Welcome Queen, we hope you get well soon.

Things move fast at Nkoaranga orphanage. Until recently we didn’t even know that our little Vicky had a sister, and now she’s moved in!

Queen is five years old, which is a little older than the children the orphanage usually takes, but she’s in quite a desperate situation and it’s really important for us to help her. She’s been living with her very loving father who has been trying his best to look after her but is extremely poor. Obviously, he needs to work, so he has been leaving Queen with her grandmother during the day. Recently her grandmother has been selling fruit and vegetables in town, so Queen has been spending her days with a neighbour.

Queen arriving at the hospital.

Unfortunately, there was an accident while Queen was at the neighbour’s house. Another child accidentally scalded her by pushing over a pot of boiling water, leaving her with horrible burns from the waist down. She was taken to the hospital in a lot of pain, struggling to walk or sit down. It’s clear that she can’t really be cared for at home any more, so since coming out of hospital she’s moved into the orphanage with her little sister. Her dad and grandmother are still really involved and are visiting a lot, which is great. This has also been good news for Vicky, who has gained confidence from seeing them a bit more. Bethan, who is in Tanzania at the moment, says that it’s brilliant to see Vicky in her dad and grandma’s arms when she’s usually too scared to go anywhere near them. 

Here’s Vicky. Can you see a family resemblance?

Queen has been at the orphanage for two nights now and seems to be doing really well. Each night she has to have her dressings changed by one of the mamas, but she is extremely brave about all the pain – she was even still smiling in the hospital! She’s sitting down on her own now and although she’s walking with a slight hunch this is a huge improvement on the situation when she arrived. She is very sweet, soft-spoken and gentle but also very smiley, especially given how uncomfortable she still must be. She’s been helping Bethan pair up the shoes today and laughing at some of the random odd ones that have found their way into the orphanage. Of course, she’s missing her family a lot, but it is great that they are around so much and that she’s in a place where she can be properly cared for. We’re waiting on a few more pictures of her in her new home.

We put up an appeal for donations towards Queen’s medical care on our Facebook page a few days ago. We were looking at an unexpected expense of about $250. Thank you so much to everyone who has given money towards that, particularly Vicky Crisp for getting the ball rolling and Charlotte Foster for putting in her fundraising money from the half marathon. We are pleased to say that thanks to all the donations we have received, Queen’s immediate hospital bills are almost covered. 

However, in order for her to be able to stay at the orphanage we need to be able to guarantee to cover the costs of her on-going care. Although we are thrilled she’s out of hospital so soon, the severity of the burns means she will need longer term support for check-ups and fresh bandages etc. Any donations towards Queen’s care would be really appreciated and are vital to allow her to stay.

Thank you for all you have already given. It has done really visible good for one little girl.

Next week’s blog will be coming direct from Bethan in Tanzania. We won’t steal what she wants to tell you all about, but here is a taster of her visit to see the older kids at boarding school in Usa River.

Bethan and Vicky with Tumaini and David (either side of Bethan), Stevie, Dainess and Eman Ndogo (in the middle) and Andrea and Eman Kubwa (at the front).

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