All day long, we heard that the government was closing an orphanage in Kenscoff. We had heard this since February, but nothing had happened. They told Magaly that there were many babies, but it turned out that there were only 3 little ones. The other children range in age from 3 to 8. Three babies were put directly into the hospital due to rat bites.
There were 64 total children in the orphanage. Thirty-eight of them went to a large Catholic orphanage in Kenscoff. Twenty three came to us. The officials arrived first and asked to see our orphanage and a few minutes later, the children were brought. But they didn’t come until after 5 PM!
The police, IBESR, Parquet, local judges, the Mayor of Kenscoff, and government officials were involved in the closure. It took all day to get the children’s names and ages. Many of what IBESR told us are guesses. They say some children are 8 years old and they weigh 18 pounds and are the size of a 2 year old! This little guy being held by Dave Williams is supposedly 6 years old!
Name bracelets were put on each child, photos were taken with their names added to each photo, and our kitchen staff made a huge bowl of hot cereal for them and they at it all! Molly recorded weights for each child as they went out the door to be loaded up in the truck for the trip to the Toddler House. From the photos I have included, you can see that they got to play for a little time on the play equipment and then were bathed and readied for bed. They all are sleeping on mats on the floor!
Tomorrow, we will try to look at their teeth and try to guess their ages. We received absolutely no history on any of the children. It is very difficult not to have any information and I guess I should be thankful that we received their names!
Since we thought that they were bringing us babies, we prepared the nursery for the babies. When they showed up with all of these older children, Magaly told them that we could not take them, but there was nowhere else to put them for the night! IBESR is trying to locate the children’s families so that many can return home.
Several of the children are sick with fevers, coughs, diarrhea, malnutrition,swollen bellies, and one little boy has rat bites on his feet. The tiniest baby has fever, vomiting, diarrhea and is very skinny. We had to start an IV on him for the night.
We are trying to keep them separated from the children already here because we do not know what illnesses these children might have. The pediatrician was just here today visiting the children, but she has promised to come over her lunch hour tomorrow and examine the sickest children for us.
As you can imagine, with more children, we will have more expenses. These children are going to need extra food, medical peanut butter, vitamins, antibiotics, and high protein meals. Can you help GLA care for these extra children until their parents can be found or they are declared abandoned by IBESR? Please consider helping these children today!
Posted on Thu, May 31, 2012