Seasons Greetings from Vision Africa and the team at the St Andrews Baby Unit!
Following on from our last update, we are delighted to tell you that little John has now been placed with his adoptive family. It always amazes me how quickly the children from the unit have taken to their new parents in these situations. On the first day that John Bosco met his adoptive parents he refused to be fed by the housemothers and insisted that his new mother should be the one to feed him. He spent time playing and giggling with his new family, a reassuring sight for Matron Lucy and her team who have cared for him since he was very young. When I spoke to Lucy yesterday she told me “It is sad to see them go but we are so happy as it is the best for them.”
Visiting the St Andrews Baby Unit you can’t help but be happy. Last weekend I got to see three little girls practising their walking. They don’t have baby walkers but use small plastic chairs instead. They scoot around the place and it’s almost a race as they go from one end to the other! Anne, Natasha and Grace all looked very proud of their accomplishment. I’m sure it will be no time at all before they don’t need the chairs!
There is one new arrival at the unit, a little boy called Raymond whose mother is an offender. While she serves her time he has been placed at the St Andrews Baby Unit and has settled in well with the other children.
As Christmas is approaching it seems appropriate to mention our Angel and Emmanuel. Angel is the youngest infant at the unit at the moment and is sitting up on her own. Emmanuel is one of the oldest children. He will be turning four years old on Christmas Eve and has had a great year along with his friends Anne and James that he goes to nursery school with. They have really come on this year and have been teaching the younger children some of the songs they have learned in school.
It is thanks to your support through GlobalGiving that Anne, Natasha, Grace, Raymond, Angel, Emmanuel and all the other children at the St Andrews Baby Unit have a safe place to call home and a team of caring mothers to look after them.
Thank you for your support in 2014 and we wish you and your family all the very best this Festive Season.
It's always good to share good news so we thought we would share this with you!!
Over the past few weeks, two little boys from the St Andrews Baby Unit have been placed with local adoptive families.
Peter is almost three years old and was found abandoned in a rented room when he was five months. His family was never traced. Moses was abandoned when he was just one day old and was brought to the St Andrews Baby Unit two days later. He is about to turn two in the next few weeks.
Both boys have benefited from the shelter of the unit and the care of Matron Lucy and her dedicated team. As happy as they have been during their time at the unit, ultimately a family setting is the best outcome that we could hope for and we wish them many years of happiness with their new parents.
Our thanks to everyone who has supported Peter, Moses and all of the other children by contributing through GlobalGiving. Your generosity has a real impact on young children and babies in Kenya which is why we wanted to share this story of happy endings with you.
Thursdays have become famous for the #TBT hashtag - Throw Back Thursday so we thought we'd look through our old photos and provide updates on a couple of little ones.
First up is Ann. Ann was 4 months old and just 3.5kgs when she was brought in to the St Andrews Baby Unit. Her mother passed away from a heart defect shortly after Ann was born and her grandparents were elderly and unable to care for her. They had no source of income to buy formula, resulting in Ann being malnourished. As you will see from her transformation picture, Ann is definitely not malnourished these days! In fact she's a healthy, happy little girl who now attends nursery school and is doing well.
Our other update is from Emmanuel. Born on Christmas Eve, Emmanuel was brought to the unit at just two weeks old. His mother was a school girl and an orphan whose grandmother wanted her to complete her secondary education. Emmanuel had problems with reflux and began losing weight instead of gaining it. Thanks to one of our supporters, the unit was able to buy extra formula and double Emmanuel's intake so that he received some nutrition. As soon as he started being weaned on to foods his health problems disappeared completely. Emmanuel has been in nursery school for one term now and has impressed the teachers with his work.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Ann, Emmanuel and many others during their time at the St Andrews Baby Unit. Without your support, none of this would be possible.
The baby unit is currently at capacity with fifteen children under its care. There haven’t been any new arrivals since our last update but progress has definitely been made.
Little ones Grace and Ann are now crawling and Natasha whose smiling face appeared in the last update is now sitting up and trying to crawl. Natasha also enjoys visits and cuddles from her older sister who grew up in the baby unit and is now living in Kandara Children’s Home main home.
Anne and James are two of the oldest children and have been attending the nursery school that was started by Vision Africa in the grounds of the children’s home. They have now been joined by Emmanuel who started school this term. One of the lovely things about the partnership between the baby unit and the nursery school is watching the children from the baby unit going back after school and teaching the younger children the songs that they have learned.
Another great piece of news is that three little boys are in the process of having their adoptions finalised. While they have received wonderful care at the St Andrews Baby Unit, they will all benefit from being placed with loving families of their own. The hope is that Grace will soon follow them. Grace was abandoned and handed in to a pastor’s wife who took her to the authorities and she was placed at the baby unit. The pastor and his wife have now started to go through the relevant process to foster Grace and we hope this will be successful.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Our village is international and involves many people with big hearts. We would like to thank you for being part of this and supporting all the children under the care of the St Andrews Baby Unit.
With Mother's Day coming up this Sunday, 11th May, we thought we would share some wonderful news!
Yesterday, Matron Lucy from the St Andrews Baby Unit in Kandara travelled to Nairobi to collect an award. Local company Bidco Oil Refineries ran a competition on Facebook to find Kenya's "Mother of the Year". Lucy was nominated and received lots of votes from people in Kenya as well as people in the UK and the USA who have seen Lucy in action when they have visited the St Andrews Baby Unit. There were some lovely comments posted on her nomination including one from a member of the local community in Kandara who described Lucy as “the tireless, ever-loving mum”.
Lucy is a mother of 8 children of her own but that wasn't enough of a challenge for her. In November 2007 she took on the role of matron at the unit and since then she and her team have cared for over thirty infants. The unit is currently at full capacity with 15 children receiving total care from Lucy and her team.
When we went to collect Lucy's award, the representative from Bidco explained that they had chosen seven of the nominees to be rewarded. Three of these were based on the number of likes their nomination received on Facebook and four were chosen in recognition of their amazing work in the role of a mother. Lucy fell into the second category and couldn't quite believe that she had been chosen as a winner. She was absolutely delighted and received a certificate and hamper of Bidco products. Lucy was nominated to represent all of the mothers at the St Andrews Baby Unit so we hope you'll join us in congratulating them on their achievement for the wonderful work they do.
Without your support through GlobalGiving the St Andrews Baby Unit wouldn't be able to provide the services it offers orphaned, abandoned and neglected infants. Thank you for making this possible and for giving Lucy and her team the opportunity to make a difference.
As a Mother's Day gift to Lucy and her little ones, please tell your friends about this project and ask them to consider supporting the St Andrews Baby Unit.
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