One day, for our outreach program, we went to Kasensero. After a long trip we reached out destination. On our return it quickly turned out that we did not have to travel so far to help people in need. Just outside the gates of the orphanage there was a little guy that desperately needed our help. He lived with his father and stepmother, lived, but not taken care of. When they left they locked him up in the house, and when they returned the only thing he received was a beating. When the police got wind of this situation; they requested the parent to come to the station the next day with their child. Why the next day will always be a mystery for me! The parents meanwhile understood that they had done wrong packed their bags and left without a trace, without Julius. Two years old, abused, neglected and abandoned. Because of his serious undernourishment he was put into the nourishment program at the undernourishment clinic, every two hours a little bit of milk. Children that are admitted there are normally admitted with their parent/family member. He did not have anybody except us, his new family. Pita was exhausted and the clinic had a shortage of staff, so I was allowed to take the responsibility of taking care of him. An honor and a challenge! During the day internship in Mugano, and in the evenings my own child. For the last three weeks I have been traveling between the hospital and the orphanage to pick-up “my” child from the clinic and take him home with me. It gives me a lot of joy. With feeding every two hours the nights become very short, but very cozy. Because pictures say more than words, this was small Julius when he arrived. Undernourished, all swollen from the moisture he retained.
His legs looked like balloons, so swollen. After a couple of days however it became apparent how skinny he was, two years old and only 7 kilograms. A weight that is normal for a 6 month old child.
A couple of days after his arrival.
His first smile
Now he is doing great. He is growing well and enjoys the enormous attention he is receiving. Although playing at the orphanage for him is a bit uneasy with, so many children and having to share everything, also the laps of the aunties. This week he is all mine, but since it is going so well, he will be allowed to go to the orphanage soon. I am still not sure for who it will be more difficult, for him or for me? As Pita put it, the triplets have gained a bother.
Julius with his best girlfriends.
All in all a very intense period, and I am happy that it is going so well with him. A few days after he came to us, a girl in the same situation was admitted to the clinic, who did not survive. Even with all the stress the situation creates it was a good time. The children find it fantastic that I come home every day instead of only the weekends. Now we have quality time every morning between 6 and 6 thirty at the entrance chatting, even playing with Julius and waving goodbye. Yes this is exactly the reason why I am here, to take care of the children and at the same time to be able to work as a (prospective) doctor in Africa. Although it is sad that it is necessary, I am glad that I was here and was allowed to do this