Beautiful Angel and Natasha
Every visit to the St Andrews Baby Unit brings so much joy not only to our staff but also friends of Vision Africa and visitors who support our activities in Kenya. The smiles, laughter,cries and growth of these babies give us all more reasons to work hard so that the babies can continue to receive care ,love and protection and more so to ensure that all their needs are met as they grow up together as one big family. The baby unit is currently giving shelter to 16 babies and toddlers of whom two children are being prepared to move to the main children's home as they attain the age of four so as to create space for other babies who may be found in the same situation as they were.
In my last visit at Kandara children's home , I noticed a big change in children who had been brought and raised at the baby unit and have grown up to join the older children in the main home. Their health status and physical appearance have changed which is a clear indication that these children do not receive as much attention as they used to get while at the baby unit. All the babies and the toddlers at the baby unit are taken care of and receive the attention of the house mothers who have dedicated themselves to raise them as they would care for their own children. I spoke to Esther one of the longest serving house mother at the baby unit and this is what she had to say “I always feel sad when one of the children is moved to live in the main home with older children because their lives drastically change since they are not given much need attention like our babies here. Most of them still come back to us to get snacks and play with other babies”.
The local authorities and Children's Office within the County acknowledge the importance of St. Andrews Baby Unit as it has hosted around 45children since it was established. Some babies have a new lease of life with adoptive parents or in foster care while those who have grown and started school are integrated in the main Children's home and attend the nearby schools.
It is always great to share some good news with you about the progress of the babies at St. Andrews Baby Unit and we thought to share the story of baby Angel.
Angel was abandoned three days after birth and was found wrapped in her clothes and placed under a tree in a busy shopping centre. According to the local police, Angel was found by a group of men who heard a baby crying while they were holding a meeting within the area. They reported to the local police who contacted the County children officer who recommended the baby to be taken to St.Andrews Baby Unit which is the only recognized home within Murang'a County that provides shelter and care to babies found in such situations. Angel has been at the baby unit for one year and eight months going through different developmental stages as we had been reporting earlier. She has grown healthy and is walking and talking the baby's language
We are glad to inform you that the little Angel has finally found a new family. Sad as it is always to let go of these children they are part of a bigger family, we are happy because Angel is in the process of being taken for adoption. Her new parents will soon start visiting the baby unit to build a relationship with her as they wait for the court to grant them custody. We are happy for baby Angel as she will soon have new parents to relate with and a place to call home. We hope for the best as she prepares to go and settles in with her new family and wish her many year of happiness.
There are no new arrivals of children reported at the home and we hope that the year will end well with the current number of babies and toddlers at the baby unit. Other highlights about the baby unit is that
Baby Baraka who is the youngest baby unit resident is now sitting without support and has started weaning on solid food.We hope he too will be adopted in the coming year. Fidelis and John whose stories we shared with you in our last report are both standing and use plastic chairs to walk around the house. The health of all babies were maintained and they are growing pretty fast. Cecilia and older Fidelis have joined the pre-school that is supported by Vision Africa right at the children's home.
On behalf of all the babies at St Andrews baby unit, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Blessed 2016!
Thank you all for your ongoing support of our work!
PS. Tuesday 1st of December is Giving Tuesday. Please give your voice to the little ones of the St Andrews Baby Unit by telling a friend about this project.
Fidelis using a plastic chair to walk around
Baby Baraka can sit and play with his toy