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Deafened by malaria but not defeated

This summer, hear Shamim’s story firsthand at the brand new Compassion Experience.


Compassion graduate Shamim

Shamim felt dizzy, then went hot and cold at the same time. But when she complained of not feeling well, her mother reprimanded her for being lazy, and demanded that she work even harder.

A week later, Shamim woke up in hospital. Malaria and mumps had ravaged her body and she was almost completely deaf due to complications from her illnesses.

Shamim had been a happy, carefree child, living in the care of her grandmother, loving school and enjoying time with her friends at the Compassion project. But during the school holidays that year, Shamim’s mother sent for her - the first time since she had abandoned her daughter. And from the moment she arrived at her mother’s home, Shamim worked hard, cleaning and cooking and falling exhausted into bed each night. 

When Shamim’s grandmother came to fetch her for the new school term, she recalls, “Granny cried in the garden. She said ‘You went good but came back deaf.'”

Shamim lost her hearing because her mum could not afford the malaria medication. With the help and support of her church and Compassion sponsor, Shamim found a new direction for her life. She says, “Despite my disability Compassion did not lose hope in me. It motivated me to gain passion … and helped me to open my eyes to help other children who have a disability.” 

Shamim caring for child

She refused to be limited by her situation, winning a government scholarship to university. Today, Shamim serves the special needs community through her own ministry that helps disabled children in Uganda.

Leave your passport behind

This summer, come and engage all your senses and see poverty through Shamim’s eyes at the Compassion Experience.  

As you stand surrounded by possessions and memories in the faithfully replicated homes of Shamim, and Compassion graduate Sameson from Ethiopia, you’ll hear their personal stories, told from their own perspective. You’ll experience what daily life is like for them in their own countries, without needing your passport.

The Compassion Experience is coming to you!

You, your family, friends and whole community can experience another world without leaving your own. Immerse yourself in Sameson and Shamim’s stories at the launch of the Compassion Experience. Witness how each story begins with the struggle of poverty but ends in hope. Join us for the launch event at the Kings Arms Church, Bedford for a fun-packed day on 23 September 2017. As well as the Experience, there will be African snacks to taste (for the adventurous!), the opportunity to take part in an African drumming workshop and children’s activities.

To reserve your space, or to find other locations of the Compassion Experience around the UK over the next few months, visit the Compassion Experience website

Leave your passport behind

To volunteer when the Experience comes to your area, email experience@compassionuk.org.



WORDS : Corinna Stubbs

PHOTOS : Compassion International


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