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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!

Sep 17, 2018

Chance for 3 Volunteers to work again at Nafasi!

Summer 2018, 3 precious little souls
Summer 2018, 3 precious little souls

 

 New Chances for 3 Volunteers to work with the Wonderful Nafasi ‘Aunties’

 In this report we give 3 of our valued volunteers the chance to give us a first-hand account of their recent visit to Nafasi.

Marieke, Caroline and Marjan are 3 of our brilliant supporters from the Netherlands, who have worked at Nafasi before and recently volunteered for a second time, each keen to visit again and offer their time and skills to support our team of caregivers – the Nafasi ‘Aunties’.  In Uganda the title ‘Aunty’ is widely used to describe someone for whom you have affection and respect. The title is certainly deserved by our dedicated Ugandan colleagues who take such good care of the vulnerable babies and under-5s who come for a stay with us at the Nafasi Welfare Centre.

 Marieke describes Nafasi as “a beautiful place where children who are no longer safe at home, or for other reasons, where they can be offered a safe place to stay. I found it heartening to see how much love the Aunties put into their work and take care of all the little ones”.

 All 3 stressed how warmly they were welcomed by the Aunties, and all the team at Nafasi, and how genuinely happy everyone was to work together and to learn from each other. Each was struck by the importance given to encouraging the children – how every Aunty interacts with each child as a valued individual and the shared excited happiness when a child can do something for the first time.

Marjan makes a really important point when she explains that it isn’t just the babies and children who need encouragement – “the Aunties too need all the support and encouragement we could give them. It’s a small thing that we, as foreigners from Holland who care about their work and country, can do something for them. Knowing that we care does, I think, have such a positive effect at Nafasi”.

Caroline stresses how impressed she is by how much the Aunties achieve “despite not always having the facilities and resources that we have, and take for granted, in the Netherlands. They really do their best and are so clever at using the limited resources to the full”.

During their stay, Marjan had the opportunity to accompany Jackie, Nafasi’s Manager, on a follow-up visit to a little boy who has been cared for at Nafasi and recently resettled with his mother. In Marjan’s words – “It turned out to be a very timely and necessary visit. Jackie explained things, asked me my opinion, and we discussed what could be done to help the family and what improvements were needed. Their situation is very complex and complicated. There are unfortunately no ready-made solutions that you can apply right away. The regulations and standards mean that you cannot always apply the immediate action that you think may be the best for the child... it is difficult.”

Marjan’s experience illustrates the crucially important role that follow-up plays in our work at Nafasi. The reality is that not every resettlement of a baby or young child goes to plan.  Commitment into the long-term is vital – and it is just that, plus hard work and patience, that Jackie and the Nafasi Social Workers (all of them ‘Aunties’ too) do day in and day out.

It is the vital bridge with the local communities that can make such a difference, and this is where our innovative community initiative comes in – the Nafasi Community Support Programme. Our 3 visiting volunteers all had the chance to meet some of the teen Mums that the programme supports and to see that support in action in the local community. Marjan has no doubt that is part of the reason that there are “children who have been resettled that are doing really well and this makes us very happy indeed”.

Marieke, Caroline and Marjan returned to the Netherlands - after warm farewells again from the Nafasi children and Aunties- and parting thoughts:-  “I’m very glad I’ve had the opportunity to go back to Nafasi, and the Aunties know that I’ll be back again someday!”-  “I treasure the experience and happy moments, it was truly wonderful to be at Nafasi” – “we are filled with joy and thankfulness that we could be part of making a difference in their young and fragile lives”.

Although we can’t all have the opportunity to visit and volunteer at Nafasi in person, we really appreciate all the ways in which our supporters contribute, and none of our work is possible without our generous donors.

Our 3 recent visitors had the chance to see the impact of our ‘Adopt a Cot!’ campaign.  All are enthusiastic over its underlying concept – that we ask for recurring donations that are used directly towards the monthly running costs of an individual cot for a baby or young child in our care.

There are many elements that make up the daily living costs of a little one staying at Nafasi- from the cost of the cot itself with suitable bedding (plus laundry costs), to clothing; healthy home cooked and nutritious food etc. There is the medical care; the social worker costs of family investigations and all those costs associated with achieving a successful resettlement. There are costs related to the running and maintenance of the Nafasi Welfare Centre itself, and of course the all-important costs of providing the dedicated loving care that the Aunties and everyone working at Nafasi provide 24 hours a day for as long as each baby or young child needs to be with us.

There is more information on how to adopt a Nafasi cot on http://www.nafasiwelfarecentre.org/donate-2/

 

Announcing GlobalGiving's September Recurring Match Campaign

We are very excited about GlobalGiving’s Recurring Match Campaign. Throughout the four days from  24th and 28th September GlobalGiving has a special initiative running - all the new recurring donations that are set up during this campaign will be matched. The initial donation ( max. $200, £145, €165)  will be matched 100%  as long as it remains active for at least three months after the initial donation (a minimum of four donations total). So, for example, if you start a new recurring donation during this campaign and keep it active through October, November, and December, then your initial donation from September will be matched!

Click on this link during the Campaign to start a recurring donation:

https://www.globalgiving.org/20522/?show=recurring

 Yes! Every new regular donation will result in extra money for Nafasi, money that can improve our long-term financial stability and enable us to give more vulnerable babies and young children life-changing care and love.

 Your reliable, steady support will allow us to care for those in need every day of the month!

We realise that signing up for a recurring donation is a much bigger commitment than making a one-time donation.  We are very extremely grateful to all the people who are already Recurring donors.  Your continued support is really making a difference and giving children at Nafasi a New Chance in life!

 

It would really help us if you, our readers, can help us spread the word about Nafasi. Tell your friends about the vital work Nafasi is doing and that you support us. Please share our website (here you will find the links to our Facebook and Youtube sites) and our GlobalGiving Project page with them.

http://www.nafasiwelfarecentre.org/en/

https://www.globalgiving.org/20522/

 

If you have any comments or questions please do not hesitate to contact us: info@nafasiwelfarecentre.org

We are so grateful to each and every one of our supporters, in whatever capacity you support us and thank you again for giving all our babies and their mothers at Nafasi New Chance.

Jackie and Marjan in the babies room
Jackie and Marjan in the babies room
Marieke and Caroline's selfie with Baby "M"
Marieke and Caroline's selfie with Baby "M"
Quality time on the veranda
Quality time on the veranda
Marjan's warm welcome!
Marjan's warm welcome!
Thank you for caring!
Thank you for caring!
Jul 16, 2018

New chances for babies, 2 stories from a cot.

Adopt a Cot
Adopt a Cot

2 stories from a Cot…

Here are two stories from a cot. Typical examples of the circumstances affecting the vulnerable children in Uganda who Nafasi helps. 

 Toddler E came to Nafasi for temporary respite care because his seventeen-year-old Mum was heavily pregnant with her second child and could no longer take good care of her son. She was admitted to a shelter for teenage mothers, but unfortunately, there was no place for Toddler E to stay there too, so Nafasi stepped in to help.

Toddler E is a very spontaneous and cheerful child, who quickly settled in at Nafasi. He loved to play with the other toddlers and enjoyed helping with the care of the little babies.
Toddler E was reunited seven weeks later with his mother and little sister. The Nafasi Community Support Program (NCSP) is continuing to monitor and provide support for this young family.

Baby girl P has been with us at Nafasi since she was less than a month old, her 17-year-old mother and her twin brother having died due to complications during their birth. Baby P's grandmother was already taking care of a disabled grandchild and could not even afford to buy milk for her. A concerned neighbour contacted Nafasi because Baby P was so severely malnourished that she was in a life-threatening situation. Our Nafasi caregivers had to work round the clock to keep her alive and it is thanks to their skill and dedication that she has survived some serious infections, some of which needed treatment and stays in hospital. Although there is a possibility of permanent damage, Baby P is now able to sit up, crawl, pull herself up to stand and is even making first attempts at walking.

Baby P has now been at Nafasi for a year. Through loving care, she is developing into a cheerful little girl who greets everyone with a big smile, enjoys being with the other children and loves the attention she receives from the caregivers. The Nafasi social workers are in close contact with Baby P’s grandmother and, under guidance from a local child support agency, plans are underway for Baby P to be reunited very soon with her grandmother and close family.

It costs on average $10 or £7.50 to run a cot for 24 hours for a newborn baby.

It may sound a lot but this amount covers the costs to help provide a safe home, dedicated loving care, healthy food, clothing, medical care and social work investigations so that the baby can quickly be reunited with its family or found a loving foster family in Uganda.

A regular monthly donation is Your chance to help share in the daily living costs of a baby or toddler. 

Read on to find out more...

Here at Nafasi, we have some exciting news for you. Bonus Day 2018 is right around the corner! On the 18th July, our wonderful partner GlobalGiving will match your donations to Nafasi by 50%.

GlobalGiving has $120,000 in match funds which will be quickly exhausted as Nafasi is just one of the charities benefiting from this campaign. We are hoping to boost our Adopt A Cot monthly donation campaign on Bonus day!

Bonus Day Facts and Tips:

1)    All new recurring donations up to $200, £145, €165  get 50% match on Bonus day and will get an additional 100% match on the initial donation as long as it remains active for a minimum of four total payments.  The recurring match offer is for the entire duration of Bonus Day.

2)    50% match on one-off donations up to $500, £370, €420

3)    Bonus Day starts at :

  • US (EDT) 09:00 - 24:00 Hrs
  • UK 14:00 - 05:00 Hrs
  • Europe 15:00 – 06:00 Hrs

Please support us on Bonus Day. Set a reminder to make your donation at the right time. Be smart and donate at the start time stated above as the matching fund usually runs out within 15 minutes!

Please help spread the word about the good work Nafasi is doing by telling or emailing your friends and ask them to like us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/nafasiwelfarecentre

Thank you for taking the time to read this report. In our next report, we will share two more stories from the cot.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us: www.nafasiwelfarecentre.org

          

Toddler E
Toddler E
Toddler E with mother and baby sister
Toddler E with mother and baby sister
Baby P
Baby P
Baby P with social worker
Baby P with social worker
 
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