The first quarter of 2010 has been a good one for the St. Andrews Baby Unit in Kandara, Kenya. No new babies have been brought in recently so all the children are over six months old. Even the three smaller babies are catching up and starting to become much more alert and demanding more attention. They now spend the time in the large open space with the housemothers and other children which is helping them with their development as they try to copy their older "brothers and sisters".
Of the eight older infants, seven are now walking comfortably and most of them are able to run around the unit playing. This makes a lot of work for the housemothers who are followed about or have to chase the young ones back to where they are supposed to be as they try to escape out the door. Because of this, plans are underway to create a safe area where the children can play with ride on toys and run around playing in a large contained space under the supervision of the housemothers. This will also help the mothers as they will be able to put the smaller babies in the same room as the older ones but they will be separated by a small fence to ensure their safety.
Another change in the unit is that the dedicated housemothers are now cooking for the babies. Previously, food had been cooked by the main kitchen for Kandara Children's Home and was a variation on what the older children were eating. Now, as well as having more variety in their diet, the babies are taking fruits and eggs on a regular basis. The matron of the baby unit, Lucy, is happy with this change and feels that the babies will benefit greatly from it. When I was there last weekend I got to sample the rice and vegetables the older ones were taking for lunch and was impressed at the standard of the food and how they find time to prepare and cook it!
All the babies are currently in good health and are making progress in their development. Any visit to the baby unit requires high levels of energy as there is always someone to play with or someone wanting lifted so they can have a look out the window or just a wee hug.
We would like to thank everyone who has supported the St. Andrews Baby. As we rely on donations to maintain this project, you really have made a difference in the lives of these little children. Please check out this short video from the baby unit so you can see where your donations are going.
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