After taking a few steps with her first set of prosthetics, nine-year-old Callista’s face lit up with a wide smile. For the first time in her life, the young girl was walking.

Callista was born with lower leg problems. Due to complications in surgery, both her legs had to be amputated. Callista got from place to place on her knees or on her mother’s back. Her parents couldn’t afford mobility equipment.

Now, the burden felt by Callista and her family has been lifted.

Callista's mother watches as her daughter takes her first few steps.

Callista’s mother watches as her daughter takes her first few steps.

Callista received a new set of prosthetics from the PWS&D-supported Tidzalerana Disabled Children’s Program in southern Malawi. Tidzalerana means ‘we care for one another.’ Led by dedicated volunteers, the club works to provide people who have physical and developmental disabilities with nutritious meals, equipment and assistive devices, as well as practical skills, and a safe place where they feel loved and accepted.

The cheerful young girl told volunteers that she couldn’t wait to go to school and walk tall alongside her friends.

Callista’s life wasn’t the only one that changed that day.

Eleven-year-old Timothy goes with his grandmother to Tidzalerana on Tuesday afternoons. Though he was born without the use of his legs, the energetic boy enjoys racing his friends in the schoolyard, propelling himself forward with his hands.

To help improve his quality of life, Tidzalerana provided him with a corrective brace for his knee, ankle and foot.

Timothy walks with the leg brace he received at Tidzalerana Club.

Timothy walks with the brace he received at Tidzalerana Club.

After strapping on the brace, Timothy took a few cautious steps with the aid of his walker. If the look of determination on his face showed anything, it was that with time and physiotherapy, Timothy would be off racing again in no time.

For both Callista and Timothy, the sense of community at Tidzalerana has been vital, helping them overcome challenges and realize their full potential.

But this day was one they will never forget. Their smiles are a testament to just how transformative support from Tidzalerana can be.