Anne is 8 years old. Her mother passed on due to a heart condition and related complications when Anne was a few months old. Anne’s grandmother was unable to provide formula milk and other basic needs or care for Anne who was very young and underweight. Her grandmother opted to place her in a children’s home which had a unit for abandoned, orphaned and vulnerable babies. Anne stayed and called the place home for seven years but she was away from her two sisters and grandmother. Her eldest sister has joined secondary school and her other sister is currently in her last year of primary education.
Vision Africa through the vulnerable child support project, in partnership with the District Children’s Officer, the Area Chief, the care givers and Anne’s teacher at the children’s home started the journey to reunite Anne with her family to ensure that she is nurtured to attain her full growth and potential. This was a delicate process which took three years. The first years were not easy. Because of the long separation, Anne didn’t know her sisters and grandmother well. The people she was comfortable with were care givers at the children’s home.
The grandmother and sisters were supported to visit and frequently spent time with her at the children’s home; this was aimed at introducing the family members gradually and allowed her to bond with them. When a time came for Anne to visit the family members at home it was very difficult and Anne would cry a lot.
In time, Anne was finally able to bond with her sisters and grandmother and agreed to move from the children’s home to her family home. She was assisted to get her birth certificate and secured admission in a government school near her village. Vision Africa is continuing to support her education needs and ensure she has a better opportunity to achieve her potential. Vision Africa staff and the children’s home social worker make regular visits to monitor her general welfare and progress. Anne now comes to visit her friends in the children’s home during the school holidays and is able to play with them and go home with her loving grandmother very happy and calm.
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Post by Winfred Kavutha, Programmes Officer