Dec 17, 2018

Children Belong In Families,

“The biggest hurdle that our children face is lack of family.”

Lydia of Sarah’s Covenant Homes in India explained the undeniable truth, and a problem her organization is driven to do something about.

Many children with special needs often find themselves alone in India. Parents feel driven to abandon the youth at hospitals, police or train stations, crippled by fear from long-term cultural superstitions as well as difficulties due to poverty, saysJacob, also of SCH.

“It’s not that parents don’t love their newborn child, but they are scared,” Jacob said. “They don’t know how to care for their children or have any resources to provide care for their child, so many think that giving their child to the government or police will help the child out.”

Sarah's Covenant Homes is a nonprofit childcare organization that is actively responding to and preventing the abandonment of children with disabilities in India by providing holistic care in family-style homes. The organization has seven homes spread throughout two cities: Ongole and Hyderabad and cares for more than 130 children and young adults. Thanks to your incredible support, we've been providing them with cloth diapers for the past 4 years. 

“There is no substitute that can give a child everything that a family can,” Lydia said. “Though we strive to provide the best of the best for our kids, we know that the best option for our kids is always to be in a family all their own.”

SCH brings children into its care from the government orphanages where they are placed after abandonment. The organization’s first step is to find the child’s family and work towards developing a relationship so that the child can be placed in the home again. `

“We acknowledge that too many children who are orphaned in this world are disconnected from their biological family who love them, but find themselves unable to support their needs,” Lydia said. “We pray that we can step into the rolof preventing abandonment and facilitating reunification, when appropriate, by providing the necessary support a family requires to sustain themselves.”

When this doesn’t work out, SCH does connect with other agencies to aid in adoptions, both locally and internationally. All of these efforts, of course, take a variety of financial and other resources, and so SCH has found a relationship with Jake’s Diapers vital to sustaining its cause. “

"Jake's Diapers have helped our organization in such important ways,” Lydia said. “The primary benefit to having reusable diapers is that we no longer have to pay for disposable diapers, which is quite a financial relief for our organization. … We are better able to spend donations and contributions on things that provide a lasting impact on the lives of our children rather than one-use items.”

This includes specialized therapies, corrective surgeries, quality care and more. And here's where it get really amazing: Sarah's Covenant Homes has been able to increase children re-united with biological families and children adopted into Forever Families. 

It is truly an amazing thing you have done, providing such a crucial basic need for these kids. I can not thank you enough for partnering with us on this journey.  I invite you to reach me at stephanie@jakesdiapers.org with any questions you may have. I'd love to hear from you.

Many thanks,

~ Stephanie

Dec 17, 2018

Finding Home

She traveled from around the world with her family of eight, seeking a safe place to raise her children. The family had lived in a refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo for many years; when they left, her youngest was just eight months old.

The family’s final destination would be a community in Pima County, Southern Arizona, a region in the northernmost section of the Sonoran Desert. Many indigenous families live here, and it is a popular place for refugee families from Africa and the Middle East. This in part because of the weather and the affordable cost of living, said Leslie, at our Diaper Drop the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona.

The area, however, is also riddled with hardship: 1 in 3 children in Pima County are living in poverty; families not living in poverty most often live paycheck to paycheck.

“It’s notoriously hot for 6 months of the year, our winters are temperate,” Leslie said. “The climate ... attracts families who struggle economically. You can survive a winter here, even if you cannot afford heating, or are homeless.”

The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona currently serves Pima and 9 other surrounding counties. It works in partnership with the University of Arizona's Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA) on providing resources to such families, tracking the impact and collecting recipient feedback, Leslie said. Through this partnership and with the help of Jake’s Diapers, the diaper bank launched a pilot program to provide cloth diaper kits to interested families, providing a sustainable solution to families who struggle with chronic diaper shortage.

The refugee resettlement process is a stressful time for mothers, Leslie said. Within just 3 to 6 months, refugees must become financially self-sufficient, an especially difficult task for parents balancing both their own and their children’s needs.

“Meeting the needs of your child during the resettlement process can be an emotional experience because there are few choices parents get to make on behalf of their children’s material needs,” Leslie said. “This is because clothing, diapers and other necessities are donated to them or bought for them through the government. Until recently, refugee parents had to use disposable diapers because there was no cloth option provided to them.”

With the donation of cloth diaper kits from Jake’s Diapers, the diaper bank was able to immediately provide cloth kits to families in starting its pilot program with BARA, Leslie said.

Jake’s Diapers’ continued support has made it possible to carry on with the pilot with BARA, include more families in the research, and develop a strategy for the development of a cloth distribution program. More than 40 families have been using the kits, she said, and have been reporting economic relief, and a significant reduction in family stress, as they are never OUT of diapers.

The mother who traveled with her children from that refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo had only used cloth diapers, and revealed obvious relief with the donation. “When she was given the cloth diaper kit, her eyes brimmed with tears, noting how ‘beautiful’ her new cloth kit was,” according to BARA researchers. “She was overjoyed that her baby could be kept in cloth diapers. She was holding her baby and smiling as she walked away with her new cloth kit.”

Thanks for helping families! 

~ Stephanie

Dec 14, 2018

Thanks for helping Kato!

Thanks for helping Kato, and other kids just like him. Kato lives in Jinja, Uganda with his loving Mom Rehema, and thanks to you, they know have an ample supply of diapers to keep Kato clean, dry, healthy and in school. Ekisa Ministries, one of our Uganda Diaper Drops,  shares Kato's story:

At only two weeks old, Kato suffered from a severe case of cerebral malaria which caused him to develop cerebral palsy. His mom, Rehema, was determined that his diagnosis would not define him, or their life as a family. 

She knew with access to the right support that Kato would not just survive, but thrive. They joined Ekisa Ministries Community Care Program in 2014, and Rehema has proudly watched as Kato has made progress from his hard work in physical, occupational, and speech and language therapy.

Today she beams whenever she shares how proud she is to be his mom. Her love for Kato is undeniable. She shared with us that her greatest source of joy in life is seeing her children happy. She said that getting to go to school for the first time has changed Kato's life. He is in Yellow Class at Ekisa Academy. Rehema shared,

 "On school days Kato wakes up at exactly 5:00am to prepare for school… whenever he's told he's going to school he's very happy. On weekends or public holidays when he’s told he isn’t going to school, he becomes upset. He really enjoys school. He has learned so much. For him, there’s no need to sit at home!"

We wish everyone could get the chance to meet Rehema and visit her home. The moment you walked through her door you would see that her home is filled with love. She is a resilient mother who believes wholeheartedly in her son's God-given potential and worth. She is giving Kato the opportunity to flourish and grow in a loving, supportive home.

Thanks for helping Kato and other kids just like him.

~ Stephanie

 
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