What a difference a few months can make – especially in the lives of the babies at the St. Andrews Baby Unit in Kandara, Kenya! There have been a few new faces, big steps forward in the little ones’ development and some new toys to explore too.
The first new arrival was a ten month old baby whose mother has learning difficulties. After struggling to cope with her baby for some months she was in total despair and went to the river where luckily she was found before she threw her child in. It is hard to understand this level of desperation but we are thankful for the passersby who saved the infant and for the housemothers who have taken the little one under their wings as part of the “family”. Once again, the unit has proved to be a sanctuary for a baby who had nowhere safe to live.
The other new faces have been three volunteers who have spent time helping the housemothers with their work. Laura was the first to arrive and was thrown in at the deep end. She spent two weeks trying to teach the older infants to feed themselves. Previously each mother would be trying to spoon feed five children at once so this training would really help to free up their time! With Kerry arriving for Laura’s second week, the two of them made great headway and around 8 of the children started feeding themselves!! Lucy, the matron of the unit, told me that this has made such a great difference to the staff and that having the volunteers has meant the mothers haven’t felt as tired and are seeing great benefits.
Not long after Laura left, Kerry was joined by Carla – a paediatric nurse from Australia – who will be staying in Kandara until October. As well as continuing the independent feeding, Carla and Kerry have been trying to potty train a few of the older ones and also find time to do some activities with the babies. It looks like there might be some finger painting and drawing done in the near future! We are very grateful to all the volunteers for the valuable contributions they have made.
Another big breakthrough has been with one of the little girls who has taken a little longer to develop than the other children due to the fact that she was very malnourished before she came in to the unit. Over the past few weeks she has really started to shine and come out of her shell – she has even started walking with a current record of 9 steps unassisted. This little one’s picture is the avatar for this project. Please take a minute to compare that photo which was taken not long after she arrived with today’s update ... you will see the impact that donations through GlobalGiving and other channels are having on disadvantaged babies in Kandara, Kenya.
Thank you for all your support – without it the St. Andrews Baby Unit could not do the great job it does. Your donations allow us to buy the food, toiletries and other items required to care for these beautiful babies and give them a brighter future.
Having fun with a new toy
First steps - big changes!