Here is a report by Inge, our very dedicated club member in Benin
Visit at the Center for Nutrition de Ouassa-Tokpa on Saturday, 9 January 2010
For Dieudonné and his mom, it is a day of joy. She can pick up her son healthy and round from the Center. They take good advices and a small supply of food with them. The young woman from the remote village could not even breast-feed her baby, had no milk, and to find and buy milk powder and the bottle and all the hygienic handling, all that exceed their capabilities by far. Luckily, this baby could be taken by the Center on time and saved before it would become, like many others, a victim of the in the villages of Benin still widespread poverty.
The Center became used to report about its work in a simple and effective way. The children are photographed when they arrive and when they leave. A considerable number of albums is proudly spread out in front of us visitors of the Center.
Her mother is deaf-and-dumb, her father, a simple peasant, is also hampered. Und das bedeutet, dass die Familie sehr arm ist. And that means that the family is very poor.
In such cases, it is important that the ladies of the Center have the possibility to see Bella and the other children they have rescued from starvation from time to time and who have returned to their families.They need to get to remote villages with no road access to ensure that their work wasn't in vain, that their advice to feed the children is taken by the mothers, and the children are developing well. This way , more babies who have not found their way into the center can be identified in time. The ladies of the Center need a scooter, the sooner the better, because soon the rain-season begins again, and many villages in the vicinity of Lake Ahiémé will be very difficult to access for months.
Across the yard one can hear crying babies. The twins Odette and Odile are washed by one of the helpers. We have just seen their photo, which was made upon their arrival and have heard their story. Her mother died at their birth, their grandmother took them over. Then shortly afterwards, the father of the twins and another daughter of the grandmother died.The grandmother is completely overwhelmed emotionally and financially to care any longer about their grandchildren.
The ladies of the Center are wondering how to proceed with the two girls now. Since there are not enough existing social services in Benin, they are overwhelmed. They will try to get in touch with an SOS Children's Village. All this will cost a lot of time and energy.
Firmine, one of the leaders of the Center, draws our attention to the picture of misery on the lap of another helper. It's a boy, who was yesterday brought into the Center. He should be about 1 year old, but already looks like his own grandfather, wrinkled skin, emaciated, his right knee is swollen. Apparently the mother of the child left him behind in the village, and one of the little girls, who carried him, had let the boy fall down accidentally. On Monday Firmine wants to go with him to a doctor in Come, on weekends, there is no medical care. She hopes to be able to get the child healthy again, but nobody knows what long term damage has already been done.
Here, too, she points out, that with the possibility of visiting the surrounding villages, it would be easier to detect such dramatic cases, and perhaps to help or to prevent in time. She convinced us, that a scooter is required.
We admire the commitment of the nurses, their tireless efforts. And we now know, a look at the photo albums
encourages them to continue and compensates for all the effort. They can be proud of themselves.
-translation is based on google tranlation -