With her white cane in hand, she tapped her way to the exit of the plane as happiness and excitement tapped through her veins. She was tired though keen to reach her destination. Although her vision is grey and foggy, she had a clear vision of what she wanted to achieve in Bali on her first trip overseas.
On arrival at the local community centre, a young boy shuffled toward her on his backside, his legs and arms twisted and his hands useless. Eleni’s happiness washed out of her, replaced by deep compassion mixed with shock as she was soon surrounded by children disabled in their bodies, and their carers begging, “Can you heal my child?” Overwhelmed yet still determined, she started to treat one child at a time with her unique blend of therapy massage which she strongly believed would help increase the mobility and flexibility of the children’s disabled limbs.
Many years earlier, Eleni was fortunate to train under a highly experienced therapist who taught her a combination of Chiropractic, Osteopathic and Bowen Therapy techniques. A combination not taught in standard Bowen Therapy and massage training in Australia. Blind since birth, Eleni’s lack of physical sight had heightened her ‘internal sight’ and her sense of touch to a level where her Australian clients faithfully return time and time again for her ‘amazing healing hands’ to relieve their pain and suffering.
So now, after years of planning and hard work building, from the ground up, the foundation in Australia, here she was finally applying her hands-on unique blend of treatment which she created especially, to relieve the discomfort in children suffering from physical and intellectual disability and chronic illnesses. Not only to treat the children, it was also to show parents, carers and school teachers of the children, how to apply her massage treatment themselves to the children.
Eleni’s plan was for them to continue to provide ongoing relief for the children they cared for, long after she left their country. She saw the need to become familiar with and network with local community health services that may be available to further assist the children and their parents and carers. She realized that would require some research and planning before becoming a reality. Having been born blind herself, Eleni’s empathy ran deep for these children and her passion energizing and wonderfully inspiring.
Eleni has worked hard over the past few years, servicing her Australian clients to earn enough money to travel overseas to developing countries. She enjoys a unique connection with Disability Organisations within Australia due to her being a therapist with a disability herself. Through local community centres that Eleni visited, she met with some local massage therapists who were keen to learn her healing massage technique, so they could help relieve the suffering of local children on an ongoing basis.
On a return visit, a few years later, the same boy, who’s limbs were twisted and useless, who is now a young adult, walked up to Eleni using a walking frame. He spoke clearly to her thanking her for her financial support, so that he could continue to go to school. He told her that he planned to go to college when he finished preliminary school. He excitedly shared his goal with her, that when he graduated, he would be able to get a good paying job to support his parents and family.
Eleni fought back tears of joy and amazement. This time overwhelmed, not by shock, but by the positive results the ongoing massage treatment had achieved for him. Eleni now had hard evidence and confidence in what she could achieve if she continued her foundation work. It has been 4 years since that first trip to Bali. Eleni’s vision for her Foundation is gaining ground and momentum.
The Oasis Children and Community Foundation’s work transcends type of disability, language, race, culture, ethnicity and country boundaries. It offers an Oasis of hope in the desert of disability, enabling children with disabilities to engage more fully in everyday activities.
You can support Oasis Children and Community Foundation in the following ways: