Jun 3, 2019

New Chance for Nafasi's very own Elvis!

Elvis on arrival
Elvis on arrival

New Chance for Nafasi’s very own Elvis!

Yes, it’s true! Nafasi is looking after Elvis. Unlike his namesake, his story was one of heartache and tragedy – until he was rescued by Nafasi in December of last year.

Elvis had been abandoned by his mother and left with his father and his new partner. The neighbours alerted the community social workers that Elvis was regularly being locked up in a tiny room in a dark mud hut all day, and without food or water. Now two years and seven months old he had been psychologically abused and severely malnourished, and he weighed only 7 kgs. An average weight for a child of his age is 12 kgs. His swollen belly was a sign of severe malnourishment.

On arrival he was very withdrawn and could not speak. He was very scared of adults and did not know how to interact with the other children.

Elvis's new chance , discovering books...

Six months on the change is amazing! He has put on more than 5 kgs and is in good health. He is very talkative, happy, mischievous and running around the place! He loves helping the Aunties look after the other children and he sings them soothing songs if he sees that no one is watching him. However, he can get upset if he’s told to stop doing something. It is then that the scars of the past become visible and we see that he is still very vulnerable and needs thoughtful care.

Nafasi’s caregivers have clearly worked wonders with this lovely little boy. Their team of social workers are now working closely with the community to quickly resettle him with his mother, under the guidance of her parents.

 

Nafasi’s New Year Chance for twin girls Precious and Pretty.

Precious

Pretty

These twin girls were admitted to the care of Nafasi at the very beginning of January, when they were just 3 months old.

Their probation officer had requested that Nafasi help look after them whilst their teenage mum returned to school to complete her studies.

Precious is the slightly smaller of the two, Pretty the more active and inquisitive. Both are healthy and have done well at Nafasi. Since arriving they have both learned to sit up unaided, and they love attention especially when in each other’s company!

Their mother has now completed her studies, so the twins have recently been resettled in the village where she lives. By mutual agreement, and with the best long -term interests of the girls in mind, they are now living with their father, his sister and parents. The family are farmers and grow maize, sweet potatoes, millet, rice and sugarcane which they sell at the local market. They can provide a safe and stable environment for the twins with financial security, but their mother will be able to visit them whenever she wants and will be involved in their upbringing.

The probation officer and the family are so thankful to Nafasi for the fantastic and timely care that Precious and Pretty received whilst staying at Nafasi. It was a very difficult time for all concerned, and a challenge to come to terms with the unexpected pregnancy and birth of the two little girls. Without this dedicated and professional care, the twins would have had a very different, and much more difficult start in life. The parents are very grateful that Pretty and Precious have been able to benefit from a “Nafasi Chance”.

Twins reunited with their Father

Visitors from The Netherlands.

In March a group of ten people from the Netherlands spent a week as volunteers at Children’s Welfare Mission, Nafasi’s sister organisation and located on the same campus. When they saw the great work Nafasi is doing, a few of them asked if they could join the staff and lend a helping hand with the daily activities. The children loved this extra attention, especially the balloons and bubbles they had brought with them!  Little Elvis was very sad to see them go, although they left with promises to return.

 Blowing bubbles with the volunteers

GlobalGiving Bonus Day

Please support us on July 18th, when our charity platform GlobalGiving hosts a bonus day. The day runs from 9am ET to midnight ET in the USA, and from 2pm on the 18th to 4 am on July 19th in the UK. There will be the chance of additional funds to boost donations through the day, and we’ll post further details online as the day approaches.

Thank you so much for supporting Nafasi Welfare Centre. We hope you have enjoyed reading this latest report and update from Uganda. If you have any questions please contact us via email or facebook. info@nafasiwelfarecentre.org, https://www.facebook.com/nafasiwelfarecentre/

Sisters enjoying loving attention from the Aunties
Sisters enjoying loving attention from the Aunties
Precious
Precious
Pretty
Pretty
Twins reunited with their Father
Twins reunited with their Father
Blowing bubbles with the volunteers
Blowing bubbles with the volunteers
Elvis's new chance to discover books!
Elvis's new chance to discover books!
Elvis experiences the joys of play and ballons!
Elvis experiences the joys of play and ballons!
Mar 8, 2019

Nafasi's Chance to hold its first Open House!

Open Day flyer
Open Day flyer

Nafasi’s Chance to hold its first Open House!

Welcome to our first report of the year and our chance to share the news and photos of Nafasi’s exciting first Open Day, held to celebrate a full year of caring for our babies and infants since the formal opening of our purpose-built Nafasi Welfare Centre. We hope the photos ‘transport’ you to the scene and help you imagine the colours, voices, joy and energy of the day!

The aim of the day was to create awareness about the services we offer at our Centre to members of the Nsasa community where Nafasi is located. In the days leading up to the event our brilliant staff were busy distributing flyers urging our local community to come along and find out more. Everyone worked hard in preparing the buildings and garden and in planning interactive sessions for our visitors to enjoy and learn from.

On the day itself there were joyful welcome prayers. Nafasi’s manager then introduced the staff and explained how, as an Early Childhood Development Centre, Nafasi is working to promote the physical, emotional and nutritional health of babies and under 5s, plus develop their social and emotional skills.

The children who came along from the local community got involved in lots of fun activities, and it was lovely for the babies and toddlers in our care to meet and interact with other young children. Some local parents expressed interest in bringing their children to us for day care – so perhaps Nafasi may have yet another ‘New Chance’ to develop further as a community project and resource.

Four of our teen mums, who Nafasi helps or have their babies in our care, took the lead in looking after local visiting little ones whilst their parents chatted to staff and participated in various adult activities.  This boosted these teenagers’ self- esteem because they were praised and appreciated. They realised that despite their tumultuous past they could still be recognized as useful members in their communities. Visiting mums had the chance to see the good job that these teen mums are doing in raising their children with support from Nafasi. A few expectant young local mums reached out to our teen mums to learn more about some of the practical skills and knowledge they have acquired at Nafasi or by participating in our community support project.

We are really pleased that the open day provided this opportunity for mums to interact. It also raised awareness that, despite the challenges of motherhood at a young age, with the right support teenage pregnancy does not have to be the disaster that it all too often turns out to be in Uganda. Our visitors left with a greater understanding of the plight of teenage mothers, and how collective and community intervention can begin to address the problems. We are very hopeful that another extremely important and positive outcome from the day will be that more local families will be prepared to foster a child in need, whether that be a baby or their teen mum, who of course is still a child herself.

We are thrilled to finish our first report of 2019 with news that in January Nafasi was recognised as a 'Top-Ranked Organization' by GlobalGiving, the leading global platform for grass-roots charitable projects. Better still, we have been awarded a total of 4 GlobalGiving accolades! We have also earned the 'Effective Organization' and 'Vetted Organization' badges and been given status as a 'Site Visit Verified' Organization. This recognition is helping us raise more money to provide crisis care for vulnerable babies and young children in Uganda at our Nafasi Welfare Centre, and to extend our work with teenage Mums through the Nafasi Community Support Programme.

Thank you GlobalGiving for this recognition and thank you all our wonderful supporters and donors who make all our work possible. 2019 has got off to a brilliant start!

Please help us to keep raising our social media profile. You can find us on Facebook at ‘Nafasi Welfare Centre’, so please Like and Follow and Share our posts with family, friends and colleagues. Help us to trend on Twitter at #NafasiCares and on Instagram as ‘nafasiwelfarecentre’ – where we’ll regularly be posting the latest photos.

Fun activities
Fun activities
Bouncing joy!
Bouncing joy!
Cutting the Christmas cake!
Cutting the Christmas cake!
Happy crowd!
Happy crowd!
Global Giving Badges
Global Giving Badges
Dec 17, 2018

Nafasi's 2018 chances and New Chances in 2019!

Nafasi’s Chance to Celebrate 2018 and look forward to New Chances in 2019 – All Thanks to our Wonderful Supporters

Happy December!  2018 has simply flown by at Nafasi. Thanks to all our donors, supporters and volunteers we have been able to continue to care for our babies and infants, and to secure the resources needed to find and place each into a stable and loving family. We are also thrilled that we have been able to develop our Nafasi Community Support Programme, giving practical support to teen Mums in the most deprived local communities.

In this report, we want to thank you for your support, and for sharing our passion to help families in some of the poorest communities in Uganda. We would like to tell you about how you have helped to transform young lives, and how your continuing support will allow us to expand this vital work in 2019.

In addition to the four baby girls we have featured in our reports this year, all of who are growing and developing really well, our dedicated staff – the Nafasi ‘Aunties’ – have met the challenge of caring for three newborn babies, all of who came to us within days of each other. All were admitted within days of being born following the death of their mothers in childbirth, tragically too common in poor and vulnerable families. Around the clock care and support is needed in these circumstances and the Aunties have been brilliant in the way they have adapted routines to make sure that each child in our care, from the tiniest newborn to the liveliest toddler, is treated as a valued individual with their own bespoke care plan and routines.

We’ve been privileged this year to welcome some of our supporters to Nafasi in person, those who have come to stay as visiting volunteers, some for a week or two and others for several months. We are really grateful for their hard work, for making a real contribution to the daily routines of care and play, and for the encouragement and support they give to all our staff. Everyone has brought their own particular skills and experience and working together allows learning from each other. New ideas have been discussed and tried out, and difficult situations faced together.

In our last report, we included first-hand accounts from three visiting volunteers, and we have been struck by how our most recent volunteer, Gea, has described her highlights and most important impressions of her time at Nafasi in such similar terms as they did. Each has wanted to stress how impressed they have been by how much the Aunties achieve, cleverly using resources to the full, and always looking after the babies and children with such love and compassion.

During her stay, Gea had the opportunity to work with our team who run the Nafasi Community Support Programme. We are really excited at just how much the lives of a number of vulnerable young teenage Mums have changed, thanks to this community initiative. Once again it is thanks to your support that we can offer knowledge, practical help and encouragement to young women who are essentially still children themselves yet are having to bring up their own child unprepared and unsupported.

Teenage pregnancy is a major challenge in Uganda, where over 50% of the population are 18 or younger and very many endure the multiple hardships of poverty, being orphans of HIV/AIDS, or as victims of violence and sexual abuse. Teen Mums like those Nafasi helps have become pregnant as young as 13, on promises that having a partner would offer security and put food on the table, or as a result of rape. Forced to drop out of school and left alone to raise their baby, they struggle to see a future for themselves or their child and some then get to the point where they see no option but to abandon their baby.  

Whilst the crisis care that we can offer such a baby at Nafasi Welfare Centre is vital, and life-saving, our community initiative is helping to break the cycle of poverty and give the young Mum a life-changing opportunity. Group sessions are held in a church community centre in one of the most deprived areas of Kampala, and others under the shade of our new canopy in the gardens at Nafasi Welfare Centre. Our team run sessions designed to provide these young women with knowledge and skills in parenting, and beyond. Some have regained their confidence to return to school or training, others we have helped develop ideas and learn practical skills to enable them to start a small business.

Through this work your brilliant support is helping us to prevent the precious potential of vulnerable teenage girls from being wasted, it is giving them as well as their babies a New Chance in life – the Nafasi New Chance!

2018 has seen the launch of our ‘Adopt a Cot’ campaign – asking for recurring donations that can be used directly towards the monthly running costs of an individual cot for a baby or young child in our care.

We think it is a great way for our supporters to feel part of what we do and to see exactly what their money actually does on the ground. In addition to the cost of the cot itself there is bedding, laundry, clothing, food and medicines, plus the costs related to the running and maintenance of the Nafasi Welfare Centre itself etc.  All of that is in addition to the all-important costs of providing the loving and individualised care that the Aunties and staff at Nafasi provide, and the social worker costs of family investigations and successful resettlement.

Every donation, one-off or regular, large or small makes a valuable contribution – so looking forward to 2019 we have some plans which will hopefully promote this campaign. Our aim is to raise enough funds to purchase and run an additional 8 cots. Still need an idea for a Christmas present? Why not give someone a GloabalGiving Gift Card and ask them tp choose Nafasi Project #20522, for a present that will help change a life! https://www.globalgiving.org/gifts/

We will tell you more about these and other plans in our next report – in the meantime please look out for Nafasi on social media this Christmas and throughout 2019! We have ambitious ideas to significantly raise our profile in the coming months. We are now on Facebook at ‘Nafasi Welfare Centre’, so please Like and Follow and Share our posts with family, friends and colleagues. Help us to trend on Twitter at #NafasiCares. Plus, you can also now find us on Instagram as ‘nafasiwelfarecentre’ – where we’ll regularly be posting photos of our precious little ones.

Thank you everyone once again for your support in 2018 and we look forward to it continuing in the years ahead. On behalf of all the Aunties and staff at Nafasi, the babies and young children, and the teen Mums supported in our community project we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and our best wishes for a peaceful, healthy and happy 2019!

 
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