In 2009, Hilma Jeremia gave birth to a baby girl named Josephina Johannes but she was left in disbelief because the baby had no limbs.
“I gave birth to a child with no arms or legs. It is the worst kind of disability, it has no beginning or end,” said Jeremia.
Jeremia further added that her daughter needs a lot of assistance to carry out ordinary daily activities.
“She cannot even change clothes by herself. She needs help either from me or her siblings,” said the mother.
When Josephina turned six, she could not attend school like her peers because all the schools that her mother approached refused to enrol her, citing that they do not have the facilities and capacity to teach a child living with disabilities.
Fast forward to 2020, Josephina is now 11-years-old and is in grade 4 at Nani Primary School, which is a private institution at Oshigambo in Oniipa constituency of Oshikoto.
The school registered her since the first grade and has brought hope to both the mother and the child.
“The government pays for her school. The school is very close by. She can even write well,” said Jeremia.
Josephina is said to be doing well in school and her teachers are satisfied with her progress.
Her highest mark is in Oshindonga at 78%, which is a B symbol.
She said she wants to become a nurse when she grows up because her dream is to heal the sick, especially children born with disabilities.
“I like school. My best friend’s name is Princess. During break time, we like to play okatoma. I will study hard and become a nurse,” said a composed Josephina.
Sadly, she is not immune to bullies and with a depressed voice, Josephina communicated that some of her schoolmates tease her by calling her disabled, but she receives support and protection from her teachers who are quick to discipline the bullies.
The councillor of Oniipa, Jeremia Ngwena, paid Johanna a visit.
He handed her a pen and notebook and Josephina quickly began to write her name using her mouth and support from the small arms she has.
Josephina left everyone in awe and wrote suprisingly well.
Ngwena said that when he first saw Josephina, he was stunned by her disability.
“I did not know about her until recently,but I am happy to know that she studies well and is well mannered. I would like to tell you Josephina that one day you will be working in an office and we will use your story to inspire the world,” said Ngwena.
The family is asking for assistance, both from the government and Good Samaritans. Life is extremely challenging for young Josephina, especially when it comes to mobility, both at school and at home.
“I carry her to and from school every day. But now that she is growing, she is becoming too heavy to carry,” stated her motherJeremia.
Because of her condition, she occasionally falls from her desk because the customary school chairs have no handles that can secure her from falling.
Although the councillor has ensured that Josephina benefits from this financial year’s rural sanitation programme that promises to build her a toilet, he has asked the Ministry of Health and Social Services to assist the young girl by giving her artificial limbs.
“We are asking anyone to assist us. Any Good Samaritan to help Josephina. God has brought her this far and we are doing the best we can for her. But I do not have the resources to help a child with her disability. Please help my child,” said Jeremia.
Despite the challenges, Josephina’s school report recorded zero days of absence. “I do not like to be absent because I don’t want to fail,” she said with a serious face. Asked what she would want to receive from Good Samaritans, Josephina said that her favourite meal is rice and would like to receive rice as a gift.