Abandoned babies in North-western Ethiopia

by Abraham's Oasis
Abandoned babies in North-western Ethiopia
Abandoned babies in North-western Ethiopia
Abandoned babies in North-western Ethiopia
Abandoned babies in North-western Ethiopia
Abandoned babies in North-western Ethiopia
Abandoned babies in North-western Ethiopia
Abandoned babies in North-western Ethiopia
Abandoned babies in North-western Ethiopia

We are so grateful to all our donars for their support during this troublesome times in Tigray.

Abraham's Oasis was able to stock up on a good supply of baby milk and supplies needed to provide this service. A new order has been placed but as cash is inaccessible for large amounts, it means ordering and arranging payments elsewhere. Requesting multilateral agencies to bring the supplies of baby milk is the only way of bringing essential items as Baby MIlk.

Messages come to the midwife, who was engaged specifically for this service, that: "there is another severely unfed baby identified, can Abraham's Oasis help?" Of course, that is why we are there! So our midwife assesses the situation, she also goes often to the hospital where she finds pregnant mothers, either trying to abort their babies or looking for help for the eventual delivery. 

Life is still so disordered, families dispersed, support systems are non existent and a general feeling of hopelessness. So for these women meeting the Abraham's Oasis midwife means someone who cares. One abortion resulted in a live baby, our midwife took the baby to the Intensive Baby Care, where the baby died a few days later but in awarm cosy cot. 

Once the baby is registered under Abraham's Oasis, supplies with hygiene / cleanliness training  is given. The midwife follows up on the various families ensuring the baby is receiving the care and milk provided. 

Some mothers, are victims fr horrible circumstances, they come to Grace Village where they can stay, receive counselling and are assisted with appointments at the ante-natal clinics and following delivery supported to nurture their newborn when s/he is born. Eventually an Income Generation Activity is introduced into the mix of care to enable the woman to leave with dignity and be able to provide for herself and her child. 

Abortion and the use of Misoprostol is readily available so at present, so reducing the number of new babies, currently there are five babies and another three in the process of coming. 

Thanks for making this possible!

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"I tried getting her to hospital, but bullets were flying, there were soldiers everywhere, so we went home. My wife died... This is our baby, but what  am I to do?" so said the distraught father. "I was told to give you the baby, but she is all I have..."

No, Abraham Oasis does not 'take' babies. We love them within their families, we provide whatever is required to make this happen and so it was with this father, three months baby milk formula with required accoutrments. He has just come for the next three month supply. 

At the internally displaced people's camp (IDP's), mothers whose breast-milk has dired up because of the shock of death of family members, loss of property, or simple lack of food, have hungry babies that they dispair off and turn their backs on because they no longer know what to do. These mothers are given baby milk formula and required items to carry them through for the tough months ahead and then repeated as required.

Special needs babies, such as a baby with cleft palate that was slowly starving to death because the baby could not breast feed, was g iven the required supply and support.

In amongst them are the babies founds abandonned, brought to the hospital and eventually our baby house. There in addition to food, they are provided with warm beds, clothing, cleanliness and most of all love and affection by our delightful carers. 

Thank you for helping us make a difference!

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The abandoned who belong!
The abandoned who belong!

Abandoned babies do grow up!

Waking up to the sound of shelling and gunfire is scary. The new-born, the infant and toddler remain unaware except when the carer / mother shows stress. When fighting started in November 2020,  the carers fled to their villages.

It was the big brothers and sisters who cared for the babies, infants, toddlers, and children. It was the abandoned who cared for the abandoned because they had been again, abandoned... The director / founder, Catharina van den Bosch (Karin), stayed put with 'her kids'. The supervisor, Carlos, another abandoned person who grew up at Grace Village, remained as a wonderful support to all! Carlos' wedding was celebrated, with yet another child of the village, bringing a spot of cheer to all!

They grouped together in three of the larger houses, pulled together with the older children doubling up carers, cooks, teachers, animators and yes, soothers for the younger children. Karin had sensed the troubles pending and stocked up on supplies including baby milk formula. As in most conflict there is looting, especially milk powder and other easily transportable items, but amazingly, when the Commander found out about the looting, he arranged to have all restored!

Last year, a small hand pump water well was dug. At that time, another location on the land indicated a larger water supply and a bore hole was sunk that proved to be brilliant and suppling plenty of water. This proved to be providential, as when the military would come through and camp on the far side of the land, they could use the hand pump, keeping them away from the Grace Village family! 

Many of you have given to support the needs of the abandoned babies, may we add that they grow up and develop into amazing young men and women, becoming a family to each other when others have 'fled away'.

The latest news is that communication is down again... Many more abandoned babies are expected 'once the dust settles' from this present trauma. Your help is for today but also all our tomorrows!

Thank you!

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An early morning phone call from our project director indicated how serious things were in Tigray, Ethiopia. 

"Electricity, internet and phones to be stopped, some unrest..." 

Ten days later a call sent from a remote location- "can you get us out of here, 45 including three small babies, toddler, young children and six teens..."

It was too late, to dangerous and not possible. At Grace Village they hunkered down. Some looters  came through and took items from the store including baby formula...

Now, there is some peace, some food, but as yet no electricity, internet or phone.  It is a little more  stable for now...

Your support has helped and will help more little babies in the area. There will be many more because of this recent crisis... Mum's with little or no food, babies abandoned out of dispair... 

Thank you!

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Just when you think you have heard and seen it all you are confronted with a shocking story.

We were called one morning by social services to tell us they wanted us to take a 2 year old child.

Usually we get abandoned babies so we sent our social worker to the area to investigate how a 2 year old could have been abandoned...

He phoned to us with the most horrific story. The child had been found tied to a tree and was beaten up. A little while later the police came to tell him that they had found and arrested the mother of the child and a friend.

It didn;t take long before the whole story came out. The mother was young, maybe barely 18 years old. The father of the child was a soldier and he had abandoned the mother when he found out she was pregnant.

She went to her family but they sent her away as they were upset that the father of the baby was from a different ethnic group. The young girl had not much education and what work can you find when you have a little baby to care for...she became destitute and depressed, living from hand-outs in the community.

Finally she met a friendly lady who told her that she would give her a job, but she had to get rid of her child. The lady kept influencing the depressed mother and she finally agreed that the only way to get rid of her child would be to kill her. They both went to a wooded area one night, beat up the child till they thought she was dead and after that they got frightened and ran away.

The child was not dead but unconsious and was found the next morning by some people who took her to the police and health center.From there the incestigation started and both mother and her accomplish were arrested. The mother has been sentenced for 11 years in prison and the courtcase for the accomplish is still pending.

We took in the  traumatized little girl, who quickly settled and is doing very well in our care. But as staying with us for 11 years is not a sustainable solution we are currently trying to look for solutions within the family, unfortunately this process is greatly slowed down due to the COVID-19 situation which imposed travel restrictions.

We also felt compelled to work with the mother as well for the sake of the child. The psychologist attempted several visits to the prison  but there are many restrictions put in place due to COVID-19 and she has not been able to visit her in private. But the outcome so far is that the mother is very repentent, she greatly regrets what she has done and is willing to do whatever it takes to restore her relationship with her baby.....we hope that some sort of reconcilliation between mother and child will be possible in the future.

 

We thank you for your contribution to this project, it enables us to provide sustainable help and support to mothers and babies/toddlers in need.

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Organization Information

Abraham's Oasis

Location: Shire-Endaselasse, Tigray - Ethiopia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Catharina van den Bosch
Shire-Endaselasse, Tigray Ethiopia
$9,950 raised of $20,000 goal
 
104 donations
$10,050 to go
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