On 21 November 2009, we were called to come to the hospital in Msambweni. What we found at the hospital was a malnourished 14-month old girl named Naomi. A mother, entirely desperate or confused, sat at the sick bed with her three little children: Neema around 3 years old, Naomi and a three month old baby.
The pitiable sight of Naomi has touched us immediately. She sat reduced to a skeleton and entirely apathetic next to her mother. Her feeble shrunken facial features have scared us and her big, deep-set eyes looked past us. She did not show any emotion. Her feet were badly swollen (oedema) and her skin showed clear signs of dehydration. Neema’s belly and face were quite distended and she was in an extremely neglected condition.
The small baby also showed first signs of malnutrition. After a long discussion with the mother, she agreed that we take Neema and Naomi with us to Nice View. However, she wanted to keep the baby, and the Youth Welfare Office has promised us to monitor the baby. Although I, Gudrun, know that this will be difficult since the mother lives with her children deep in the bush. But we could not just alienate the child from the mother.
Neema II (we call her Neema II, since we have a Neema already), lives now in the girl’s house in Nice View 2 and will go to kindergarten from Monday (23. Nov. 2009) on. Soon she will integrate in the community and make friends.
Naomi lives in the baby house in Nice View 1. Based on long-term experience we know that her condition will improve drastically thanks to vitamin-rich food within a few weeks.
Both children are HIV negative.
November 2010: Naomi has developed very well during the past year. In the beginning it always looked like she would be bad-tempered, but now she smiles and even laughs regularly. She is now as chubby as the other little ones and very affectionate.
April 2012: Naomi is one of our kindergarten baby class ‚foundation members'. The baby class was introduced last year. She loves to go to kindergarten, and she is always very disappointed in the weekends when she is told that there is no kindergarten. She even does not want to believe it, puts on her shoes, graps her backpack and walks there. Naomi ist very affectionate and speaks a lot. However, not really understandable. If this does not improve soon, she needs to see a speech therapist.
November 2013: Naomi is now together with Kea and Michelle in the playgroup (kindergarten). She speaks still somewhat incomprehensively, needs a lot of love and likes to sit down on someone’s lap. She even changes when her trousers got wet during rainy weather and someone disallows.
January 2016: Naomi is now in class 2 with Michelle and Kea and gets on well with the other children. She actively participates in school but is an average student. Sometimes it is not easy to understand her due to a minor solecism. Naomi is a lovely and jolly girl.
November 2019: Naomi attends class 5. She is a very nice, helpful, bright, affectionate and talkative girl who likes handcrafting and baking. Unfortunately, her grades are not very good because learning is hard for her.