This morning I went down to the Orthopedic Training Center where S. Liz works. It was begun by the Divine Word Missionaries in 1961. Brother Tarcisius was the founder and is still the director. Sister Liz is the co-director. The center serves both adults and children who have orthopedic disabilities. Many of the adults are amputees either from accidents or from diabetes. Many of the chlldren may be bow-legged or have birth defects or also be amputees.
Prosthetics, calipers, splints, special shoes are all crafted on site and fitted individually. There is an extensive workshop for this.
Training in using the prosthetics, exercise programs and wound care are all part of the training that is needed for a person to be successful in becoming independent. Adults and children who live at the center while they are getting rehabilitated have dorms, meal preparation, etc. Some of the children go out to school while others (usually small ones) have classes on site.
The stories of some of the children are chilling and heart-breaking. Some of the children who are born with a disability are regularly beaten and even abandoned by parents. All of them who make their way to OTC find loving welcome. Who knows the long term effect of the abuse or the mitigating nature of the love from the center. But every effort is made to help the children in whatever ways are needed. In the weeks after I return I will try to tell some of the stories. In the meantime here are a few pictures of the Center.