Thursday, October 7, 2010

You have how many suitcases?

When I decided to go to Uganda I was overwhelmed with the generous donations from friends, family, companies and complete strangers. It was definitely not something I expected and I think it was because people identified with Child's i Foundation as a charity and knew that everything they would donate to me would get safely into the hands of the charity.

After 6 months of collecting and filling my flat with socks, clothes, toys, bibs and shoes, my suitcases were tightly packed and being carted to the airport. Thanks to Emirates I was lucky enough to have 60 kgs and using unreliable scales at home
I thought a few extra kilos might just get through. Which check-in person wouldn't allow it when they knew I would be going over to help babies? It might just happen that I mention it when checking in . . . surely can't hurt.

Too much?

Approaching the counter with a smile and warm greeting Phil (my flat mate) and I start loading the suitcases onto the scales. Smugly handed over the letter from Emirates when she reminds me that the limit of 30kgs per person. And the total weight is . . . 83kgs! The scales at home are definitely destined for the rubbish bin. Back to the chairs next to check-in where the over-packers are banished to. As Phil stuffs as much as possible into my hand luggage, we decide on the most important things to take. Socks, check. Bibs, check. 100 top country songs for kids, maybe not.

Arriving at Malaika, the next step was unpacking, sorting and working out where 1000 pairs of socks were going to go!

Geoffrey and Vicky help with unpacking

We had more than enough socks and knitwear for the babies home and the crisis centre and I wanted to make sure we could help out in other ways. After speaking to our social workers I discovered that the local hospitals are in desperate need of warm clothing. A lot of babies and children are abandoned at hospitals and we often receive calls from the hospital social workers when this occurs so any assistance we can give them is much appreciated. I loaded up the car and Mary, our social worker, and I set out to visit the local hospitals in the Kampala area.

Mary, ready to brave the Kampala traffic

One of the main hospitals has an average of 100 babies born there A DAY! Resources are limited and there are malnutrition wards where there are babies and young children who are suffering severe malnutrition for various reasons. All of the hospitals were so appreciative of the socks and clothing as their little babies need to be kept as warm as possible. Such little things over here make an enormous difference. This will definitely be something I will do again when I return to Kampala.

Richard, the social worker from Mengo Hospital.
From his big grin you can see how much
this means to him and the hospital

The best way to say thank you for the donations is to show some photos of our beautiful babies . Luckily the bubs are so photogenic!

One take wonder!
Only needed to take 1 photo!

Very happy to be in his Oobi socks

Always better to be matching!

New jumper and new tooth!

Hats are always a popular form of entertainment!

Mmm, am I doing something wrong?

The older boys LOVED reading

Bounce, bounce, bounce.
Thanks Kristen and Rhett!

We have a lot of premmie babies.
Early Birds clothing was perfect for these tiny ones

Cheeky Little Soles shoes, so cute!

Leather bibs from Cheeky Little Soles
Best invention ever!

And saves on washing!

Modelling the Elmo look

There are no other words but THANK YOU.

1 comment:

  1. Bec - I just found you through the Cheeky Little Soles' blog. I wanted to say that I am in awe! What you're doing is amazing!

    I look forward to reading more about your journey.