August 12, 2016
August 12, 2016
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Neneni, a 21-year old man with a severe disfigurement, doesn’t have any brothers or sisters, and both of his parents died when he was young. He lives with his elderly, ailing stepmother. More than anything, he wants to have a job, to be self-sufficient, and to be able to take care of his stepmother, the only person who accepted any part of him. Unfortunately he cannot get a job in his condition. Neneni is a complete outcast from his village. He explained that everyone looks down on him and treats him with disdain. Neneni stopped trying to be accepted and lives his life apart from society.

He recalled one time that he tried to sit at a table to eat some food with some other young men.  However, they reminded him he was an outcast, that he would never have a place at their table. Neneni put his fists on the table and proclaimed that he was a person, and that he should be able to eat, but he was pushed away from the table.  Neneni yelled for them to stop and that he was hungry.  They responded by taking turns beating him.

During the rainy season when plants explode in growth, Neneni busies himself by working in the garden. He loves to watch plants grow from seed and care for them. But when the season ends he has the rest of the year to contend with and has nothing to do. When he heard on the radio one morning that doctors were coming who could help his face, he made the journey south to see if they could help him.

While waiting at the ABC Clinic until the last day for his surgery, Neneni found that he was not quite so lonely after all. There were many others just like him, many others who shared his pain. For the first time in his life he was able to relate to other people and he even made friends. Upon seeing one of his friends who had a surgery right before him, he shouted with excitement. He could not believe the change. There was much work to be done on fixing Neneni, but the skillful hands of Dr. Khosla met the challenge with ease. Neneni had a gleam in his eye as he began the recovery process. He said he was ready to take on life again and to find a job. He left the ABC clinic with new friends, a new purpose, and a new smile.