Sinlin: Movement and Hope


Sinlin, a 7-year-old, was born with cerebral palsy, a group of permanent movement disorders that causes poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, and tremors. Her own mother abandoned her at birth after being physically abused by her husband, and Sinlin was left with an aging grandmother to raise her.

Enter Matibabu Foundation’s Rehabilitation Program, for which Tiba provides funding. When Sinlin first met her assigned Community Health Worker through the program, she had constricted upper and lower limbs, and was experiencing poor feeding, stiffness of her neck and head, and had very poor overall balance. She was also entirely dependent on the care of her grandmother.

For the next few months, Sinlin worked with her Community Health Worker, who provided stimulation exercises, mobilization of joints, feeding practice, balance and positioning exercises, and also put Sinlin on a special vitamin-enriched diet to help her physical growth and development.

Sinlin is now able to stretch her arms and can grab objects. Her limbs are less constricted, she can feed herself with minimal support, her head is more stable, and she can independently balance while sitting. She is also able to change positions while sleeping, which is something she wasn’t able to do before treatment.

Workers at the Rehabilitation Program connected Sinlin and her family with the Kenyan Social Protection Program, which provides a monthly financial stipend to families like Sinlin’s. Additionally, Matibabu Foundation is teaching her grandmother about the importance of saving and reinvesting part of this stipend so that they always have an emergency fund to turn to when the stipend is delayed or discontinued.

There are approximately 23,000 physically disabled persons within Siaya County, and of these, about 8,500 live within Ugenya and Ugunja subcounties. The entire population in Siaya County is served by only two physiotherapists, one occupational therapist and one orthopedic technologist. The need for more trained professionals and resources to support this special population remains high.

Sinlin is one of the lucky ones and her life will forever be changed, thanks to the Rehabilitation Program at Matibabu Foundation. Tiba is proud to support individuals like Sinlin and the team of more than 500 Community Health Workers who bring services like the Rehabilitation Program into people’s homes each and every day.