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Big steps for little feet!

Thoko and Ezra are two very popular children in Blantyre.  They have made remarkable progress since we first welcomed them into Blantyre infant home and we are pleased to report that they are ready to make their next big move!

Thoko's story

Looking at Thoko today, it’s hard to imagine how life started out for this beautiful little girl. 

She’d survived a traumatic birth but sadly her mother didn’t, and Thoko was left as a tiny orphan with brain damage.  Doctors later diagnosed her with Cerebral Palsy. 

Despite our best efforts, her family stopped all contact very quickly.

Thoko has benefited from care, specialist equipment and the learning opportunities in our infant homes and more recently in Harrogate House.  She always greets you with a huge smile!  

You can see her taking everything in and eagerly contributing to singing, counting and communicating with everyone.

Thoko Smiles

What's next?

Thoko has now made the exciting move to Rosemarie’s house and it was smiles all round as you can see!

Her carer, also called Thoko, and her new family Edina, Emmie, Morris, Kandi, Chisomo, Atupele, and Alinafi were excited to welcome her to her new home.  It is heartwarming to see that she is settling so well already.

She will continue her specialist physiotherapy sessions and when school opens, she will start at Ntonya International Primary School with Edina, Kandichere and Chisomo.

This is an exciting time for Thoko and we know that she'll make the most of every moment!

Thoko And New Family

Ezra's story

Back in January 2015, we first met Ezra, 8 months old and abandoned on the streets of Blantyre with just the clothes on his back and his medical notes. Police and Social Welfare were unable to trace his family and so Ezra was welcomed into Open Arms for care.

You can only imagine the difficulties both Ezra and his mother faced leading up to his abandonment.

Baby Ezra in Malawi

We knew he had a hernia but as this was being examined and treated, he was also diagnosed with a heart problem.  His heart had a large hole and started showing signs of pulmonary pressure. Unfortunately, surgery was too dangerous due to the pressure on his heart.

Look at him now!  Thanks to medication, Ezra leads a full life.  He has a medical check up to monitor his progress every three months and apart from one brief visit to hospital in 2019, we’re pleased to report that his daily activity has not been affected by his condition.

After being cared for over three years in our Blantyre infant home, Ezra moved into Harrogate House and joined Mini Me nursery school which he really enjoys.


A future to look forward to

The Blantyre Social Welfare Office is now working to find foster parents for Ezra locally so he can move into a nearby home of his own. We are hopeful that they will succeed but, if not, then he will move to an Open Arms family house.

Whilst his health and heart condition is unpredictable, his development shows that he is leading an independent life and is ready to take this next step. He is a lovely little boy who we are all extremely proud of. Thanks to the care he received at Open Arms he can have a future to look forward to.

Harrogate House supporting staff and children through the Coronavirus crisis

Harrogate House has been a temporary home for many children over the last ten years.  More recently, we're delighted that the social welfare department in Malawi have succeeded in finding foster families for all children who need them. 

Harrogate House is now a temporary home for our Blantyre care staff as they live onsite throughout our lock down.  

Children’s weekly activities of play based learning continue to be integrated across all parts of our infant care, allowing them to be adapted to younger ages and abilities. 

The use of Harrogate House will develop too inline with the needs of our children, staff and the systems in Malawi.  It will always play a vital role at Open Arms, allowing our team to provide the most effective early years care for the vulnerable children we protect.

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