Here are a small selection of the children’s stories, to give some taste of the different ways the kids ended up at Nkoaranga orphanage. Many of the children’s mothers passed away from a combination of disease (HIV, malaria, or an acute illness) in combination with the stress of childbirth. However, some came to the orphanage through different paths.
We share these in the hopes of expanding understanding of the need, not provoking pity – these children are beautifully cared for and the decision to move children to an orphanage is always heartbreaking for surviving family, but often selfless and altruistic.
For more about these kids or any others, click their names in the sidebar to pull up all posts where they are mentioned.
|In front of the hut Pendo grew up in|
|In the hospital following his malarial seizure|
Sometimes our stories don’t have such happy endings. Little Reziki came to us in December, extremely premature, having actually been delivered after his mother had passed. Unfortunately, he had severe gastro-intestinal issues that seemed to make it impossible for him to keep anything down, and despite our best efforts and the best efforts of the hospital staff, he didn’t make it. The hardest part was, and is, not knowing whether the outcome would have been the same if we’d had access to a Western NICU – it’s entirely possible it would have been. Below is a letter I wrote to him, trying to find a way to pull meaning from a terrible situation.
Reziki – we lost you in January, after a struggle I wasn’t sure I’d make it through, and I still think about you every day. So many months later and still I’m trying not to be completely sunk by the despair of your tiny little life, and use these feelings instead to fuel pushing harder for better nutrition, for clean water, for more donations to hire more staff, for better organization of information between shifts… something to stop the wrenching of watching the incredible progress of my precious, beautiful children, and despite everything, losing a baby, a baby with no family, with no one to fight for him, whose name is already gone from the orphanage in the insane struggle to keep caring for the kids we have. So my promise to you, little man – I will not forget. We will keep working in your name and in the name of all our little fighters, to give them the futures they deserve, the future you should have had.