From our Missionary Partners in Mwandi
Recently we had news from Ida who runs the HIV/AIDS programme among other things, about a little girl called Mwale. She is 4 years old and has cerebral palsy. Because of this she is still in nappies and has a very bad nappy rash. She is cared for by her grandmother along with seven other orphans – the parents of these children have all died from HIV/AIDS. This is a huge responsibility for the grandmother who lives in in a traditional pole and dagga house with no running water or electricity. For income she relies on the children that she has left to support her. She has planted a patch of maize but the harvest is poor this year.
The grandmother uses cut up cotton cloth for nappies but has not the time or energy to undertake the frequent nappy changes required (nor all the washing that entails); and Mwale is somewhat undernourished which does not help her nappy rash to heal.
Mwale now comes to the OVC (Orphan and Vulnerable Centre) Monday to Friday. Grandmother has to bring her along with some of the other children in her care, so it does not always happen. Ida thinks sometimes it is just too much for her pushing the pram through the sandy roads but she will not agree to have her picked up by other Carers at the Centre.
CAN WE HELP? Well, we have sent 20 one way fleece nappy liners to see if that will keep Mwale drier. And we are waiting to hear if there are other incontinent older children we could help. Mwale will probably need the one way liners for a long time – perhaps for life. It is extremely painful for her to sit up at present so its great to be able to help even in such a small way.
We take our disposable nappies, our washing machines and tumble driers, taps with water in them and constant power for heating and lighting very much for granted. Looking after 7 children, including one with cerbral palsy would be an effort for anyone, especially as we get older (like Mwale’s grandmother) – and trying to do it with no running water or electricity would probably defeat most of us.
So let’s be thankful for all we have and give a little to those who have so much less – and remember Keith and Ida and all their good work.
PS Ida tells us it may reach as low as zero soon (its almost winter time in Mwandi) so our socks are really very welcome – its not always hot in Africa!
Yes when the child (Mwale) is at OVC (Orphan and Vulnerable Centre) they are trying timed toileting. to sit is at present very painful. Grandmother who is caring for her has seven other orphans and I think the responsibility of this is just too much. Mwale has also been classed as malnourished which we are also addressing. She lives in our village This is the usual story of the HIV/Aids pandemic in Zambia. At present what they use for a nappy is cut up cotton cloth. (Chitengi material) I suspect she is not changed frequently the same with the feeding. This is why she is now coming everyday (Mon-Fri) to the OVC which is a Day Care Centre. We rely on Grandmother to bring her along with some of the others children in her care, so it does not always happen. I think sometimes it is just too much for her pushing the pram through the sandy roads but she will not agree to have her picked up by other Carers at the Centre.
There will be lots of cosy, comfy happy feet in the Mwandi Mission Retirement Home thanks to all the socks you donated – 7Kg or around 15lbs 7oz – and that’s a lot of socks!
So thanks to everyone and we’re back to monthly layette gifts now.
Would you like to donate something for a child aged from “premature baby” to age 2 years once in a while? You can give them to Barbara Anne Brown or any member of the Mission Team and leave them at the back of the Church any Sunday. That way we can clothe even more wee ones in Mwandi, ensuring their mothers come to the clinics and help Ida (our missionary partner and nurse at the Mission) deal better with the HIV/AIDS issues for mums, and their babies and toddlers.
Keith & Ida at the manse
Kirsty & Wendy presenting cheque to Keith & Ida
from Sunday School