LSU Alum Travels to Kenya and Donates 465 Mobility Devices
July 31, 2019
KENYA - Michael Panther is from the war-torn young nation of South Sudan, Africa. Illness and war experiences left him in a wheelchair. In most parts of Africa, people with disabilities are usually excluded from schools.
In 2010, Michael moved to the U.S., where he attended Louisiana State University and pursued his degree in Economics. He was involved in different organizations and soon had many leadership roles on campus, including being the president of the International Student Association, executive director of Student Outreach in Student Government and founder of the LSU Disability Student Organization. Michael was recognized as a student leader who “Best Exemplified the characteristics of Honor, Unselfish Dedication and Courage with the Students’ Best Interest at Heart.” During his senior year, the student body elected him Homecoming King, making Michael the first international student to receive such an honor. Michael graduated in December 2015 with an Economics degree and moved to Chicago where he founded Living with Hope.
On September 8-19 this year, Living With Hope took a team of physical therapists, mechanics and support personnel to Kenya to help distribute wheelchairs. There, they went to A.I.C CURE Hospital in Kijabe, the hospital that helped treat Michael when he was ill, and the second distribution was at a slum called Kengami at King’s Ambassadors Church led by our partner, Pastor Hudson Bande.
Young child getting fitted for new wheelchair
About Living with Hope
Living with Hope is an organization dedicated to providing resources and training people with disabilities in Africa and advocate and challenge these communities to give people with disabilities love and opportunities so that they are not excluded or forgotten but can contribute to the society. Approximately, 80 million people live with disabilities in Africa, 10% of the population but possibly as high as 20% in the poorer regions. People with disabilities are usually excluded from schools, opportunities to work and even the community. This means that they live their lives as the poorest of the poor. They face social stigma, discrimination and even death because they are considered to be of no value or a curse to the community. The mission will focus on wheelchair distribution and educating families and communities to care for and to include people with disabilities as an important part of society.