Dixlau Kubie – a child who needs your urgent help. Donate now and make a difference!

‘Under the sunny skies of the Kalahari a mother’s worst nightmare became a reality when a young San woman
followed the terrible shrieks of her daughter and found her 2 year old sitting on a pile of red hot coals in a recently dug
pit! ’ This sad tale of a tiny San girl who was so badly burnt is slowly turning into one of miracles and hope.

Dixlau and her Mother

 Little Dixlau Kubie from Ghanzi in Botswana survived the fire more than 6 months ago, but due to the long wait for
treatment and skin grafting in the overloaded and limited government health system, the fingers of her right hand
fused together, she lost mobility in one leg and carried horrific scars.

Burn wounds on Dixlau's knee. Her hand is now a stub needing ongoing surgical intervention so that she can use her hand again.

Neeltjie Bower from Grasslands Safari Lodge, and many others, rallied together to raise funds to get Dixlau into a medical centre that would treat her more quickly and would not separate her for too long from her parents, siblings and the familiar Kalahari veld. Through people’s amazing generosity more than BWP60,000 ($9000/£5650) was collected, administered and audited by the Dutch Taaibosch Foundation. This money payed for the transport costs, hospital accommodation, subsistence needs and
the first round of operations and skin grafting in early 2011. As well as the generosity of people from all over the world
who have sent money and shared their time and hospitality, the surgeon, Dr. Anthony Sibanda, is donating his skills
and time for free. Dixlau’s progress has already been dramatic and the dreadful fate that would have been hers had
she not received this medical treatment has been averted; however, we do not know how many rounds of skin grafting
she will need as the doctors cannot make any projections at this stage.

Dixlau and her grandmother who dresses in westernized clothing to travel to the hospital with her little grandaughter.

In the meantime little Dixlau and her grandmother and older sister are getting used to the 750km trips down to Gaborone from Ghanzi, the shops, taxis and busy life in the city. Her mother cannot travel with her, having given birth to a baby brother for Dixlau whilst she was in hospital for the first round of operations. This little girl, who initially suffered from extreme separation angst when she was admitted to state hospital for 2 months following the accident, is getting to know the ropes and becoming the darling of the hospital.

More operations are planned, even booked, but the second round of grafting may not be possible if we cannot raise more funds to cover the costs, which include: transport to and from Gaborone, as well as for daily family visits to the hospital; toiletries, clothes, shoes and other essentials that, unlike for many of us, are not every day items for a rural San family but things they need having landed in the city for months at a time (they arrived in Gaborone with only the clothes on their backs!). Even these basics add up very quickly, however the most expensive cost is hospitalisation, something the clinic has not been able to reduce.
The next round of grafting is booked for March and will cost somewhere in the region of BWP75,000. Dixlau’s family is accommodated and fed for free in Gaborone by the Minister of Agriculture, Mr B. de Graaff, and Neeltjie’s family act as patrons in Ghanzi providing the logistical and emotional support required to ensure that everyone pulls together and commits to this long and difficult treatment. For the weeks between each grafting session, Dixlau can return home, but has to be taken back and forth to the Ghanzi clinic every other day to have her dressings changed, a round trip of more than 80km, but a less expensive option
than relocating her family to Ghanzi!

Grandmothers are very supportive with child care amongst the Bushmen Clan

 This family, who in the beginning did not trust the health service and tried to treat the wounds with toothpaste and traditional herbs, now understand the steps better and cooperate with their helpers all the way. If we cannot raise more funds little Dixlau will remain disabled for life, albeit with fewer scars. But if she can be supported to attend the next few rounds of treatment in Gaborone, there is a good chance of complete recovery. Some of you might know that there are international aid organisations such as Children of Fire, who could have helped Dixlau at less cost to the family and their supporters, however, taking into account the emotional impact of complete separation from her family, possibly for years on end, meant it was just not worth it to pursue such a course. The route her support team has taken is more involved and costly,but centres around Dixlau’s needs and is far more hopeful in the total sense of the word.
If you can contribute to Dixlau’s much needed skin grafts and associated costs, please transfer funds to the Taaibosch Foundation as detailed below. All funds will be audited and accounted for and information updates supplied on request. What is more meaningful than helping a child in need?

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