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: Since one year Neema goes to kindergarten. She is loud and wild and sometimes untamable. But we trust that which love and attention this will change soon.
April 2012: Neema attends meanwhile the Reception Class. She is a good performer and always take part with heart and soul. She is obviously calmer compared to the past and enjoys dancing.
October 2013: Neema belongs to our first-formers and has developed well lately. She is still somewhat lively, but became calmer and less hyperactive. She has settled in well in the children’s home and the school and the other children report that she behaves towards the teacher in a very respectful way.
November 2019: Currently, Neema attends class 7 and her achievements are rather average. An outgoing girl – although sometimes a bit too dominant – and very sporty, she was elected captain of the football team. She is also a member of the Ukunda football team together with Leah.