Friday, April 27, 2007

Richena Francois

Yesterday another baby girl came here in need of help.
Her name is Richena Francois, 5 months old, born 11.11.07 - weighs 9 lbs - 22" long.
Her mother died shortly after giving birth - she was 40 years old. The baby's older sister, Philomene, is caring for her. She is around 28 yrs. old and has two other children - eight and two. They lived in the mountains but came down looking for help. They will now stay with their uncle, in Barbancourt. We started her on formula and gave her baby supplies from some Love Bundles - also bottles and a diaper bag. She is very small for her age and has only been fed flour water up until now. She is malnourished and will probably have long-term affects from the lack of nutrients early on. She is alert, though, and ate very well while they were here.
I've begun working on plans with Lifeline to start some other programs to raise funds specifically for formula for these sick babies who aren't old enough to be in our regular feeding program. I'm sick of not being able to help them - and worried that some are dying before they ever get old enough for us to help. So far the plans are coming together - we found that it costs too much to ship formula here based on the weight, so buying it in-country is the best option. I did find a contact now who can sell us formula by the case at a greatly reduced rate, so that is a blessing.
Family news - I'm back at home safe and sound with all four little ones. We had a nice dinner with Chris and Leslie and packed up the traveling circus to bring it back to La Digue. The kids are very happy to be back together. They're bouncing off the walls and giggling like, well, little kids.