Project #13249

Beginning Life with Hope

by Sally Test Paediatric Centre
Lydia and Sarah - long-term children at the STPC
Lydia and Sarah - long-term children at the STPC


It has been a time of change tumult for the children at the Sally Test Pædiatric Centre.  The Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital (S4A) was opened at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, August, 2015.  Children were gradually moved from the old spaces to the new hospital; however, we still maintain our wonderful Sally Test room where abandoned toddlers and older children come either by ambulance or foot across campus daily to be loved and cared for. 

Lydia and Sarah are still a part of our abandoned child family unplaced after five hospitalized years.  They are maturing nicely.  Lydia is busily working on gaining math skills.  We combine signs, cards, and a wide variety of means as we attempt to break through her inability to speak.   Sarah is growing in social skills. 

  Before Christmas doctors employed in government hospitals have been on strike protesting their failure to receive a single shilling of a raise promised three years ago.  The shutdown of physician service continues into its second month with dire effects.  Thankfully, the nurses and Clinical Officers are doing their best to care for patients who cannot delay hospitalization.

With the move to the new hospital, infants that used to come to us are kept in the Riley Mother Baby Hospital until they are placed in homes by the Children’s Welfare Society.  Our Child Life Specialists (CLSes) spend time with these tiny people to make sure they are unaware they have been abandoned.  The CLSes also conduct education sessions for new mothers to help them cope with their new role as a parent.

Malnourished children and abandoned toddlers are also brought to the Sally Test Centre.  The Social Work Department has been vigilant in find placement for these children.  During the Doctor Strike and the holidays, many of these children have not come to the hospital.  We are anxious for the government and doctors to find a solution to their disagreement soon so we can return to screening and helping unwanted children experience loving concern as they wait for placement.

Older children, for whom many of the activities that take place in our smaller play rooms may seem too juvenile, also walk from the new facility to the Sally Test Centre where we involve them as pre-teens and teens.  At times they also interact with our abandoned children as teachers and models and even caring “siblings”.

During December our most of our playground was moved from the old facility to the S4A area after funds from the Purdue School of Pharmacy helped us level the ground to make running and playing possible.  Like so many things, December is the beginning of the DRY season so we have not planted grass in the play area.  Unsurprisingly, crab grass is stealthily making inroads on to the edges of the area.  We will soon have the playground equipment anchored in cement so children can run and play.

We have no chimneys for Santa to slide down; however, December was filled with Christmas cheer as patients and parents celebrated with 1500 cupcakes and almost 800 gifts that included beanie babies along with sweets and essential toiletries.  Carols and “Ho-Ho-Ho”s filled the wards bringing smiles to children confined to the hospital, our Outreach Clinics, and the Amani Shelter.

 January 7th there was a ground breaking ceremony with Toby Tanser, who donated the S4A Hospital, to renovate a space closer to the S4A Children’s Hospital for our library and an indoor recreation area.  We look forward to the time when the Stephanie Brater Children’s Library and care of abandoned children can move closer to the hospital’s pædiatric area.

 2017 will be a year of growth and enthusiasm for all of us.  We appreciate and thank you for your continuing interest and participation in helping young Kenyan children grow joyfully!

Evolving playground - moved previous site
Evolving playground - moved previous site
Potential Playrooms from S4A Hospital ramp
Potential Playrooms from S4A Hospital ramp
GG - Santa &Peter at Amani Shelter
GG - Santa &Peter at Amani Shelter

A WEALTH of Precious “S-es”


Lydia and Sarah, the children whom social workers at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) have not been able to place are still with us, growing and thriving.  Teenage Sarah happily babbles as she arrives in the playroom each morning, while Lydia grows taller and continues to show signs that learning to read is not far away in spite of her inability to articulate the words she forms.

New children also come while others leave us after being placed with families or in children’s homes.

Lately it seems as if the names given to many children on their arrival at the hospital begin with the letter “S.”  Our last report told you of a two year old who came into the hospital malnourished, neglected, unable to crawl, and with significant delays.  Today this little “S” shows few signs of delay or malnourishment.  This little “S” is full of curiosity and mischief as he begins to communicate and explore all over the Sally Test Pædiatric Centre (STPC) walking and climbing. One of his favorite areas is the STPC Office and its computer.  Any wire or flash disk sticking out of the CPU is just his height and must be pulled out!  “S” also loves to “borrow” any book at eye level.

The latest child to join us in our original playroom is another “S.”  She was undernourished but also abused.  Slowly this young “S” is learning to trust and make friends, but it will take her time.  Her smiles are few and far between, but they increase daily as she plays with other children and gets used to friendly faces.

Our Child Life Specialists have begun a new adventure to ensure newborns abandoned at birth do not lack for attention and stimulation.  They regularly go to the Riley Mother Baby Hospital at Moi Teaching and Referral to use STIM cards to help young minds begin to focus along with feeding and caring for infants left or brought to the hospital at birth.  They provide classes for new mothers to help them understand ways to help their children grow into healthy, vigorous, bright adults. 

A few of these newborns’ names begin with “S” because if the child was delivered in the hospital, the infant is known by the name its mother gave before delivery.

Helping these beautiful young children learn to trust and feel the security of love are goals as we nurture these little ones.  Thank you for sharing in that effort.

NB, Download attached report with pictures


What does metamorphosis mean?

Metamorphosis is what happens to a little boy after a concerned neighbor becomes aware that a demented ninety year old grandmother daily leaves her orphaned two year old grandson alone.

The neighbor brought Sheldon to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital’s new Shoe4Africa Children’s Hospital last week, malnourished - weighing less than ten pounds - and developmentally delayed – unable to walk or talk.

After only a week of enriched food, lots of love, and attention, this sweet little boy’s eyes communicate his curiosity about this new world as he scoots around on our playroom floor, basks in the sunlight, cuddles up when the temperature drops and the rains fall, and watches his new “siblings” at play. 

Best of all Sheldon’s broad smiles communicate the HOPE he finds among his new Sally Test family.  This wee little one immediately won our hearts.    

We anticipate Sheldon will be walking and talking as his world opens up with new found freedom.

How grateful we are for your generous support as you share in the journey toward metamorphosis with many children who are a part of the Sally Test Pædiatric Centre. 

From everyone at the Sally Test Pædiatric Centre,


NOTE: Download attached document with photos!


Lydia and Sarah, whom we have featured before, continue to receive love and care as they continue to grow at the Sally Test Pædiatric Centre for their fifth year in the hospital.  We plan for them to go to special schools when school re-opens in early May, 2016. We took both Lydia and Sarah early March for evaluation in a Special School Assessment Center so as to determine suitable schools and their level. Sarah was recommended for a mentally challenged school while Lydia to school for the deaf so as she learns sign language. We are always grateful for the continued support. Thank you.


New Shoe4Africa Pediatric Hospital, Eldoret
New Shoe4Africa Pediatric Hospital, Eldoret

The Sally Test Pædiatric Centre sends you joyful holiday greetings from Eldoret, Kenya.   This has been an eventful year with the opening of the Shoe4Africa Pediatric Hospital on Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital campus as the first public pediatric hospital in Kenya in mid-August, 2015.







Provisions for abandoned children are currently limited so each morning these children are ferried back to the old Sally Test Centre by ambulance where they are fed, bathed, and have adequate room to play before returning to the S4A Hospital in the evening.

Our entire community enjoyed multiple Christmas parties where Santa Claus gave gifts to each hospitalized child while his elves sang carols and distributed cake and juice to everyone.

We want to thank each of you for your continuing generosity that allow our beautiful children to enjoy life.   

To one and all who share in the care of our children - a  big              ASANTE SANA!

Ernest Kirui, Administrator, & some abandoned kids
Ernest Kirui, Administrator, & some abandoned kids
Santa at bedside
Santa at bedside

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Organization Information

Sally Test Paediatric Centre

Location: Indianapolis - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Ernest Kirui
Eldoret, Kenya

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