Little 4 year old Rajo from Madagascar is very cute. When he looks at you with those big eyes and lets you have one his cheeky smiles your heart just melts.
But the other children and many of the adults in his village could not see his handsome face. All they looked at was his birth defect. A twisted club foot that made it hard for him to walk and to them he was just a little cursed little cripple that they didn’t want anything to do with.
For Rajo his disability was not as big a physical handicap as a social one. He just wanted to play games with the other kids in his village, but most of the time they would just say to him, “you can’t play, not with a foot like that”. Toys are few and far between in Madagascar and most kids have to play is the games that they invent with the other kids using sticks and stones and whatever they can find lying around the village, but if the other kids won’t let you play with them, life is really tough!
Like most 4 year olds Rajo believed that his Papa could do anything! So instead of asking his father for a toy car or a football he said “Please Papa, fix my feet!”. Tojo just cried as he looked at his 4 year old son pleading for something that no child should have to even have to ask for! Tojo could not bring himself to say no and break the heart of this little boy that he loved so much and so he replied, “Papa will find a way to fix it”.
Tojo tried everything and even though he begged family, friends and even complete strangers to help, there was no way he could collect enough money to pay the 300€ (more than a year’s wages) that it would cost to have the surgery done in a local hospital.
Then one Tuesday evening Tojo heard on the radio that a hospital ship had come to Toamasina do free surgeries and a 6am the next morning they were waiting in a long line to see if Rajo could be helped! Just a few weeks later Rajo had his surgery and started the rehabilitation process and all along using his beaming smile to bring a little joy to everyone he bumped into.
At one of his rehabilitation sessions Rajo was seen wearing a very appropriate shirt, stating: “DADDY’S ALL-STAR CHAMPION” but we thing Tojo also deserves a shirt that says: “SON’S ALL-STAR CHAMPION.”