Vision Africa

Vision Africa equips and empowers children and youths for a brighter future, ensuring that they have the opportunity to fulfill their potential and make a difference in their families and communities. The following principles guide our project partnerships and work. The emphasis will vary depending on the nature of the project. Provision - We contribute towards meeting the children's material and emotional needs. Protection - We protect the rights of children to have a happy childhood free from neglect, cruelty and exploitation. Preparation - We support projects that enhance educational opportunities and prepare children to fulfil their potential.
Dec 8, 2011

December 2011 Update from St Andrews Baby Unit

Latest Arrival
Latest Arrival

Looking back, 2011 has been a great year for the St Andrews Baby Unit it Kenya and as the year draws to a close, it is ending on a high note. Since the unit opened its doors at the end of 2007, the aim has always been to provide shelter for babies and infants who have been orphaned, abandoned, neglected or are in need of care for some other reason. For those who don't have families, or whose families are unable or unwilling to look after them, it was hoped that foster families could be found with the prospect of fostering leading to adoption. 2011 has been the year where we have seen systems put in place and our first two foster placements going ahead. Reports have been received this week that the first boy to be fostered has successfully completed three months of fostering and the family is seeking to apply for adoption. This is fantastic news and we hope that 2012 will see more children enjoying life as part of a family. Another achievement this year has been the enrolment of six children from the St Andrews Baby Unit at the Kandara Children's Home ECD (Early Childhood Development) Unit. Located within the same compound as the baby unit, the ECD Unit prepares young children for school and also caters for their first three years of primary education. The advantage of this particular unit, another project supported by Vision Africa, is that the class sizes are very small so students get plenty of attention. In recent months, the language skills of the toddlers from St Andrews Baby Unit have developed immensely as they have started conversing in Kiswahili as well as their mother tongue Kikuyu. Learning at such a young age will stand them in great stead as they progress to primary school. 2011 has seen two new arrivals at the St Andrews Baby Unit. Priscilla's mother was unable to take care of her when she was born so after a few weeks in hospital it was decided that she would be better place at the unit in Kandara. The hospital continues to provide formula milk for her and she is a healthy young baby. Just last month, the latest arrival was brought in at less than a week old. His mother had abandoned him at a clinic and couldn't be traced so the authorities decided to place him under the care of matron, Lucy, and her team. Mwaura is a healthy little boy and becoming more alert as each week passes. Another success story his year has been baby Emmanuel. Born on Christmas Eve last year, Emmanuel was just a few weeks old when he was brought in to the St Andrews Baby Unit. For several months, he remained very underweight despite the care and attention he was being given. Things slowly started to change and now Emmanuel is a bright little boy who is very alert and seems to enjoy being in the company of the other children while he sits watching them. Without your support, children like Emmanuel, Priscilla, Mwaura and the boys who have been fostered wouldn't have the care and support of the St Andrews Baby Unit. Everyone who contributes something really does help ensure that these children have brighter futures. On behalf of the staff and babies we would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported the unit in 2011 and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sitting Pretty
Sitting Pretty
Seasons Greetings
Seasons Greetings
Oct 4, 2011

Food for Thought

Graduations are just around the corner for our four Seed of Hope centres. Over the next couple of months, students will be working on their final projects and preparing to put in to practice the skills they have learnt in their two years at Seed of Hope. We look forward to posting pictures of their outfits which they will model on graduation day. Some of the centres go as far as to host a fashion show with first year students modelling outfits made by the second years.

Sadly, the food crisis in Kenya has seen unprecedented increases on food prices throughout the countries and as families have to tighten their belts, we have seen a sharp drop in the number of students who have been able to afford their government trade exams this year. This makes our Roots program even more important as it will allow graduates to set up small businesses rather than rely on employment which would require them to provide trade certificates. By equipping our students with Business Skills and Life Skills that build their confidence, we can give them the opportunity to start a business which will allow them to live independently and help themselves and their families in the future.

Our Nairobi Seed of Hope centre has been fortunate enough to gain support from the local organic farmers’ market. Each week, they are invited to collect produce which has been left over after the market and this is used to help with the feeding program that ensures students take lunch each day. Check out Purity’s video to see just how important it is to the girls that they take lunch at school. Over the August holidays, the headteacher of the Nairobi centre received numerous calls from students asking if they could go to school – even if it was just to do some general cleaning. This was because the girls were desperately looking for lunch so that they could ease the burden on their families.

It is times like these that we realise just how important Seed of Hope is to our girls and we really couldn’t keep the centres running without your support. We would like to thank each and every person who has made a donation to this project via GlobalGiving and let you know that your support is offering a bright future to girls who had no hope.

THANK YOU!

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Sep 20, 2011

Happy Times

All smiles - her old photo represents the project
All smiles - her old photo represents the project

Happy news to share – as reported in our last update, a local family had expressed interest in adopting a child from the St Andrews Baby Unit. The process took a lot longer than anticipated but a few weeks ago, the paperwork was signed off and the new parents collected their little one and took him home to start his new life as part of a family. Foster care is the first step and if all goes well, which we anticipate it will, the family can proceed to full adoption. We hope this is the first of many adoptions that will be facilitated through the St Andrews Baby Unit.

The food crisis in Kenya has impacted on the baby unit as it faces the rising prices of basic foods. The diet of the little ones has not been compromised though and we are very grateful to everyone who has donated through Global Giving as this income really does help ensure that the quality of care remains high and the children are unaffected by the current situation. Members of the local community continue to support the unit with donations of food when they harvest from their land.

The past three months have seen some changes to the baby unit. Australian volunteer, Carla, returned to Kenya after a few months at home in which she had raised funds to help the babies she had been helping to care for last year. Her funds have been used to create a shade over part of the outdoor play area and add shelving to the indoor play area and store room making the place much tidier and safer for the children. In addition to this, the baby unit now has a dedicated water tank to collect rainwater from the roof of a building. This water will be of great help to the mothers who have to hand wash all the clothes an nappies for the unit.

At the moment, the Kenyan economy is struggling as the exchange rate against the USD and sterling £ is so weak. For us, it means that your donations go further as we get more shillings for every $ or £ donated. We really do appreciate your support and hope you agree that the babies are looking happy and healthy as a result of your efforts.

We are delighted to have reached our original target for this project and extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed. However, as we continue to support the St Andrews Baby Unit, we are going to roll the project on and continue to raise funds for this unit which really is changing lives and giving young children a brighter future.

Enjoying the shaded play area
Enjoying the shaded play area
Matron with one of the little ones
Matron with one of the little ones

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