Our new Play Centre in
Sapale Village grew from a
“milk drop” - our helpers
biking goats’ milk to a
group of acutely vulnerable
children. Recognising the
immense value of the milk,
the Village Chief and the
community asked us to
develop a Play Centre there, so our enthusiastic volunteers constructed a grass building to house the activities. Currently, three times a week 12 acutely vulnerable babies and young children receive goats milk and phala - a porridge fortified with soya, peanut flour and dried milk. Doesn’t sound much, but it might be the only meal that child receives that day. We anticipate increasing this to a daily gathering as funds and volunteers permit
All our goats are healthy and developing well, but the milk yield has dropped severely. The torrential rains during the winter meant fresh food was scarce and the management stretched. But we learnt a lot, and are still looking to improve our bloodlines with a strict Breeding Plan. In September we’ve arranged for a male saanen stud goat - probably the only one for hundreds of miles - to stay with us to mate our females. The offspring and milk resulting from these matings could improve nutrition for many hundreds in this area in due course.
In our Chiringa Play Centre, this might be the only meal this little one will have today...
Our Play Centres are the gathering of assessed acutely vulnerable babies and toddlers with their guardians. Most are HIV/AIDS affected, some are orphans, others unable to be breast fed for a variety of reasons. Here they are bathed, receive goats’ milk, fortified porridge, given loving attention and helped to play, learn and socialise. We also give support to the guardians, often a frail elderly grandmother who has lost her own children to AIDS and now struggles to care for her grandchildren in grim poverty.
On the day another young child died of malaria outside our offices, Eunice’s desperate mother brought her to us for help. Little Eunice, one of our Play Centre children, was dehydrated, weak, and having trouble breathing. We rushed her through the night to hospital, where she was immediately put on a drip in paed. intensive care. Unfortunately we lost her, so OHP had another coffin to buy and another funeral to attend Life is painful in the remote areas.
Right: Jenny visited us from the UK and held training sessions for our leaders in play techniques
Left: Lynda and Play Centre Manager Ellen (right), welcome the newest set of tiny twins to Sapale Play Centre.
Between them our two Play Centres have five sets of vulnerable twins!
This is page 2 Summer trip 2008