Abandoned infants have become an all too common feature of bush life and those found alive are brought to us regularly for sustenance and care. In these Outreach Clinics, we not only treat the sick, but our staff are on hand to advise and counsel those young girls who need it most. Giving support and instruction for the benefit of the threatened infant’s health and wellbeing. If that fails we will rescue the child from a possible fate of being cast into a pit latrine of left to die in some remote area of the surrounding bush.
Our Child rescue aspect of the work differs from Infant Rescue in that these children are orphaned or abused within a family context. Many are the occasions when we receive whole families of such. On one occasion we rescued a family of nine when the drunken father murdered the young mother in their presence. The youngest, an infant, lay on the mothers breast all night until she expired, the older children fled the home for safety among neighbours and friends.
The orphanage opened in 2006 when Alan and his wife Irene discovered a family of three children living alone and destitute. FAME had previously sponsored orphanages in other parts of Kenya, but this was help needed at our own doorstep. We now feed, clothe and provide a home for up to 200 children, ranging from 4 to 18 years of age. Many of our children are “AIDS orphans” and we accommodate their specific dietary and medical needs. We provide food, clothing, sports, education and vocational training, but above all spiritual care. One of the children from that first family rescued recently graduated from Kenyatta University in Nairobi and is now employed at the orphanage as our social worker.
The Cole Baby Unit
The Cole Baby Unit (CBU) grew out of a request from a government official to temporarily shelter and care for abandoned infants until adoptive parents could be found. A suitable building was adapted on the compound with a nursery and kitchen facilities and named after the late Mrs. Maggie Cole, an early benefactor of FAME. Currently, we have twelve infants in the CBU where our staff work in shifts to provide 24/7 care.
Soon after the first clinic was constructed and FAME began to establish itself in the community, Irene Dunlop recognized a need for vocational skills among the young girls who were educationally disadvantaged. It was then that she started a sewing class and hired a local woman, Agnes, to help teach dressmaking according to African methods. Since then, we have added woodworking classes for the boys and sponsor hairdressing, masonry, welding, electrics and mechanics classes in a nearby town, for those with varied interests and abilities. Many who have attended these classes now own their own small businesses and are able to provide for their families.