It could be you …
Child’s i Foundation have this wonderful, beautiful philosophy of raising children in Uganda in loving Ugandan homes
"Child’s I Foundation is truly leading the way in the care of orphans, in the care of abandoned children and those at risk of being abandoned. Lucy Buck and her dedicated, committed staff believe that children should not be raised in institutions.
I think this is a very big departure in the way children are looked after here in Uganda. Rather, they believe these abandoned children and orphans should be raised in the loving homes of Ugandans. It may be obvious. It almost need not be said. Yet, in the context of large impersonal institutions which dominate childcare provision in this country where we’ve seen orphanages after orphanages being established.
Child’s i Foundation have this wonderful, beautiful philosophy of raising children in Uganda in loving Ugandan homes.”
Hon Amb. James Baba - Minister of State of Internal Affairs
— Child’s i Foundation (@childsi)May 7, 2014
We posted a photo up of Matty on Twitter a few weeks ago. He is one our children who has recently been resettled with his family. But his story isn’t that simple.
Matty was rescued 5 months after he was “stolen” at just 1 day old.
We were alerted when his real mother bumped into the woman who took him and raised an alarm, both women were taken to a nearby Police Station and Matty was referred to us for temporary custody.
A DNA test was taken which confirmed the identity of Matty’s real mum. Our social worker Lenah then traced her to a local slum and the two were happily re-united.
After the re-unification with her son, Matty’s mum then unfortunately disappeared and both her phone numbers were unavailable.
The team at Malaika then decided to trace Matty’s father, using the phone numbers that his mum had given them. After walking for miles and showing village officials his photo, his dad was located.
On hearing about his son being alive, Matty’s dad made plans to travel to the city to see his son. He eventually travelled to Malaika Babies Home, despite a heavy downpour, where he had an emotional meeting with his son for the first time. With Matty’s mother gone, and with his father’s consent and support, a maternal uncle was identified as Matty’s primary care giver.
But before the bonding could commence, his Dad requested that Matty was granted a day visit with him.
Then after a number of visits and bonding sessions with his maternal uncle and family, Matty joined the family. He had been with us at Malaika for 12 months.
Tracing families is the difference between a child growing up in a family rather than an orphanage. We call it CSI Kampala - this is how we do it:
At our emergency care centre in Uganda, babies are often admitted to us by the police. They are dumped in pit latrines, on the roadsides and in rubbish bins in Kampala.
Our last two little baby girls were abandoned on a rubbish dump and a septic tank and weighted a pitiful 2kgs.
Our aim is to get them into loving families so their tragic beginning is never remembered. Our social work team trace family members. If we can’t find anyone then we have a waiting list of approved families who will provide them with love, a sense of belonging and be part of their family.
Great social work and a hugely supportive community = winning combination. #Makingfamiliesnotorphans #Resettlement
A small organisation with a big ambition and a huge responsibility to do the right thing by the parents we support, the children we help and the community of donors and supporters who enable us to exist and continue our work.
We were fortunate to present this week at the Third Sector Digital Edge conference in London. Child’s i Foundation are often cited as being a “digital” or “social” charity.
From the very beginning we’ve seen technology and the tools that it brings, the most efficient and economical way to tell our story and to share it with our community. Here is our presentation on how we do what we do.
As well as being my personal nurse, mentor, agony aunt and counsellor, she is the lynchpin of Child’s i Foundation and a one-woman fundraising powerhouse. [Hazel Buck - AKA my mum, my rock]
I’m 36 years old and still call my Mum (@hazelbuck) when I’m feeling ill.
Today she dropped everything, jumped on a train, did my ironing and stocked up my fridge whilst I was tucked up in bed feeling sorry for myself.
Mums never retire, they are a ‘Mum’ for life. My Mum is remarkable and I’m eternally grateful for all the support she gave me when I was setting up @childsi. As well as being my personal nurse, mentor, agony aunt and counsellor, she is the lynchpin of Child’s i Foundation and a one-woman fundraising powerhouse. She has devoted the last 5 years to this charity and her tireless fundraising hasn’t gone unnoticed.
She has organized countless events - from dress sales to quiz nights, sports events to cake sales. She mucks in wherever is needed – from helping out with admin or volunteering her finance skills.
She’s been my rock who I could not have done this without. I’m going to blow her trumpet on her behalf now and tell you that she’s also one of our biggest fundraisers and generates around £8,000 a year with her team of Rotherfield fundraisers.
When I was researching Child’s i, I went to a project in Kampala for children with disabilities. It was a hard lesson in the realities of institutional care. I will never forget a 10 year old little boy who had fallen over and hurt his head. He was sobbing but had absolutely nobody to comfort him. He didn’t have a ‘rock’ like my Mum is to me. He didn’t have someone to scoop him in their arms and kiss his bumped head better. He was just another child, another mouth to feed, another motherless child. A cuddle and kiss come as second nature to Mums and their healing power is immeasurable. I will never forget him and that moment of realization that there is no substitute for a Mum.
This week we collected up a frail little boy - we’ll call him “R”. R is two years old and he is one of the worst cases of child neglect case we have seen. He had been locked in a room and starved of affection and food. The police found him on the brink of death and immediately called us. He is now in hospital with one of our carers by his side and we pray that he pulls through. Today is the 10th day he’s been in hospital and after his medical needs are taken care of, our first priority will be to find him a loving family to take care of him.
I am very, very lucky to have someone as special as Hazel Buck in my life. I couldn’t do this project without her and I want to thank her for helping me make this possible.
Our project is all about finding mums as special as mine and we’ve proved this is possible. Our sole aim is to find each abandoned child who comes into our care devoted Mums and Dads who will protect and nurture them, so they don’t reach the age of 10 and realize there is nobody there to kiss their bumped head better, so the little ones who are failed by their mothers are found another mum who will cherish them and when they are older, drop everything to be by their side when they are feeling ill.
So, to all you Mums out there and all of you who are lucky enough to have a Mum as your rock, Happy Mother’s Day and thank you.