Did you know that ten years ago this past Sunday Michael, retired and 69 years old, boarded a plane for Africa to start a baby home for abandoned, orphaned and at risk babies now called Neema Village? Isn’t God Amazing!”
March 30, 2022
Still going strong, Praise God!
In the baby rescue program two new babies came to Neema this month, Ivan and Fahima and two little ones, Jovin and Mohammed, were reunited with family. There are 55 babies in house today,
A young woman had knocked on a stranger’s door one night and said she and her baby had nowhere to spend the night. They gave her a room but around 3am they checked and discovered the mother had left and abandoned the baby. They kept him for five days and finally realized she was not coming back. Most of our babies are newborn so as an older baby little Ivan was very sad and missed his mother.
Sweet little Fahima’s mother died of the sickness and she has no one but a sixteen year old half sister who says she will take the baby when she finishes school. We have fallen in love with this bright eyed little angel and are praying God has a bright future for baby Fahima, pictured above.
Little preemie Mohammed was the baby Bekah took in at the gate during the Covid lockdown. Mo’s mother has recovered from her illness and was ready to take him home and baby Jovin’s dad and an aunt have decided they can keep him now. It’s a happy day for these two Neema babies.
The MAP program is marching on! This month we added our first rice business. The widow, Nasha Labahati, above, lost her daughter last year and was trying to feed and care for her six grandchildren. She came asking if we could help her get a field so she could grow corn to sell and feed the children. She didn’t know how old she was but we figured too old to be hoeing corn so we have set her up in a rice business through our MAP program. We will buy her a big burlap bag of rice, one per month for six months which she will break into small portions to sell. She can double her money and we will supplement her living expenses at $30 for six months until she can get her business established and have regular customers. A big burlap bag of rice cost about $150.USD.
You know Mother’s day is coming up, “A Bag of Rice for Grandma” would make a unique gift for your Mother’s Day! Contact me and I can send you a sweet picture of grandma.
Be sure and put simply “MAP Program” on the donation purpose line, or Sarah will get me! She might even send your check back since you cannot give a tax deductible gift in the U.S. to a specific woman!!
MAP moms Zainabu and Christina did not know how to read or write but through the literacy program in the Mothering center at Neema Village they do now! Zainabu, above, came up from the center to proudly show me her spelling workbook.
Christina, above, had run away from her Maasai village after her husband died and the village elders tried to force her to marry an old man. She wants to do a sewing business but she knew it would be hard to keep records without reading and writing. She is excited to know how to read now. We also have a Dress for Success room in the MAP center for girls like Christina who leave home with nothing but the clothes on their backs. After going through the program at Neema, Christina is ready to go!
Mama Noelle’s chicken and egg business is still going strong. She had enough eggs to make a gift to Paul and Jack Pape, the brothers who built her first chicken coup.
Teaching through videos and pictures, Kassie Stanfield’s “Save The Mothers” program is saving lives as the older women spend a week at Neema and learn how to safely deliver babies. I wish I had time to sit down and tell you all the stories that are coming out of that program.
They learn baby first aid along with how to handle things like retained placenta and the harm they are doing to young girls by performing the ritual of FGM (female circumcision)
On the “Save The Mothers” week at Neema it’s like a big slumber party for women 65 and older! We move out the sewing machines and move in the pallets and they all sleep in one room. Can you imagine the giggling and chattering that takes place in that room at night!!
Our staff got to take part in the big International Women’s Day held in Arusha this month. They had designed their dresses and hats and our sewing women made their beautiful clothes. Pretty Cool!
Michael and I have returned home for a few weeks but left some great volunteers including the Burkhalter family, John, Angela, Makenna, Aden, and Nicole and our Emily Moshi and a brother and sister from Italy, Nico and Viola Pattenati. Of course the Mighty Kim is Directing and holding down the fort! That is our little bundle of sunshine, Maria, in the middle. Missing you all like crazy!