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.
We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters through GlobalGiving since our last update in December. At that time we told you of three new babies that had been brought in to the St Andrews Baby Unit and have a safe, loving home thanks to your donations.
Since then, the unit has welcomed another two little ones in. Angel was just days old when she was found abandoned. She is making good progress and growing fast under the care of the dedicated staff at the St Andrews Baby Unit.
The other new arrival was rescued from a situation of neglect after his mother was forced to flee the family home. At just four months old, John had been fed solids as his caregivers didn’t have any baby formula to feed him after his mother left. Neighbours alerted the authorities to conditions in which John and his older brother were being raised and they were brought to Kandara Children’s Home with John being placed in the baby unit. Matron Lucy and her team have been working hard to ensure that John is receiving the nourishment that he needs to get him back on track and we’re sure in no time he will be catching up with his age mates.
Without your support, there wouldn’t be this safe haven for children like Angel and John. Words are not enough to thank you but we hope that the pictures of these children whose lives you have changed will show you the lives that have been changed thanks to you.
The St Andrews Baby Unit was launched by Vision Africa’s Founders, Rev and Mrs Packard, in November 2007. They sourced the funding for the unit, Mr Packard oversaw the renovation of a building to create the structure and Mrs Packard designed the interior and equipped the unit. Now in their eighties, the couple made a return visit last week and were delighted to see how well Lucy and her team are doing and how great the unit looks having had a makeover last year. Mrs Packard had her hands full meeting Angel and some of the other children. She has asked us to pass on her appreciation to everyone who has made the St Andrews Baby Unit the success that it is.
So THANK YOU from Mrs Packard, Lucy and her team and all the babies and little children that you have given hope to! Let's work together to give hope and a loving home to more little ones in the future.
It has been another great year for the St Andrews Baby Unit in Kandara. The unit has had a makeover and looks much brighter with new flooring and a fresh coat of paint. This has lifted the spirits of the staff and the children who love the new environment.
Three of the older children from the unit have been attending the nursery school that Vision Africa set up in the grounds of Kandara Children’s Home. Patrick, James and Anne are coming on in leaps and bounds since they started in the baby class. They have learned new songs and rhymes and enjoy singing them and teaching the other children back at the baby unit. In fact, as soon as they saw the Santa hat Patrick started a chorus of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and was quickly joined by Anne and James.
There have been a few graduations this year with children moving up to the main home. This has left space for new babies who have been brought in to the unit. Just in the last few weeks, there have been three early Christmas gifts for Matron Lucy and her team. Natasha was brought in at two days old as her mother is unable to care for her. She already has an older sister who spent a few years in the baby unit before moving up to the main home. The staff have introduced the older sister to Natasha and she is already very protective of her.
Anne was brought in at three months old. She has had a troubled start in life as her mother is unable to look after her and she was rescued from a difficult situation. She is now doing well under the care of Lucy and the mothers at the unit. Before there was time to adjust to having two small babies again, a third one was brought in. This little girl was abandoned and handed in to a pastor’s wife. Her mother obviously cared greatly for her as she had left a note with the details of her vaccinations. When the staff saw the little two month old baby, they were amazed at how much she looked like the very first baby that was brought in to the unit back in January 2008. Grace has since been successfully adopted by a family in Kenya and is doing well so the staff decided to give the new arrival her name.
Thanks to your support through Global Giving, the local community knew exactly where to take Natasha, Anne and Grace. The St Andrews Baby Unit is able to exist and provide a safe haven because of your generosity.
We look forward to bringing you updates on the progress of the little ones in the year to come.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!
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