Checking on Baby D’s welfare

Today, our team did a follow up on the welfare of Baby D at the children’s home where our team took him to. After Baby D’s parents abandoned him, Lifesong Kenya rescued him.

Read Checking on Baby D’s welfare and learn more.

Children need proper feeding, freedom and lots of love and care in order to thrive

A child needs proper feeding, freedom and lots of love and care. Though these are some of the things a child is able to receive at a children’s home, their stay isn’t permanent.

Pastor Grace

According to the Kenyan laws, child neglect attracts at least five years in prison. After enrolling Baby D at the children’s home, it was expected that his parents would get arrested.

Because Baby D’s mom has been struggling with alcohol and needs help, we opted to look for Baby D’s parents. On the day that our team arrived at the children’s home, our goal was to check on Baby D.

When our team arrived, we found Baby D playing with other children at the children’s home. But when he was brought to where were sitting, he seemed to be, all of a sudden not happy to see us. Perhaps, he thought we had come to take him away.

When he was asked to go back to where the other children were, he happily ran away.

Checking on Baby D's welfare

“I can see that the Baby D has changed a lot,” said James Ouma, the founder of Lifesong Kenya. “His skin has become lighter and he is also more jovial compared to the first day we brought him here.”

Pastor Grace, the lady who takes care of the children at her home in Riruta explained the difference. She said that a child needs proper feeding, freedom and lots of love and care. Though these are some of the things a child is able to receive at a children’s home, their stay isn’t permanent.  

“As you can see, he is a well behaved baby boy,” said Grace. “I have never had discipline issues with him,” she continued.

“Have the parents followed up or reached out to you?” Grace, asked pouring tea into cups and serving the three of us.

“Not yet,” James replied. “The mother has stopped drinking alcohol at her usual joint and moved elsewhere. Because of that we have not established contact with her yet.”

The need to follow-up

Grace then requested our team to find the parents and ask them to come and see their son. She also pointed out that Baby D needs his parents despite their failure to take good care of him. She added that the children’s home cannot break the parent-child bond by coming in between.  

“We have a lot of cases where older children do not want to reconnect with their parents,” she continued. “When that happens, we allow the child to make the right choice that suits them at that time. In the meantime, we continue our efforts of fully reconciling them back and as you well know it is a process that takes time.”

“This includes encouraging the parents to visit their child in order to continue creating a relationship and a bond between the parties,” she added.

Grace advised that Sarah, our volunteer is the best suited to sit down with Baby D’s mom when we find her. “She is probably not in the right state of mind and you don’t want to upset her further,” she warned.

Called to serve children

Sarah asked what happens when a child is eventually released to their parents. Grace told us that their team makes home visits to ensure that the child is getting proper care. Grace said that at the home they allow the children be themselves.

“Right now, you can hear the children singing, no one asked them to sing,” she explained. “They are singing because they are happy,” she said. “A child’s life is supposed to be simple and when they are mistreated or neglected, it complicates things and upset the order of things.”

Grace shared with us how she was called by God to serve children who need care and support. Together with her husband, the two of them run and manage the home. She told us that she has never written any documents requesting for help, yet God has been faithful to them.

“We have never lacked food and our children have never gone to bed hungry,” she said.

As we left the home, we waved to Baby D. He briefly waved back and continued playing with his friends. Our task is to now look for his parents and start the reconciliation process that will enable Baby D to one day have a stable home.

 

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