Our volunteers are always struck by the loving way that new babies are welcomed into Open Arms.
…a small party arrives, led by the social welfare officer, usually a guardian or two, and a little wrapped up bundle. Matron Rose Phiri or Matron Ennifer settle them down for the formal registering and before you know it babies have had a bath, a cuddle, fresh clothes, a little name tag and a big bottle of milk. After all of this they are swiftly nestled in their cot, with their very own teddy.
Her Granny seemed relieved to see her comfortable and settled in the capable hands of Ruth, who has worked with Open Arms for 21 years! The Chisomos , two little girls in pink and blue, are seen here beautifully bathed and dressed. The House Mothers always take great pride in dressing the children in their care. They choose clothes from the big store of donated items that we receive from supporters. Each little one has their own labelled wardrobe, bedding and net.
When a Mother dies in Malawi, she leaves behind a tiny baby to a family who are already desperately poor from living without an income. In the case of both of our new baby girls, Chisomo and Chisomo, they were living on food shared with them by other families living nearby.
The burden of an extra little baby needing formula for bottle feeding, money for trips to the baby clinic and 24 hour care when there may be many other children is just unmanageable. Without Open Arms these babies would struggle to survive through the precious first few years of life.
Saying farewell is undertaken with as much care as the welcome that our children receive. On the final day everyone in the Home gathers to sing, wave and hug the little one goodbye. There are always a few tears. But by the time Matron makes her Outreach visit the little ones have become a well-adjusted and loved member of the family, a little dustier around the edges maybe but happy to be in their real home.
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