Lately, we received a number of small, new born baby's in Amecet. Often we get first a phone call from the Probation Officer, a health centre or a relative. Because of the Corona, we are careful and when they come with the new baby, we let them sit, near the gate, under the mango tree, with Face masks. One of the staff comes with a blanket and we take over the baby (who is most of the times naked) from their blanket into ours. Dominique or me then, will do the intake and get all the details, while the baby gets the care inside the house..
The stories are sad, most of them lost their mother after the delivery, sometimes a mother has a mental problem and the baby is not safe to stay with her. The family asks us to care for the baby for a while and then they take over, most of the times, the mother has forgotten the baby by the time the family takes over the care. It is sad, the best place for the baby is to be with the mother, but what if the baby is in danger??
One of those precious three baby's above is the 11th baby of the mother and the mother died after the delivery, (which was at home) because of bleeding. Another baby was brought to us because the mother died in the health centre, after giving birth and the father lost it completely. He was found naked running on the road.... People took care of him and we were asked to care for the baby. And a third baby (the one in the middle) was brought because the mother died after giving birth. There were complications, the mother was HIV+ and had Hepatitis B. We are a bit worried about this baby, she is not drinking well, we gave her a NG tube and feed her through that. We also will take her for HIV testing. We pray that she is HIV-. There were three other baby's we took for HIV testing, two of them had a HIV+ mother and one baby was brought without any information about her background. We always test those children for HIV, so we can rule that out. Two of them came back negative, one was positive, which means that she has the HIV virus and she is now started on the ARV's.
Francis (the small child in this picture) has left a week ago to his new family!! He has been in Amecet twice, the first time in 2019 and that time he was malnourished and miserable. Together with the Police he was re-settled back to his father in the village. We kept in touch with him via the local police in his village. Some months ago we got a call from the police that it went wrong with Francis. His father had beaten him so bad that his leg was probably broken. The father was gone and his new wife looked after Francis. The biologic mother of Francis is nowhere to be found. Simon went to see how the situation was and he came back with Francis. We think he is around 3 years old. I took him to the doctor and X-rays were taken, his leg was broken, but it was already 3 weeks old. The leg healed well. The family clan was not willing to care for him and after more visits of our Social Worker, it was decided, together with the Probation Officer, that we should look for a foster family for Francis. It is not good for a child like him, to be long in a Children Home, we were so happy to hand him over to his new family. He is wanted, loved and cared for. Francis was also very happy and waved us goodbye when they walked together out of our compound!