Boyce came to Open Arms in November 2011. He arrived at just 6 months old and had lost his mother, contacted chicken pox and was only a gram or two above his birth weight. His father, who lived in a rural village 60km from Blantyre, sought help because he, like many other subsistence farming families, was struggling to cope financially and had three older children to care for.
Mrs Phiri, Kondwani and I set off from the home loaded up with maize at around 8am to be greeted by busy Blantyre roads, with a variety of cars, people, animals and potholes to navigate. I’d definitely jumped in at the deep end! Once we got out of the city though we passed village after village. There was so much to see I could barely concentrate on driving or the potholes!
With one of the most infectious smiles in Blantyre, you could hardly imagine how life started out for Joseph. He was found abandoned on a hillside early last year. As you can see, Joseph looks really well; he has reverted back to his beaming, sociable self again. He is a lovely little character to have around the home, and we look forward to watching him grow and sharing his progress with you.
When we saw the malnutrition levels on our Outreach visits at the start of the year, we quickly ordered emergency food supplies to help. The team are now starting to deliver it to the 200 children and families we support through our Outreach programme.
Seventeen years at Open Arms Infant Homes is the longest period of time I have ever spent in one place… the history of Open Arms and its growth has been well documented, but I would like to offer one or two personal thoughts and impressions gleaned over the last nearly two decades…