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Saturday, December 14, 2019

For the love of God and humanity – something has to change


Last Saturday afternoon I received a call from a social worker who was clearly distraught. She was in a police car with two babies who she had just found locked up in a very broken down room made of mud and sticks, but missing most of the mud and sticks. It was a very cold and rainy day and a neighbor reported the case to the police after no longer being able to live with the screams of terror coming from the two children.


I was told that the father AND mother would lock the two children (17-months-old and 3.5-years-old) in that room EVERY DAY while they went off to work for 10 to 12 hours at a time.  The children were half naked, and the small boy didn’t even have a sweater.  But the worst of it to me, was the shovel left in the middle of the floor with the pap (cooked maize flour) on it for them to eat during the day, like dogs.  Who does that? Where has the humanity gone? 


The parents were in police custody and they social worker was desperate for a place for the children to go before the sun went down. Unfortunately, we don’t accept children over the age of 24-months, so I suggested they go to the halfway house (which is full to overflowing) or a hospital (the social worker would have had to go and stay at the hospital with them) or to another home (no other homes accept children late on a Saturday night).  This social worker pleaded with me for temporary placement for the kids so that at least they would be safe and warm and clean and have food in their bellies. 
A photo from inside the house looking out through the walls.

I said yes.  How could I not?

When the police van arrived late in the day, I reached in to receive the 17-month-old boy who was the size of a 6-month-old. The 3.5-year-old boy jumped out of the van and wrapped his arms around my legs and gave me a big hug, then looked up at me and smiled.  That child should have been freaking out with fear and trepidation!  He was just removed from his house, his parents taken away, he rode with strangers for a hour and then was met by a middle-aged white lady.  But instead, I think he was just happy to see someone who looked friendly and who was loving his little brother.  

The malformed and rotting teeth of the 3.5-year old
I never get used to this type of unnatural response from a child who has had so much abuse and abandonment, so young.

We now have a small clinic at the Children’s Campus and it has two isolation rooms, which have been a HUGE gift to us all, and it’s been used since the day it was finished back in August.  We thank the Lord and all the people who gave money to make this clinic possible.  Because of YOU were able to bring these two children in for the weekend while another alternative care facility was found.  The children made the front page of the national newspaper and there was a public outcry against the parents, but we hear stories of children being locked in houses all day ALL THE TIME.  This is not new.   

Just two weeks ago we received a set of twin boys who are 15-months-old and also the size of 6-month-olds. The smaller boy weighed 12 pounds and the other twin 13 pounds.  They came from the exact same situation, locked in a mud room day after day, week after week.  The photo below shows a twin on both sides of our boy Cornelius, who is roughly the same age.  Cornelius came to us as a preemie, under three pounds in weight, but has responded well to food and love and he is DOUBLE their size.


For the love of God and humanity – something has to change in Eswatini.

I’m asking you to join us in rescuing more children in need in 2020 by making a Year End gift today.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ US Donors: http://bit.ly/2019YEGIVINGUS
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ CA Donors:  http://www.heartforafrica.ca/2019-year-end-giving/

Live from Eswatini … something’s got to give.

Janine

P.S. On Tuesday the children were placed at another home who does accept older children, and we know that they will be well cared for there. The parents bail was set at $412 US.

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