Thursday, October 4, 2012

Malnutrition in Muranga.

A week at a struggling orphanage has led me to this:
Never regret growing older - It is a privilege denied to many.

This book contains the hundreds of stories of how the orphans came to be orphans over the past years.  It contains more shocking discoveries than an entire season of CNN.

These are just a few of the common cases:
Being born negative to becoming HIV+ before they turned 5.
Turned away to the streets by family who would not take in the + child after their mother perished.
Getting kicked out of school, household, and community after being raped and infected with HIV
Removed from their one bedroom home with their father (since they are likely to be turned against)

This is just a few of the ongoing cases that are found here.  These written horror stories do not include the hundreds of orphans who are turned away from other orphanages because of their HIV status, and turned away from this orphanage (without being too cliche') because there is no room.

These are just a few of the orphans housed in Muranga.  All of their parents have either perished or deserted them.  Half of the children are HIV+ and with the average life expectancy being a low 48, these children are already through the early portion of their life.   

Most of the pictures are to be used in an advocacy campaign we are planning for the HIV+ orphans.  Once I find time & reliable internet I will be sharing the finished product.

This is Sophie a swedish intern, and contrary to what this picture may show - She is not a giant, quite slim actually. In fact Martha the sweet six year old girl she is holding is so small and fragile everyone looks 10X bigger next to her.

By the end of our week at the orphanage the children were growing on our scheduled 'activity time' and are almost able to complete the tasks on their own.  This comes a huge relief for us - in the hopes that these stimulating activities will continue once we are gone.

It's hard to imagine that the orphans survive all morning at school (six hours) without any food. Even lunch leaves much to be desired with it's bean and maize stew (beans and corn) that they inhale using their fingers as utensils.

Martha is always the first to pose for the camera, and will entertain you for hours with her silly faces and theatric performances.

On every walk to and from work we are bombarded with children of all ages chasing after us yelling 'Mozingo! Mozingo!'
This was a rare opportunity we had to take the walk in silence on a late day home.  We followed these kids for a few miles as they modestly trucked down the road helping each other up the hills.

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