Jun 14, 2017

The Simplicity of Health

Baby Nehemiah At New Life
Baby Nehemiah At New Life

At 4:30pm, Baby Nehemiah arrived at one of our homes, accompanied by a New Life nurse, social worker, and driver. He had been referred by a local hospital via the police; he was rescued by police after being discovered in a waste bin. While in the hospital, Nehemiah was examined by a nurse who found that he had wounds on his back, apparently inflicted by ants in the area where he was abandoned. He was given a saline bath on arrival and antiseptic cream was applied to the scars. This sweet boy was carefully fed by nasogastric tube and placed in an incubator due to low birth weight. Our doctor ordered a course of prophylactic intravenous antibiotics and daily baths for him.

Every week in New Life homes throughout Kenya, infants arrive from a variety of places, from front stoops and local hospitals, to mothers who choose adoption. But in cases of abandonment, exposure to the elements can mean the difference between life and death. We're grateful that with your help, babies like Nehemiah are pulled from the refuse and offered the opportunity to feel safe and loved. After many days in our care, Nehemiah is now doing wonderfully; he is an adorable and alert baby boy.

But New Life Home Trust staff could not offer life-saving care to babies like Nehemiah without constant access to a clean water supply. Though we've been working to install an updated system for over a year in our Nairobi home, the need is now more urgent than ever. Construction projects in the capital are shrinking groundwater levels to an unprecedented low and making water insecurity an ever more present issue. During her time as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, actress Audrey Hepburn pointed out the simplicity of the need stating: "Water is life, and clean water means health." For these infants, clean water truly is life.

Next month, GlobalGiving is hosting a Bonus Day and, as a Superstar organization, we're eligible for a 50% match! The GlobalGiving Bonus Day will be from 9:00AM EDT to 11:59PM EDT on Wednesday, July 12th. Our hope is to raise the remaining funds needed to install the water tanks in our Nairobi home - around $4,000.

 

Here are ways you can help us reach our goal:

  • Commit to giving $10 per month until we reach our goal
  • Commit to giving on Wednesday, July 12th at 9am EDT
  • Ask a friend or family member to give
  • Share our project via social media
  • Become a fundraiser for New Life Home Trust via Global Giving

 

If you’d like more information on how to get involved, email us at news@newlifehometrust.org. Thank you for your committed support that supports our work of rescuing abandoned Kenyan infants like Nehemiah and providing life-saving care for them both today and for the future. Join us for Bonus Day on July 12th and make a impact that will endure!

Mar 23, 2017

A Family for Daniel

Daniel
Daniel's Foster Family

When Daniel arrived back from the USA with his caregiver, Yvonne, and American host mom, Bridget, two New Life senior staff, including our National Director, Janet Mutinda, went to the airport to welcome them. All five arrived at New Life Kilimani very late at night, but the late hour did not stop Daniel from staring knowingly at the familiar swings and the large building complex. Those landmarks that he had left 4 months earlier indicated that he was home. In fact, he insisted on spending quite some time by the swings before heading to bed.

Daniel and his host mother, Bridget, were soon comfortably installed in the guest room for some well-earned rest! We had arranged to reintegrate Daniel into his toddler bedroom the next day.

It was such a thrill to reintroduce the excited Daniel to his peers, in particular his best buddies, Lloyd and Justin. As they were both seated on potties he crouched right down to their level and clapped his hands, smiling broadly, before giving each of them a hug and a kiss! Justin was overjoyed and spent the rest of the day chuckling to himself! The staff were clearly impacted by the huge change in Daniel’s ability to engage with others. 

Yvonne and Bridget ran some sessions with all the staff, explaining that although Daniel is able to hear, his hearing is only 5 months old. Bridget spent a week with New Life staff generously pouring out her knowledge on paper so that we could understand all that had been done in the U.S. We used the time to train the nurses and specific caregivers on handling the precious Cochlear device, realising that its value was the same as the double cab vehicle in the parking lot!

Daniel was started into twice weekly sessions with a speech therapist and had an audiology consultation. In his daily individual sessions held with Miss Yvonne and designated careworkers, he was able to consistently make a Moo/ More sound, do an “aghhh” noise, and blow bubbles. He was also heard saying “bye”, “hi”, and “away”, and working on identifying daily sounds and realising their meaning.

When Bridget left we had an emotional party, where we recognised the commitment of both Miss Yvonne and Bridget and all that they have done for Daniel. The day Bridget left for the USA, a baby boy was admitted who we named after her husband. It was a serendipitous moment when we realised that this boy’s date of birth was the day before Daniel’s device was turned on. Now we have a daily reminder of how young Daniel’s ears really are!

 

In the nearly 4 months since his return, a lovely family with a longstanding relationship with New Life Home Trust has volunteered to be a foster family for Daniel. His new mum is a nursery school teacher with great experience with Cochlear implants.Daniel is in a family of three foster siblings, and his new brother and one of his sisters also have Cochlear Implants. They are all adjusting together and learning from each other.

Through the generous support of literally hundreds of people, from elementary school students and doctors in the US, to well-wishers around the world, we were able to raise all the funds necessary for Daniel’s Cochlear Implant! Thank you for helping give Daniel the gift of hearing and changing the life of this little boy from Nairobi.

Full of Energy
Full of Energy

Links:

Mar 16, 2017

Walking for Water

Libby on the First Leg of Her Walk
Libby on the First Leg of Her Walk
A recent article from IRIN describes the current situation in Kenya: "Kenya’s longest watercourse, the 1,000-kilometre-long Tana River, provides the country with 60 percent of its electricity and Nairobi with 80 percent of its drinking water. But the river’s water availability per capita is only a fifth what it was 50 years ago. The Tana is being drained by the nation’s fast demographic growth and the government’s ambitious development plans." As a senior staff at New Life Kilimani recently put it: "As more and more buildings go UP (like the new 18-storey one directly across the road from us), so the water table goes DOWN!"
With the many health issues that arise from unclean water, the necessity for a pure and constant water supply at our New Life homes, especially for treating recent recues babies, remains urgent. A clean, safe, and reliable water supply means life -- for drinking, cooking, warming bottles of milk, washing babies, cleaning diapers and clothes, keeping the homes clean and the floors mopped that the babies crawl on, keeping the rescue vehicles clean and hygienic for the vulnerable babies we bring home to New Life, in addition to water for playing and keeping cool near the equator ... the list of how clean water is used in the daily life of caring for 50+ rescued infants is LONG.
In response to the growing urgency in Kilimani, one New Life supporter devised a plan to walk the distance of Kenya across her home town of Aberdeenshire to help us continue to offer our rescued infants new life and access to quality medical care. The furthest distance across Kenya, from the northeast to the southwest, is 1,131km. As the water crisis grows, Libby plans to complete her walk across Aberdeenshire in chunks, specifically to raise money for our borehole in Nairobi. 
 
Libby described New Life in this way:
"The amazing thing about the work of New Life Home is that the majority of the babies who are rescued are adopted into 'forever' families, and most are adopted by local Kenyan families. Right now New Life is fundraising to secure their water supplies. Each home has its own bore hole, but with much new construction happening round and about, the water tables are being disturbed and diminished." 
We cannot continue to offer a lifeline to abandoned Kenyan infants if we are not adequately prepared to care for their needs. Your donations help keep our water supply clean and sustainable, and ensure a good, healthy new life for beautiful little babies. Please consider donating now or joining supporters like Libby who are creatively engaging others in a conversation about water, life, and the opportunity we hold to provide life on behalf of the most vulnerable. 
Precious Newborn Rescue
Precious Newborn Rescue

Links:

 
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