Monthly Archives: August 2018

Four New Babies This Week

August 3, 2018

“Four New Babies This Week”

All our Neema babies have a story or we would not have them.  These four new ones who came to Neema this week have a story as well and it breaks my heart.  Bryan, sleeping peacefully now at Neema Village was left on the side of the road, the placenta and cord were still attached. I cannot imagine the heartache this mother must have gone through before she put her baby down.  We do tell our nannies this does not just happen in Africa, it happens in school bathrooms and dumpsters in America too.  It is not an African problem, it is a heart problem.  Many of these women are poor and desperate and feel they have no options.  Thankfully our Neema Village MAP program is giving many women options today.
This sweet little 2 month old pictured above, lost his mom last night.  Sylvia Pape, Angel, our Social Worker, and Mama Musa, our Director, drove out about an hour and half late yesterday afternoon to pick up baby Johanna.  The house was already filled with mourners while the mother lay in the back room.   This Maasai village was high up in the mountains with no clinics or hospitals and so hard to get to they probably had been unable to get her to the hospital in town.  We will be trying to find a family member to keep him.
Newborn, Joshua above, is abandoned as well.  His mother is a drug addict and abandoned him but then she was found and put into a drug help program.  She ran away again and has not been found again.  We are not sure what is the matter with his eyes but we think he has a problem.  They are swollen and he will not open them.
Sweet baby girl Hosiana, lost her mother too.  I love her name.  It reminds me of “Hosana in the Highest” and how often we praise God for allowing us to do this work of saving babies in Africa.  
I was able to cuddle little Hosiana for about an hour yesterday afternoon.  She is precious and melts in under your chin.  When I hold these new little ones like this I am always crying inside for what they have lost.
   “Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.  It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do everything changes.”                                               David Platt
If you knew your mom and had a good mom, Thank God for her for me would you!  I never really knew mine.
Love,
Dorris Fortson

An Internet Cafe and Fresh Juice Bar

August 1, 2018

An Internet Café and Fresh Juice Bar

This is just the coolest thing!  One of our MAP moms has started her business, Upendo’s Internet Cafe and Fresh Juice Bar.  
Upendo’s husband left her owing back rent, little food and a two year old handicap child. She was destitute when she came to talk with Mariya, our MAP director.  
After talking with Mariya about what she could do to help herself and her baby, Upendo thought she could start a food business making mandazi (like a donut).  We began to look for a small shop and found a great spot on a busy corner.  But when we interviewed the neighbors they said we have a food business here, what we really need is an internet service. 
Upendo had never used a computer so we hired a couple of university students to teach her for a month.
We bought a small fridge to keep the fruit fresh, a blender, some glasses and Mariya, Jennifer, Ashley and Emily had fun experimenting on juice combinations. Upendo always works with her little boy on her back.
Mariya had brought some laptops from Germany so she put two in the shop for Upendo.  We bought a printer, some paper and ink cartridges and Wallah! an internet service is born!
We love taking volunteers down to the shop to get a fresh juice, my favorite is orange, pineapple, mango. Yummy! 
Now really, how cool is that!  An Internet Cafe and Fresh Juice Bar comes to Arusha!  Turning hopelessness into Hope.  Love it!
You can help us keep this MAP program going by sponsoring a business.  Please remember the IRS won’t let you deduct it for taxes if you put a specific person on your donation.  Just put MAP program on your donation, we will see that it goes to the right place.  I promise.
Love you,
Dorris

Gloria Leaves Neema

 

July 16, 2018

Gloria Leaves Neema

It’s been another one of those days when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  So you do both!  
Five years ago we got a call about a little girl who was found living in a shed where they had kept chickens and goats behind the house.
She had been abandoned with her grandmother who is an AIDS patient.  The grandmother had to work in the fields and was leaving the baby in the shed while a neighbor was supposed to come in to feed the baby.  She wasn’t and the baby was emaciated and starving.  
Her name was Gloria. 
Gloria has been our big girl at Neema for a long time.  We thought she would be with us until college age. But lives change and grandmother has been taking her meds, is healthy now and in a better place emotionally and physically.  She showed us the shed behind her house and I think was truly sorry about what she had done.  
Her son has now built her a shop on a good road and we have put grandmother into our MAP program and helped her with the capital to start a shop selling flour, potatoes, oil, tea, etc. 
Our big girls all came to tell Gloria bye as she left Neema. 
Gloria makes 36 Neema children we have been able to return home!  We are excited about that.  We have had 183 babies helped through Neema, there are 54 currently in house, we have had 36 adoptions and 57 in our outreach program.  Yes, you can be sure we will be going out to check on our girl!
It’s what we do but it doesn’t make it any easier.
Watch Gloria singing “Jesus Loves me this I know” for a great lift to your day!!

Thanks Hannah Huddleston Key with “The Freckled Key” for a great photo at the top!

May you always have a warm home to come home to,
Dorris
 

To The Top

July 15, 2018

To The Top

The Big News is that all our Mt. Kilimanjaro climbers made it to the top of the tallest mountain in Africa!
Our second charity climb was a great success as Dr. David Vineyard, leader of the group, took Mariya Halapi, Emily Broadbent, Hayden Liebl, Tina McCormack and Dr. Jeff McCormack up to the roof of Africa to raise money for the Neema babies.  You can still give on their behalf, just go to www.neemavillage.org and on the purpose line put “In honor of the Awesome Kili climbers.”
We have had lots of great volunteers this month.
Above, the Aggies for Christ from A & M University along with Elaine Carter, a retired school teacher and Jeff McCormack from Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond walked down to the village to support a couple of our MAP moms by buying Saturday morning breakfast from their little food shops. 
Below is the Mark and Kelle Samsill group of young people with Neema babies.  
Our policy has been that Neema Village only takes in babies two and under.  There are lots of orphanages that will take older children but Neema is the only home in the city limits of Arusha that takes only babies.  But what could we do when Social Welfare called one evening and said, “The Police have just picked up a little twelve year old girl in a wheel chair begging on the street and we have no where to put her for the night. Can you take her?”   
That was almost two months ago and Social Welfare still has no place to put her. Little Miss Personality Plus, Sophia, has scooted her way into our hearts and after meeting with Social Welfare this week, we think we will keep her.  We have come up with a plan.  It took three days in doctors offices to certify her handicap so we could get her into school.  She had never been to school, cannot read or write so last Monday she started to school in the first grade. 

We got a call Friday that a new mom had died and there was no one to care for the baby so three of our volunteers along with a Social worker took off in the red Prado to go up into Maasai country below Mt. Meru to pick up the baby. The red Prado had other plans and decided to break down with three or four miles left to go, so Emanuel walked back to find help.  The girls decided to walk in and pick up the baby. Gulp!
They took off over fields and through the banana groves trying to find the right house to pick up baby Lightnes whose mom had died. Emily Moe below telling baby Lightnes its going to be ok baby girl.
I love the “Mama Bear protecting the baby bear” picture of Lindsey Vineyard on their way out with the baby. 
The next day we got a call about another baby needing help so we picked up baby Ivan. The mother had abandoned the baby and the father was not able to care for the baby.  Ivan is beautifully sweet and precious.
Custom here will not allow a man to have a live in woman in the house so for now there seems to be no solution other than keep the baby at Neema until a family member can step up.  Ivan is a smiley baby and doesn’t cry a lot.  They said he was about three months old but Bekah thinks more like six months old.
Below is a cute picture of new baby Lightnes.  
These three new ones, Sophia, Lightnes and Ivan at Neema Village need sponsors.  We have 55 babies along with our big kids living at Neema today and many of them do not have a sponsor.  It costs us over $300 per month to keep a baby but you can begin with $30 a month.  That pays for nanny care, food, formula, petrol, and utilities.  It doesn’t pay for buildings or the MAP program.  Only Tanzanians are paid a monthly salary at Neema Village.
Please go to www.neemavillage.org  to set up a monthly sponsorship with your credit card or through you bank.  It’s easy to set up and we really need your help.  Bless You!
Dorris Fortson