MECHANICSBURG, PA – Hope Walks is a relatively young faith-based medical missionary organization built upon years of experience. Hope Walks officially became an independent entity in June 2019, emerging from the CURE Clubfoot Program, which originated in 2006.
In 2018, CURE decided to spin off the clubfoot program from CURE International. This set the stage for Hope Walks to become independent in June 2019.
The Mayo Clinic classifies clubfoot as “rare,” with fewer than 200,000 newborns in the U.S. affected annually. Regardless, it’s a difficult way for a child to begin life. Clubfoot treatment is readily available in the U.S.; however, a child’s first five years are typically encumbered by surgeries, casts, and braces.
Clubfoot presents a much greater obstacle for children in African and Latin American developing countries. Families are either too far away from properly equipped medical facilities or could not afford treatment even if a treatment center is accessible.
Clubfoot literally adds insult to injury in countries where the people are poverty-stricken and poorly educated. Friends and family are often perceived as a birth deformity as an evil curse on the children, his parents, or the entire family. In some regions, that belief is so strong that children are often abandoned or their families ostracized. At the very least, the child and the family will be subjected to shame.
Because of a different cultural understanding of the source of disability, there is very little grace offered to children and families who are dealing with disabilities.
From a medical perspective, clubfoot is rather easily treated. Left untreated, however, the child will have a permanent disability that will adversely affect their ability to live a productive, dignified life.
Consider this: A child with clubfoot is born every three minutes. That means that there are nearly 900,000 children between newborn and the age of five right now.
Each of these children needs treatment. The children and their families need compassionate counseling to teach them about the disease and how it can be healed. That is accomplished by pairing families with trained “clubfoot clinic parent advisors.” This presents the additional opportunity to introduce those families and communities to Jesus Christ.
We believe that the greatest gift is not just freedom from clubfoot alone, but the hope that comes from walking with Jesus. We do what we do to serve Him and to share His love with those we serve.
Hope Walks operates alongside 136 partner clinics in 16 different countries, providing treatment free of charge, making the FBO the largest Christian provider of clubfoot care worldwide.
Since 2006, when CURE International birthed Hope Walks, more than 135,000 children have been treated in the clinics. In 2019 alone, nearly 5,800 children have completed treatments and have begun walking freely.
Perhaps the impact of Hope Walks is best witnessed, not in the numbers treated, but in the words of a counselor in Malawi, describing the impact on one family.
He makes sure that, at every night, the family has prayers, for they have seen what God has done for their son and what He can do in everyone’s lives.
Want to learn more about Hope Walks? Visit their website at hopewalks.org.