Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Who Doesn't Love A Hat

I was cleaning up the clothing donations in the back room with a little helper. He would patiently wait until I had folded each piece of clothing and then hand me another one, giggling each time. I came across a box of knitted hats and as soon as I placed one on his head, he was transformed! Hats became the fun thing to play with and provided hours of entertainment. It also helped that he is a little poser and would plonk himself in front of the camera whenever he had a new accessory!

The French look, oui oui

Could easily be a catalogue model!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Babies, Babies, Babies!

I knew the babies would be cute but I think we may have the cutest babies and they are all at Malaika! Even the tiny ones, they each have their own personality that shines through and they are the most happy and content children. Working in the office for most of the day I would need to see the bubs a few times a day and it would always reinforce why I was there.

The bedroom for the tiny bubs

Nap time for babies is quiet time for the carers!

A cheeky smile, a dance to Disney music, putting them to bed, reading a book, nothing will replace those moments. They all have a way of making you forget everything that is wrong with the world and make you think what you can do to make things right. They have already been through so much in their young lives, things that are unimaginable and it makes the things you worry about at home seem quite frivolous.

Two of the older boys having a great time with their new car (it's also one of their favourite words!):

The babies at Malaika will always be the inspiration behind everything I do for Child's i, if you're ever in Kampala make sure you stop by to see the amazing work being done to prevent baby abandonment in Uganda.

Below are some of my favourite photos from my time at Malaika (credit to Barbara Graham for some of the beautiful shots):

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


My blogs tend to be light-hearted and I like to think humourous! But there is a serious side to what we are doing here and every day life is a struggle for a lot of Ugandans.

My colleague has an amazing blog ( and I wanted to share some of her recent blog:

One's sense of achievement / contentment in life is almost always dependent upon who we are comparing ourselves to. In London, or NY or anywhere else I can think of, there will always be people significantly richer, handsomer, cleverer or [...insert appropriate adjective worthy of jealousy here...] in close proximity. Most cities are segregated such that the people that empty the dustbins, provide the postal service, hawk the Evening Standard, are rarely living in areas where they would rub shoulders with the doctors and politicians and lawyers.

Here, I have to spend hours of my time engaged in mindless time-consuming tasks just to get around, but I don't have to fetch water every day and I don't have to sleep on a concrete floor. I know that I will have enough food to eat in the evenings, that my house won't be flooded every time it rains and that if my one item of clothing isn't dry, I will have something else to wear. I therefore spend every day feeling lucky, because I am so much better off than the people in my proximity. And while I can't help or befriend all of them, Child's i Foundation significantly makes a positive impact in so many ways. It's nice to be a part of that.

What Should We Do Today?

The babies at Malaika are very busy! Each day is filled with fun and activities to entertain and teach the little ones. Below are some of the most popular past-times!

Of course, the first one has to be milk! It's nice and quiet when they all have their bottles and are slowly drifting off to sleep.

The dinner line-up

A great little helper

Adorable little faces

Bounce, bounce, bounce!! The Jolly Jumpers get a workout as the babies get airborne, a great way to get the legs going for the babies who are just about to walk.

Just hanging!

Look at those faces, very proud of themselves!

The kids love their arts and craft but it can get very messy!

Two best friends colouring in together

Mmm, not quite sure about the finger painting!

Clearly impressed by the play doh

Making play doh jewelery

Being little boys, sport is always great fun. Whether it's football, dancing or swimming, they love it all.

One, two, three . . . catch!

Are you sure I have the right size?

First time in a big pool, loving it!

Which child doesn't love bubbles? The first time the bubbles came out, all we heard all day was little voices continually saying baubles or babbles!

Thanks to generous supporters and volunteers, the children have lots of toys to play with. As always, the most popular ones get used a lot more!

Oh no, what do you mean there are no more bubbles?

As Child's i updates its supporters regularly, this means that the camera comes out quite often in the babies home. And the kids love nothing more than looking at the photos of themselves, giggling hysterically at each photo, recognising the ones of themselves and flicking past the ones of other kids!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dave And His Win!

Following on from the Royal Ascot Goat Race I failed to mention that one of our group had a win! Below is a photo documentation of the win from start to finish, including a small goat controversy just before the race.

Dave hears the news that his goat (No. 7) has been scratched
as it won't walk to the starting line

A replacement is brought in at the last minute. He
was allowed a practice run around the track by himself

The race begins and on the second lap, number 7 is out in front

The celebration begins as number 7 crosses
the finishing line in first place!

Dave collects his winnings of 35,000 shillings ($18).
Not a bad day at the track. Congrats Dave!

The Race That Stops A Nation

As the gorilla states welcome to Royal Ascot Goat Races! Not sure what connection the gorilla has to a goat race but perhaps all of the inflatable goats were already hired for the weekend.

Upon hearing about the yearly event we knew there was no way we would miss this important day in the goat calender. The day dawned bright and sunny, perfect conditions for the important preparations the goats go through before their big race. According to the MC on the day, the goats train at high altitude. Uganda can be a strange place so wouldn't put this past them!

Jen and I complete with fascinators

Classy girls - with beer

A reject from the Fashions On The Field competition

We really didn't know what to expect but the set-up was quite impressive. The first race is called and bets are frantically being placed. The marshalling area is full with 10 goats, each having their handler and the owners waiting anxiously trackside. On your marks . . . get set . . . GO! And no goat moves. Kind of a problem, being a race and all.

The track, small but goats only have little legs

How do you know if goats are nervous?

This has obviously happened in previous years so there is a back-up plan. And they're off, running as fast as their little legs can carry them. Occasionally they decide to stop, having a nibble of the grass on the track, looking around with slightly confused expressions. Don't blame them really, I also wondered why we were all yelling at a bunch of goats who clearly would prefer to be going through the rubbish bins.

And the race finally begins

The secret weapon. A mattress on wheels of course!

As the mattress on wheels forces the goats around the track, it seems the name of the day should be Goat Push as opposed to Goat Race. They really have no option but to walk and they build up to a run as the guy pushing the mattress decides to have a little jog. This tends to happen in the final straight, clearly to build excitement in the crowd.

Complete with a fashion competition and fireworks, my first official goat race was not disappointing. Will have to keep an eye out for other animal races. Pig races anyone?