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Uganda: A Place Abandoned Babies Call a Home
21 September 2009
On July 30, a nurse at Mbarara Hospital found a malnourished baby boy near the maternity ward. The abandoned baby, who is now known as Daniel, was only 6.42kg even though he was about seven months old.
Unfortunately Daniel is only one of hundreds of babies abandoned in Uganda each year.
There are no available statistics on the exact number of abandoned babies, in part because many cases go unreported. However, according to Sanyu’s Babies’ Home, a well-known babies’ home in Kampala, there are currently about 2.5 million orphans in Uganda.
Daniel became one of the first two babies taken in by the newly-opened Loving Hearts Babies’ Home in Kampala.
Loving Hearts Babies’ Home was started by Africa Renewal Ministries, a Christian NGO with a special focus on children.
“We want to establish a home to look after the orphaned and abandoned babies,” Samuel Namalabe, an administrator at the home, told Daily Monitor when we visited. The home, still in its final stages of set-up, has already taken in four babies and has a capacity for 30.
Most would probably see Daniel’s reception by Loving Hearts as extremely fortunate, and it certainly is, however, it is still less than ideal. Mr Namalabe said that while in the orphanage they can meet children’s basic needs, without a real family, children “are missing something that is very important in their lives.”
As much love and care as the “mothers” and staff at the Home endeavour to give the children, babies still need the support and love of a real family most of all and Loving Hearts plans to link the babies up with families who can offer them love, care, and protection.