Our Unsung Heroes; Meet Crystal Chigbu

Crystal Chigbu is a Nigerian and a mother of one. She happens to have a foundation that looks at providing prosthetic limbs for children who have amputations which may be caused by Congenital Issues or as a result of Trauma. The name of her foundation is ‘The Irede Foundation‘. At the age of six her daughter, Buelah was amputated as a result of congenital deformity on her limb.

In an interview with the BBC, she said people told her, her daughter (Buelah) could not run just upon seeing her for the first time. She got inspired by her daughter’s condition, and that leads her to establish Irede, a foundation that looks at providing custom prostheses for children who are also experiencing the condition her daughter is in. In an interview with the BBC, she said a coach told her daughter, “you are not going to be able to swim because you have one leg.”

According to the foundation’s records, the foundation has being able to give out 120 limbs to children who have had amputations, and as a result, she has had the chance to work with 182 families through her foundation. It must, however, be noted that she and her team design the prostheses.

Buelah, in an interview with the BBC, said, “A person with a disability doesn’t mean a part of you is missing.” To her, it just means one part of the body is missing, and one can make the most of it. In her final remarks, she had a message for all the children who have had the experience of been amputated, and the message was that to all the boys and girls out there, she feels that they are perfect the way they are and God made them for a purpose.

According to reports, each limb costs up to $5,000, thus over a million naira. According to Mrs. Chigbu, her foundation is dependant upon donations because most families are not privileged enough to have such treatments rendered to their kids. To her, if one child’s life can be transformed, then a million kids can be changed as well.



Fada is a social entrepreneur, educator, writer, and tech geek.

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