It is all too easy to get bogged down with the day-to-day challenges of life as a parent, isn’t it? I know I am guilty, probably a little too often of complaining about a ‘hard-day.’ But when I put my troubles and woes into perspective I can see, all too clearly, that I have much to be grateful and thankful for.
Okay, there is always a tonne of laundry to be done, meals to be cooked, and things to tidy away, and often for little thanks. My children are sometimes guilty of misbehaving or fighting with one another (which drives me to distraction). I may sometimes feel as though I have chased my tail all day just to find that I am right back where I started. Some days I feel like I haven’t achieved anything.
But of course, I have. My home may not sparkle and gleam like a show home, but I have the means to clothe my children, nourish them, take care of them when they are sick. My husband and I are able to provide them with a safe, healthy and happy home.
This, essentially is what every mother wants to give her children, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, not all mothers are afforded these same means.
When mothers in Uganda have to make that unthinkable decision to abandon their child, it is because they have no other option. Newborn and young babies are often found abandoned in taxi parks, hospitals, police stations and on the roadsides of Kampala.
Children abandoned in this way, are usually placed into institutional care i.e. an orphanage and will often live there until they are 18 years old.
Child’s i Foundation is committed to making sure these young, frightened and vulnerable mothers have another choice. Their aim, is for every child that comes into their care, to have a family and a future.
At last, these precious children are not destined to life without a family to love them.
Last year Children’s i Foundation opened three services in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. They are the first of their kind in Kampala, and sadly there are very few similar services throughout Africa as a whole.
Malaika Baby & Family Support Centre – this is a short-term care facility where we care for babies (aged 0-2), ideally for a maximum of 6 months. During this time the family is encouraged to visit as often as possible and their aim is to reunite the baby with their family within this time frame.
Malaika Drop-In Centre – this facility offers counseling and vocational training to women in the local community. They provide childcare for the mothers while they learn skills which will ultimately make them self-sufficient and able to support their family.
Malaika Family Placement – The social work team works extremely hard to place each child back with their family, complete with assessments and home visits. If a family cannot be traced then a suitable adoptive family will be found locally in Uganda.
This year Child’s i Foundation is holding a baby shower for Mother’s Day. There are a number of different gift options ranging from a carer’s salary, clean drinking water or milk for under nourished children, to providing for transport for a family to visit their child, all at very minimal cost. With each purchase Child’s I Foundation will send a handwritten card to the loved one, letting them know the gift has been purchased, with a photograph of one of the beautiful babies.
Personally, I know that, with this in mind ~ a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers won’t bring me the same joy as doing something to pave the way for a brighter, happier future for these innocent, deserving babies and their families.
A mother’s love has immense power ~ it loves, it protects,
it nourishes, and it heals.
Why not share a little of yours this Mother’s Day
with a child who needs it?
Check out Bec Neilsen’s amazing, heart-warming blog, in which she details her three months of voluntary work with these families. Bec will be returning to Uganda again this June to continue this fabulous work.
You can also show your support by visiting her Facebook page.
The Mums Lounge team look forward to hearing many more success stories Bec – You, and other amazing volunteer like you, are doing an incredible job!