Back to news

A long-awaited reunion

Back in 2021, Anastasia's mother simply couldn't see a way out of her desperate situation. Knowing her new-born daughter would be at serious risk if she kept her in her care, she had no choice but to reach out for help. 

Read how early intervention from Open Arms helped Anastasia survive her rocky start, maintain her relationship with her family and - despite many obstacles - return home to her mother's care.

Providing a lifeline

Anastasia arrived at Blantyre Infant Home in August 2021. 

Shortly before she was born, her father abandoned her family in their rented home after selling most of their belongings. Unable to pay the rent without him, Anastasia’s family were evicted from their home. 

Reduced to wandering the streets and begging for food for herself and her family, Anastasia’s mother began to suffer mentally and was no longer fit and able to look after her children. 

Seeing no way forward, her older children were placed in an institution whilst Anastasia was welcomed at Open Arms for urgent infant care.

This support proved lifesaving, as little Anastasia faced many challenges when it came to her health. She was hospitalised with pneumonia shortly after arriving at the Infant Home and later went on to battle sepsis twice.

Anastasia Supervisor Winfreda

Thankfully, with round-the-clock monitoring and expert care from our matron-led team, plus access to the local hospital (where her caregivers from Open Arms visited her twice a day), she made a full recovery.

A baby in hospital with a thermometer under their arm

Baby steps - one day at a time

Anastasia enjoyed much better health after her initial ordeal and went on to flourish at Blantyre Infant Home. 

Every developmental milestone she reached was cause for celebration - from growing those first tiny teeth, to feeding herself, crawling, walking, learning to interact and play with others and of course marking her first two birthdays!

Wonderfully, her family didn't have to miss all these precious milestones. 

Relatives are welcomed and encouraged to visit their children at the Infant Homes regularly to maintain their bond and prepare for the child's eventual return home.  

Anastasia's mother and older brother enjoyed frequent visits with Anastasia, who become increasingly familiar with them and was always delighted to see them arrive!

Anastansia Broher

Strengthening and supporting families

With support and encouragement from Open Arms, Anastasia's mother started to earn an income selling fruit. As she felt more empowered to change her situation, her mental state improved significantly. Both she and the caregivers at Open Arms wanted nothing more than to return Anastasia to her adoring mother. 

However, despite her best efforts, Anastasia's mother struggled to secure a property and without a fixed address and appropriate housing, Social Welfare could not allow the reintegration to take place. Open Arms had to start considering moving Anastasia - now two years old - to another institution for older children.  

Determined to reunite the family however, the team continued to support Anastasia's mother with business advice and also provided her with an agricultural starter pack to help her grow and sell more food. 

Lekiam With Anastansias Mother

This support, combined with her hard work and determination to reunite her family, helped her to finally secure a rental property near her brother and sister-in-law and we're thrilled that following successful home assessments, Anastasia is now back home with her mother and siblings!  

She is already enrolled in a nearby Nursery School, which she attends each morning. In the afternoons, she is cared for by her aunt until her mother returns from work - selling bananas at the local market. 

Thanks to their regular contact at the Infant Home, Anastasia has settled happily and is clearly well loved and cared for by her mother and extended family. 

Anastansia With Mum

It is truly heart-warming to see Anastasia and her family reunited after facing such hardship. Not only that, but Anastasia now has access to an education and the chance to achieve her potential, whilst her mother is being helped towards self-sufficiency. 

The future is looking bright!

Help us to keep building brighter futures

Success stories like these are made possible because of your ongoing support!

If you can help us continue to be there for more families like Anastasia's, please consider setting up a regular gift or making a single donation today.

Thank you for joining with us to bring families back together!

Previous ArticleNext Article

Your donation will help children in Malawi grow up healthy with the love of a family


Designed to be kind. Proud to support Open Arms Malawi.