Firstly, a huge thank you for all your love and support – we’ve had so many wonderful comments, particularly regarding our first day’s video on our Facebook page. If you saw it, you’ll know know one thing we found particularly hard was seeing all the babies at Sanyu orphanage reaching out their arms to us. We felt they wouldn’t be so desperate for our attention if they were loved in families.
Our Child Psychology expert Dr Elizabeth Kilbey has backed this view, explaining on our FB group:
Children with no secure attachments in early life are overwhelmingly needy – they are desperately seeking an emotional connection. But this need can’t come from quick cuddles from every new person they meet – it has to be delivered over a long period of time to allow them the chance to develop secure relationships.’
We’ve also been asked tons of question, all of which we hope to answer. Today, supporter Katy Muncer asked us how we are going to find families for our children. Well, we had a productive meeting this morning with Families For Children, an organisation pioneering a foster care scheme in Uganda. We were very keen to partner up with them and you can watch the meeting for yourself here:
One of our major objectives is to find out why babies are abandoned in the first place, so this afternoon, we visited Mulago, Uganda’s busiest hospital – and a place where desperate mothers abandon more than 60 babies a year.
We met their top paediatrician, Dr Atai, and social worker Faith Karamager. Faith, who deals with the babies on a day-to-day basis, told us story after sad story about how they come to be abandoned here. Almost all of the mothers are living in dire poverty, but all too often other devastating factors, such as rape, incest and domestic violence, have influenced their heartbreaking decision.
Many of these mothers, who are often very young themselves, have been thrown out by their families because of the stigma associated with their pregnancies. With no other viable option open to them, they are forced to abandon their precious newborns somewhere they pray they will be safe. It’s a tragic story – made all the more terrible by how commonplace it is.Although this remarkable hospital works hard to look after the often ill and premature babies, the time comes all too soon when the babies need to be placed in orphanages – but often there are no vacancies or any suitable homes.
Dr Atai and Faith were incredibly supportive of our plans to offer alternative options, and were especially interested in services that might help children move into either their own extended families, or foster and adoptive families.
The meeting provided first-hand, compelling evidence – direct form the people who deal with the problem every day – of the need for Child’s i Foundation and what we are trying to achieve. They have invited us back to Mulago next week to visit the wards, so you will be able to see for yourselves the desperate plight of mothers and babies.
Show us your support and become a fan on Facebook – http://www.childsifoundation.org/go/facebook/planning