If you've never met our kids with special needs, then you don't know what you're missing.
All these children first came to New Life as abandoned babies. When it was discovered that they had special needs, they were brought to Kisumu. The first of the children with special needs were transferred to Kisumu in early 2008, and the wing of the building that houses our children with physical or mental disabilities, called the Amani Cottage, was opened in 2014. This rebuild allowed us to renovate our existing space to make it more accessible and plan for future needs.
At Amani Cottage we work to be a centre of excellence in the care and education of children with special needs, because we firmly believe that it is the right of every child to such care and education, no matter their physical or mental disability. Additionally, we are committed to providing this care and education throughout their childhood and as they age into adulthood.
Though we are still receiving infants like a recent transfer from our Nairobi home - a young infant named Tori - we also work to anticipate future needs, like the vehicle this project is raising money for.
But we need your help. You donated to this project because you believe in our work, you recognize the need for access to mobility and how it improves the quality of life, and because your values align with our values - that every child has a right to quality care and education.
We need help from allies like you to elevate our voice and our need. Be a changemaker by coming alongside our project and helping us raise the funds that will allow the now 16 children in our Amani Cottage access to school, medical facilities, physical therapy, and activities.
You can help by:
There are probably a million other ways you can think of to help. The point is, you make all the difference in the world. With your help, we have the funding to rescue infants like Tori, a jovial baby girl who is loving her new home at Amani Cottage. Since arriving at Amani, she has truly enjoyed having an accessible bath area as well as the sensory and therapy sessions she is able to receive because of the renovations to our building in 2014.
And those renovations - donors like you made those happen too. Join us in making the lives of these 16 kids richer and more accessible.
Did you know that there are girl scouts organizations around the world in 146 countries, including Kenya?
The Kenyan Scouts Association was established in 1910 and, according to their site, “is the largest Youth Movement in Kenya, with over 1 million boy and girl Scouts and a support team of over 40,000 Scout Leaders.”
This year some of the girls at New Life’s Amani Cottage had the opportunity of enrolling in a local girl scouts troop! The girls were thrilled by the opportunity to be a part of this organization to go participate in new adventures and make new friends outside of the Home.
And while badges vary from country to country, many participating countries in the World Organization of Scouting Movement have a Disability Awareness Badge to open young minds to the possibilities of living with a physical or mental disability. In this case, the Amani girls are helping their fellow scouts just by participating.
Part of that participation requires transportation. Anyone with children knows that you can spend the whole day running errands just taking your kids to their extracurricular activities. In Kisumu, where some roads are still dirt and gravel, getting our kids to therapy sessions, medical treatments, and school can be a slow process. Not to mention their fun activities, like girls scouts!
That is why we are fundraising for this transportation vehicle - to help us care for these special children in the way they deserve and provide for them in the way any parent would want to give their child the best the world has to offer.
We know this cause is a niche for some people. Not everyone has personal experience with people or children with disabilities and they do not always understand the pressing needs that are involved. This month, can you help us spread the word about our project by inviting 5 people to make a small contribution alongside you? Because with your help, we can improve the quality of life for these beautiful children who are daily overcoming so many obstacles to be excellent students, girl scouts, and all around superstars.
Did you know that New Life Home Trust was one of the first children's homes in Kenya to take in infants infected or affected by HIV and AIDS?
When New Life Home Trust began over two decades ago, it was just a small group of concerned people wanting to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable infants and, in particular, in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In the early 1990s, seroconversion was a fairly unheard of concept. Hospitals were overwhelmed by the number of infants impacted by the disease and had little hope for their survival. Many abandoned infants who initially tested HIV-positive wound up dying from malnourishment, much too early for seroconversion to take place. Many had parents who passed away from the complications of AIDS, leaving their children as orphans.
It was a season of despair that brought people together seeking solutions. New Life Home Trust created a modest solution - a sanctuary for abandoned infants infected or affected by the crisis. As New Life staff took infants into their care, they began to notice that many of the babies who came in HIV-positive ended up testing negative for the virus after just a few months. New Life infants experienced a conversion rate of at least 80%. This incidence baffled even the medical community at the time to the extent that the Kenya Institute of Medical Research (KEMRI) conducted a study to test the phenomenon and concluded that it was actually true.
Almost 25 years later, we have witnessed the fruit of our labour with nearly every child reunited with biological family members or adopted or fostered by loving parents, and a 90% seroconversion rate amongst infected infants. What an incredible opportunity we have had to be a place of hope amidst a time of despair. As Desmond Tutu once said: "Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." Your continued support helps us save the lives of the most vulnerable and continue to be that light for abandoned infants.