Baby Riah was born prematurely in a county hospital and her mother absconded from the hospital soon after delivery. Riah’s mother was caught by police and put on probation, but repeatedly abandoned Riah, making it clear that she was unable to care for her.
Baby Riah was subsequently admitted to New Life Home Trust from the county hospital. Upon admission, Riah was severely malnourished, still underweight, and very unhealthy. Once in our care, she was treated with intravenous fluids, bathed, fed, and given a safe space to get well without further exposure to preventable diseases.
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, infant abandonment in Kenya is still very common. Often when we receive new intakes they are in need of intense medical treatment. Part of caring for these babies includes daily bathing, feeding, and medical care, which necessarily require clean, safe water.
The Water Project estimates that “in developing countries, as much as 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions.” Additionally, “Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths under the age of 5 worldwide is due to a water-related disease.” It would, therefore, be potentially devastating to administer medical care with untreated water.
As a registered Medical Care Centre, we are able to provide the life-saving treatments that abandoned infants often require. Using clean water means that our infants become healthy today and have fewer long-term medical costs from preventable diseases.
This means that we must have a reliable water source. This project ensures our ability to treat rescued infants with the quality care they deserve. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, “Every $1 invested in clean water can yield $4–$12 in economic returns.” Having a reliable source keeps our water supply flowing uninterrupted and prevents us from accruing further expenses because of dependence on an outside source.
By supporting our efforts to install these new water tanks in our Nairobi home, you are helping make this possible! With a capacity of 50 infants, our home is constantly in need of clean water. This project immediately impacts the children currently in our care, and the infants that we rescue in the future. That potentially impacts thousands of infants and the families they will one day become a part of; infants like Riah who would otherwise remain without a home, without the treatment they need, and without a future. Your support brings new life to once abandoned infants and allows them to thrive.
New Life Home Trust began the work of rescuing abandoned infants in Kenya over 21 years ago. At that time, in the early 1990s, a crisis of abandoned babies began as the result of HIV and poverty. It was out of this need that New Life Home Trust grew. New Life was one of the first and only homes in Nairobi willing to take in HIV infected and affected infants.
As a government-registered medical facility caring for newborn abandoned babies, an uninterrupted water supply is a life-saving necessity. When we moved the New Life Nairobi home to our current site 16 years ago, we met this need by purchasing a water tank. We chose, with much help and insight, the best available option – a pressed steel water tank with a capacity of 25,000 litres.
That steel tank served us well for a long time but, in more recent years, it has required expensive repairs and time-consuming annual maintenance. In addition, during its annual maintenance, we are required to source water elsewhere, which is costly, inconvenient, and not entirely dependable. Our current tank is now beyond economically viable repair and we are yet again looking for a solution to our water needs.
Therefore, New Life leadership, again with professional help and advice, has decided on a long-term solution. The cost of replacing our pressed steel tank with a fibreglass counterpart is more expensive on the front end, but with a useful life of around 40 years, the fibreglass tank is an investment – in our future, in the future of this organization, and in the lives of the infants we will continue to care for over the next several generations.
Part of that investment is asking others to come alongside us. We could not accomplish the work of rescuing abandoned infants without the many people who are a part of the New Life family. We’ve raised a small portion of our total need, but we still have a ways to go! Until we raise the total $20,000, we’d love for you to become a monthly supporter at any amount that seems reasonable to you and to invite at least two friends to join you.
Not one of the babies rescued would have received the care and support that we were able to offer if not for the greater number of people supporting our work. Thank you for investing in these infants, and future generations, by providing a reliable, sustainable source of safe, clean water.
We did it! Thank you for supporting our first Global Giving project by adding your financial support, sharing our project on your Facebook page, and, most importantly, sharing the story of New Life Home Trust and the stories of children like Bethany.
Bethany was a premature baby admitted to one of our homes from a local hospital after being found in a nearby slum, in the care of an old man who refused to explain how he came to be her caregiver. The local children’s office rescued Bethany, stating that the old man was planning to take her to Uganda. They suspected child trafficking.
At the time of admission, Bethany weighed just 1300g. She is estimated to be about 2 months old and is a small, but healthy baby girl.
Every week, throughout Kenya, we hear and experience stories like this one. Each time an infant comes into our care, our nurses clean, dress, and often name the new little boy or girl. Those who need medical attention receive quality treatment at our registered medical centres. Each child is then cared for, loved, fed, bathed, and cherished until adoption.
New Life could not accomplish the life-saving work of rescuing abandoned infants without the many donors, volunteers, visitors, and adoptive parents who help care for each child we are able to rescue. And many of those people learn about New Life through friends who have spread the good news about our work – people like you!
With the money we raised through this project, we covered the cost of care for 11 infants for this past month, or the equivalent of nearly a year of monthly care for one infant! Though this may seem small, each child that is saved is given a new chance at life and the opportunity to have an impact in the world.
Bethany is one of an estimated 2 million orphans in Kenya. We realize we cannot help every abandoned infant, however, together we can change the future for these specific children by saving one life at a time. Your support makes this life-saving work possible.
Here are some ways to stay connected to our work:
Thank you for choosing to participate in this project and please follow our progress as we post future projects!
(Please note that the name in the above story has been changed to protect the identity of the child.)