Skip to content

Life is tough for the Fulani, traditional nomads who wander the southern Sahara, the expansive desert that spans much of Niger. For thousands of years, they have herded their cattle from water source to water source, making each destination a temporary home until that water source is depleted. A common, friendly jibe thrown their way is “Machaya Nono” or “Milk Drinker,” because, as herders of cattle, dairy is a common part of the Fulani diet. The majority of Nigeriens deem milk-drinking odd because, according to one person, “only babies drink milk.”

In their nomadic culture, where life is constantly moving, the Fulani value mobility above most everything else. So while life is hard for the Fulani, life is especially hard for Hadiza, a young Fulani girl born with knock knees, a condition in which the legs curve inward so that the feet are apart when the knees are touching. Hadiza’s knock knees make walking a difficult process. She moves slowly, and with a pronounced limp.

Hadiza before surgery.

Her Fulani community doesn’t regard Hadiza’s life as worth living. She cannot keep up. The petite 7-year old is already mocked and excluded, a reality that will only worsen as she gets older. Her family fears she will never marry and that they will be supporting her at an age when she should be supporting them.

It’s unclear how Hadiza’s family found out about CURE Niger, but, by the hand of God, she showed up at one of our mobile clinics.  Our medical staff informed Hadiza’s family that her condition is entirely curable and, wasting no time, she was soon admitted to the hospital and wheeled into surgery.

Hadiza smiles before surgery.


Some of Hadiza’s newly-made friends encourage her before surgery.


Hadiza’s surgery at CURE Niger.


An Instax shot of Hadiza, her mother, and her little sister after surgery.

“She can live now,” Hadiza’s mother whispers in amazement.

In some places, disability is viewed as a walking death.  CURE Niger exists to transform lives like Hadiza’s.

She came to CURE Niger, where doctors did an excellent job straightening her legs. She was amazed and happy to experience what pain-free walking was like.

Hadiza left CURE with a straight leg, her mobility, and a restored place in her community. Most importantly, she leaves knowing that God loves her regardless of her tribe, physical condition, or whether or not she drinks milk!

Continue to follow Hadiza’s story on CURE’s website, or learn more about how you can help heal a child like Hadiza each month by going to

About the CURE Children’s Hospital of Niger

CURE Niger has been a place of hope since opening its doors in 2010. Ours is the first and only hospital in the country to provide Christ-centered care and charitable surgeries for children with treatable disabilities. Our teaching hospital has 58 beds, two operating rooms, and an outpatient clinic. In addition to world-class medical care, our team ministers to the emotional and spiritual needs of our patients and their communities.

Contact Us

CURE Niger’s mission is to provide every child living with a disability the physical, emotional, and spiritual care they need to heal. If you have questions about becoming a patient or a partner with CURE, please contact us.

Translate »