The baby house, five babies and four toddlers. Delightful baby cots painted in varying primary colours, large plastic bins with toys, double bed mattress on the floor with a colourful bed spread on it. Baby walkers, nursery workers who love babies and keep the said babies clean, chnage nappies frequently, cuddle these wee darlings and have been trained in the care of babies and toddlers and how to feed them.
A nurse supervises them, teaching them the correct amount of baby formula to give them, how often and the exact amount of milk powder to water ratio. That it is functioning is clear by seeing the healthy, happy babies and toddlers.
While I was there, four toddlers were moved into 'families' where ageas vary and more stimulation is found in the older children who play easily with them. Twins Bedelu and Zelalem have found happiness with older toddlers and children. Little Beti is now with bigger children and has greater freedom.
While at Abraham's Oasis one wee toddler, a girl, went for adoption by an Ethiopian family.
The gift of kits, clothes, baby milk and all the support needed for abandoned babies makes caring for them so much easier. A BIG thank you for your gift!
A call from social services, a baby had been found and the police had taken him to the hospital. Next call is the hospital to let us know that they got an abandoned baby and if we please could help with baby formula.
Of course we help.
A tin of formula and some clothes are being sent to the hospital. The next day we are informed that we can go and pick up the baby but when we arrive at the hospital the doctor has just done his round and didn't agree on the idea to discharge the little fellow yet. He has developed a fever and the doctor wants to put him on some antibiotics. So it is another few days later that we are called to come and pick up the little baby. The hospital has given the baby the name Hagerawi, which means something like the boy from the country. We take him home, where he is taken care of by our caregivers. He gets a bath, a bottle and soon settles. Our nurse is taking him for his vaccinations and he is doing very well. In the meantime our social worker is doing his tracing activities with the police and at the same time is trying to get a birth certificate for Hagerawi. THis is always a challenge but together with the police who found the baby and social services we manage to obtain the certificate after a few weeks.
Our biggest challenge this time is to get baby formula. The problem is that there is a scarecity of formula in our part of the country and this has driven the prices up. We only can obtain a few tins from different shops. The traders refuse to sell the formula by the carton, which would lower the price. Fortunately we have managed to buy several tins and we hope that the situation will change soon.
We want to thank you so much for your assistance through this project. It helps us to continue to take in these little abandoned babies and care for them in the best possible way.
Seeing a mother with her baby surrounded by a loving family is not always the way. Unwanted pregnancies as a result of rape, assult, teenage marriage or due to the activities of a commercial sex worker, brings with it shame and horror of this little, very dependent being that cries and demands feeding, soils and needs clothing that you the mother cannot afford. The result is two hurting people, the mother and the baby. There may be no food, no place to sleep, no one to turn to, no one willing to 'take you in', especially now with a small baby...
You, the mother, select the location to leave the baby, where many people go; the church, the health facility, near a Police Station and quite often the little mother waits hidden hoping someone will take her baby. Whenever possible both mother and baby are brought to Abraham's Oasis and then starts the process of teaching the mother that it is okay to love her baby, that we can help, that she does not need to fear her family or society.
So having available Baby Kits for each baby with or without Mum, enables Abraham's Oasis to be ready to them.
We are so grateful to all of you who have given to make this activity possible,
The wee baby girl was left behind inthe hospital, but the records showed staff who the mother was. She was traced when the baby was ready tobe discharged from the special care baby unit. Then the story came out...
A 19 year old high school girl had been raped by a cousin was told her to abort the baby, but it was too late, she was too far advanced in her pregnancy. The next step was to abandon it at the hospital, but because the hospital knew who the mother was she was contacted. The next solution by the family was to consider ways of getting rid of both baby and mother because of the great shame of this 'in family' catastrope.
Government Authorities were made aware of the plight of mother and baby... Both mother and baby were brought to Abraham's Oasis, the grandmother also came but she behaved in a very threatening manner, stating that death was the best outcome. She was forcebly removed by the police.
Now began the arduous task of reconciling a very psychologically traumatised young women to her beautiful baby that all she knew 'should be dead' or left behind, in addition to the absolute terror she felt that her family would come and kill them both.
The darling baby was several months old and it was only now that mother really met her baby, but she would not hold it, but small side glances when she thought no one was looking were the first few stepsof reconciliation for Mother and daughter. Gradually she started with holding other toddlers and after a few days she was introduced to her own wee baby andshe has now given her baby a name. She is caring for the baby, bathing her, feeding her and starting to love her...
The outcome is still unclear, but for now bonding is gradually taking place. She is one of two young mothers who have been brought into Abraham's Oasis as the beginning of prevention of baby abandonment and keeping mothers and babies together.
We are pleased that we have not received any new abandoned babies over the past few months. It means that babies have stayed with their mothers, where they should be.
The three abandoned babies which we received in January are now 9 months old and thriving. The twins are catching up, they are sitting, eating other foods and trying to communicate in their own funny ways. To hear them laugh is such a delight. They are trying to crawl, love watching television and all the attention they are getting from our older children. They are currently both dealing with a cold! This is the first time that they have been sick. Little Zelalem was taken to the hospital as he was the most severely affected, fortunately they didn't keep him in but sent him home with antibiotics and medicine to help him cough. After a few days there was much improvement.
Little Selamawit is a delight, she is such a happy baby, you seldom see her cry. She likes other food and is very interested in her surroundings.
Our babies are loved and well cared for, they thrive and are happy, but it remains a sad reality that there are mothers walking around with feelings of guilt and shame, about what they have done and maybe wondering about what happened to their little ones. We would love to find these women, ease their pain and help them to be re-unified with their children.
We have done intensive tracing for our three little babes but not a hint of information has been recovered....so we just love, we care and do the best we can....
We want to thank you very much for partnering with us. Without your help we would not be able to do what we are doing. You play a vital part in the lives of these children!
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