In the early 1990s, Clive and Mary Beckenham were living in Kenya with their daughter, who was volunteering at a local hospital. HIV was becoming an epidemic in the country and the effects of the epidemic, coupled with deep poverty, created a sharp increase in the rate of abandoned infants.
At the time, many people didn’t believe that infants who were infected and/or affected by HIV could survive and, as a result, very few resources were dedicated to their care. It was during this time, that one little boy came home with the Beckenhams. Mary Beckenham was a registered nurse and the family believed they were simply bringing this baby boy home to die surrounded by love.
Instead, the unexpected happened. This little one kept growing and growing and holding on. Eventually, it became clear that he was not dying, but thriving with the love and care he was receiving! After witnessing the miracle of life through this small, vulnerable child, the Beckenhams knew that it was time to fulfill Mary’s childhood dream of creating a children’s home. With the help of a small group of committed people and the support of several donors, New Life Home Trust became the first children's home in Kenya to give priority to infants affected by or infected with HIV.
That small, committed group of people expanded over the years as the babies grew and their needs increased. Today, New Life is comprised of a staff of nearly 200 people in 4 Homes across Kenya, caring for an average of 150 children per day!
Two years ago, our water tanks in Nairobi sprung yet another leak and we opted to finally move toward purchasing new tanks rather than pouring money into constant repairs. With your help, we've reached our goal on GlobalGiving. While $10,000 is only a portion of the total need to replace the new tanks, we've been fundraising in the UK and Kenya over the past two years to match the funding we've received on GlobalGiving. With your geneous support we'll be able to replace our water tanks and secure sustainable access to a clean water supply for our Nairobi home - which means lower overhead, self-sustainability, keeping infants safe from preventable diseases from unclean water, and overall better health and quality of life for the infants currently in our Nairobi home and the many thousands we will rescue in the future.
THANK YOU for making this project a reality!
We've been raising money for our Clean Water initiative for over a year and with the generous donations we received during International Youth Week at the beginning of August, we’re nearly at our goal! We have less than $3K to raise and we’d love your help raising it by the end of the year.
In our last report we discussed the growing need for a clean water supply at our Home in Nairobi due to the unprecedented amount of construction going on all over the capital city. As the construction around us progresses, access to the water table below us continues to dwindle.
It probably comes as no surprise that having access to our own water source is both more economical and more sustainable. As the need for clean water access grows more urgent, we’re asking for your help to keep our stream of access flowing as safe drinking water and clean water for medical procedures are the difference between life and preventable disease in our Kilimani Home. Your support helps care for babies like Elizabeth --
Elizabeth was brought to a local police station by her stepmother who reported that she already had a 2 month old son and was not able to look after her stepdaughter as well. Baby Elizabeth's birth father had abandoned her with the stepmother, after his previous partner had left the little girl with him.
Elizabeth is a very healthy, baby girl and is doing well in our home. We are looking after her temporarily while the police sort out the domestic problems of the family and decide the next best course of action for her continued care.
Because of your generosity, we are able to provide not only temporary safe spaces for infants like Elizabeth, but also for infants that come into our Homes for a variety of reasons. If every person who has already given to our Clean Water project would commit to giving $10 per month until the end of the year or inviting one friend to contribute to our project, we would meet out goal! Would you join us in either committing a small monthly amount through the end of the year or sharing our project with a friend or family member?
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:
If you’d like more information on how to get involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.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!