so she has to stay away from people. She cannot socialize with her age mates. She is surrounded by silence and loneliness, as her community deems fit. It is stigmatization so severe that at her age, Asha has never stepped into school. She cannot read or write, not even her name. Asha’s only friends are her siblings and elderly parents. Her mother is her confidant. Even when the rest of the world has stayed so far away from her, her mother has stood by her side.
Asha Adan, now 15 years old, was introduced to Care For A Child’s Heart (CFACH) by a teacher whose nephew the organization had assisted some years back. Asha and her mother had to travel to CFACH’s family center in Nairobi. The good teacher mobilized a few friends and raised their fare.
At the CFACH family support center, Asha wanted to talk but she couldn’t because of language barrier. She only speaks Borana her native language in Mandera County, North Eastern Kenya. Her constant smiles and love for being near people tells of her friendly and jovial nature, but all of these she has to keep for herself. Although Asha’s condition is inoperable, she is not on any drugs but requires support to attend checkup clinics.