Stories of Hope 2022

"Do your little bit of good where you are, it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." ~Desmond Tutu


At 17 years of age, Calvin Maapeya was ready to get to work, earn some money and take his rightful place in society. It seemed, however, that this very basic human right would not be afforded to young Calvin.

The short end of the stick

Being born with cerebral palsy, one might argue that Calvin drew the short end of the stick in life. A lot of his movements were spastic because of shortened muscles and tendons all over his body. Ever since he was a young boy, Calvin walked with difficulty and could also not grasp objects with his right hand. Everyday tasks such as brushing his teeth was a monumental feat for Calvin.

Operation Healing Hands-Calvin Maapeya

Dreams of the future

As he got older Calvin, whose palsy had no effect on his mental capacity whatsoever, started to dream of earning a living and working towards his own future. He was, however, not oblivious to the fact that he would find it very difficult to get a job. Who, Calvin asked himself, would hire someone who couldn’t even hold objects properly?

Putting on a brave face

Although Calvin was worried about how he would realise his dreams for the future, he did not complain. On the contrary, his brave smile and charming personality were well-known in his community. His family, however, knew what was going on in Calvin’s heart, deep down, and decided to get some help.

Surgeons to the rescue

A non-profit organisation who provides surgery, free of charge, to patients in need agreed to take on Calvin’s case. Operation Healing Hands arranged for multiple surgeries to be performed on Calvin – surgeries that would enable him to walk more easily and grasp better with his right hand. If successful, Calvin’s life would be forever changed, so he jumped at the opportunity.

Showing cerebral palsy who’s the boss

After his surgeries, Calvin had a long road ahead of him. Months of rehabilitation and therapy were needed for the surgeries to be able to truly be called ‘successful’. But, once the rehabilitation was completed, Calvin was not only able to perform basic tasks such as brushing his teeth with ease, but he could finally go find his dream job and take his place in society.

~ Article by Magriet Stander


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