Despite the very best intentions from the staffs at these organizations, the reality of the childrens’ lives is harsh and often potentially fatal. There is rarely enough nutritious food; the caregivers are overworked with little time to offer loving attention to the children. They work around the clock cooking on wood fires and carrying water long distances to clean dishes and clothing. Malnourished to begin with, their prognosis is not promising if they should become ill. The majority have never had clean water to drink.
Most of my activity has been involved with Rwese orphanage in Lukanga with about eighty children. I am constantly raising funds to send for food, clothing, and shoes. I’ve studied World Health Organization documents because my western nursing training is inadequate for the health problems of these children. Statistically, one in five will die before they reach five years old. I plan on throwing everything I’ve got in the way of that future for the children. WHO says that Vitamin A in the diet of malnourished children will increase their chances of survival by 50% if they come down with a bronchial infection that often turns into fatal pneumonia. Carrots, sweet potatoes and pineapple are high in Vitamin A…so I try and send extra funds to purchase pineapple which is a special treat for children who eat only beans and rice or beans and potatoes. A single pineapple serves four children a life-saving micronutrient and costs 39 cents!