As the blog has grown, so too has the requests for me to promote products and campaigns. I reject way more than I take on, but every so often one will come along and I know I need to help spread the message. This was the case when Bec from Child’s i Foundation contacted me. Their work is pretty amazing. You can help them this Mother’s Day by buying a present with a difference, read Bec’s guest post below to find out more!
Child’s i Foundationwas started by my friend Lucy Buck after she witnessed the huge problem of baby abandonment in Uganda. She would have to attend funerals of young babies who were abandoned, knowing that no-one loved them, no-one cherished them and no-one knew they were gone. Child’s i Foundation gives families another option and gives babies a chance of a future, instead of a life in an institution where they are an orphan and not a treasured member of a family.
I left my TV career and lived in Uganda last year for 3 months which was an amazing experience and I will be returning this year. You can read about my time in Uganda on my blog.
My inspiration and strength comes from Lucy. She made the courageous choice not to feel helpless nor to see these young women and children as beyond help. She took the initiative, emerged from the safety of being behind the camera as a TV producer and stepped up to the challenge of making a change in the lives of these vulnerable babies and desperate mothers.
Child’s i Foundation currently offers 3 services:
- Malaika Care is a transitional family & baby centre in Kampala which provides high quality and short-term care for abandoned children aged 0-2. The children are provided with the best possible medical and educational care as well as responding to the emotional trauma and psychological damage of abandonment.
- Malaika House provides support to women and children to prevent baby abandonment. It offers a community drop-in centre and outreach service offering support and advice to women in the local community. The aim is to help the women to become self supportive by offering them catch up education, skills training, counselling and health & nutritional advice.
- Malaika Family Placement aims to place all children in a family. Ideally the child’s own birth family will be traced and explored as a placement option, however if their birth family is not a possibility then alternative adoptive families will be explored from the local community.
Coming from a background of reality television, Lucy wanted to replicate some of the aspects of this style of program which capture the attention of people. This became the ‘i’ in Child’s i Foundation which stands for interactive and the social platforms of Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and blogs are used to promote the charity and engage supporters.
The strength of Child’s i supporters and the power of social networking was realised when 3 month old Joey, who was abandoned in a taxi park, was the first baby adopted into a family and soon after was diagnosed with a heart condition. Without an urgent operation he would not survive. The team in Kampala set to work by creating a video about Joey, setting up a donation page and telling anyone who would listen that Joey and his family needed help. Within 38 hours, Joey’s operation was booked in a South African hospital and $15,000 was raised to cover the life-saving heart operation. Joey is now a healthy little boy and without the generosity of others he would not be.
There are many stories from my time in Uganda – emotional family reunions, seeing hope emerge from despair, comforting a new arrival who weighs only 1 kilo at 1 year of age, teaching a child with learning difficulties a new word, witnessing the transformation of a child who was sad and detached from being abandoned into a happy and confident child.
This Mother’s Day we are asking people to forgo the usual chocolate and flowers and purchase a gift that will help one of our beautiful babies and their family. The gifts include cleaning drinking water, a carer’s salary and a care bundle for a baby going home. Please visit the Child’s i website to see what a difference your gift could make. If you choose to purchase a gift we will send a handwritten card to your loved one to let them know what was purchased for them.
Please email me any time with any questions, would love to hear from you – firstname.lastname@example.org.