In our last update from the St. Andrews Baby Unit back in July we mentioned some volunteers who were spending time at the St Andrews Baby Unit. We can now report that they have made a tremendous difference and been of great help to the housemothers.
The majority of the infants are now able to sit at the table and feed themselves, some need only a little supervision and there are only a few who require to be fed. This saves the housemothers a lot of stress as they were previously trying to feed five children each at the same time! On a visit this week I discovered that the little girl who was taking her first steps in our last update is now one of those trying to feed herself.
Another achievement has been in terms of potty training. It took a few attempts as the children were at first scared of the potties then thought they were toys! Thanks to volunteer Carla’s persistence a good number of the older babies are now using the potty which has helped the housemother who was previously washing all the towelling diapers!
There has also been a new arrival at the St Andrews Baby Unit since our last update. Baby Anne was four months old when she arrived and weighed less than 4kg...very underweight for her age. Her mother had been ill for some time and passed away a few weeks after giving birth. Anne’s grandparents tried their best to care for the young baby their daughter left behind but they were frail and unable to cope. After going through the relevant processes, Anne was brought to the unit and when her family visited a week later they already noticed a difference and that she had gained weight. Under the watchful eye of mother Lucy and her team, Anne has continued to gain weight and can now sit up in a Bumbo seat and enjoy watching the other children as they move about the room. This latest addition was a great reminder to us of what a valuable asset the unit is to the local community.
Another way that the unit helps the local community is by offering reliable day care services for working mothers. As with all Vision Africa projects, the St. Andrews Baby Unit had to undertake some form of income generating activity rather than be 100% dependent on charitable assistance. During the daytime, mothers can pay a small fee to leave their baby in the capable hands of the St. Andrews staff while they go out to work.
The donations we receive from our supporters through GlobalGiving are always put to good use. As you can imagine with 13 babies to care for the ongoing costs for food, toiletries, cleaning materials etc soon mount up. Your donations go a long way to helping us ensure that our babies are well cared for and have a much better start in life than their families’ circumstances would allow. Thank you for your care and support!