While new cases being reported daily have dropped from their terrifying peak in May, this crisis continues to have significant impacts on much of the country’s most vulnerable populations. Read More»
our response to covid-19 in india
Written by: Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Madelyn Anderson
Over the past months, we have continually reached out to the larger Saving Moses community made up of generous friends like you to raise additional funds to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis in India. While new cases being reported daily have dropped from their terrifying peak in May, this crisis continues to have significant impacts on much of the country’s most vulnerable populations.
Your support has been vital in addressing the needs of the babies and toddlers we work with, whose parents already struggled to provide them with the care they needed before a pandemic, let alone the second wave of infections, lockdowns, and deaths.
With your help, Saving Moses has been overjoyed to be able to provide two lifesaving infant breathing machines, set up a local ICU, establish a clinic for pregnant mothers and their babies, distribute care boxes to over 50 babies and toddlers, and see 30 infants born during the pandemic needing medical attention. We eagerly anticipate receiving 30 more little ones from surrounding areas in just the next couple of weeks! Additionally, we have workers traveling to more rural area villages to inform parents of babies and toddlers in the broader community that help IS available for their little ones!
The medical center mentioned above is CRITICAL to the health and lives of the babies we work with. For the people living in this community, it is their only option to receive essential medical care, as the local major hospital in the area is overflowing with COVID-19 patients. You may have seen reports that hospitals are so overwhelmed, patients have been dying in the streets waiting for a bed, with family members taking to social media to beg for relief for their loved ones or waiting in line for days in hopes of getting maybe just one small tank of oxygen, only to be told that yet again there is none to be had. We are saddened to confirm that these accounts are true.
To put the essential support you have helped us to provide into perspective, one of our team members on the ground shared the following about the impact just the clinic has had:
“The mothers are very happy for our medical center as before they had to travel [very far] to go to the hospital for any medical needs. Even in some extreme cases, babies die on the way, as local transport is very poor, and it is very hard to get any local transport vehicle.”
You have helped SAVE LIVES! Not only do these mothers have hope for their babies, but now their babies can have hope for a future and a life beyond the deadly pandemic surging through their vulnerable community.
We need your support to carry on – we must continue to meet the needs of babies where help is most needed and least available. Although some metrics continue to improve across the country, we know this fight isn’t over yet.
Just last week, the BBC reported that the COVID-19 death toll in India had surpassed 400,000 lives, second only to the U.S. and Brazil. With less than 5% of the country’s population vaccinated since the initiative began in January, experts warn of an impending third wave. This crisis is acute and ongoing, even as we return to large celebrations and various mask-free social gatherings here at home.
With the daily new case counts continuing to hover around 40,000 cases per day, widespread lockdowns continue, leaving many who were already on the edge of poverty with no work or income to provide for their families or themselves.
These babies still desperately need our help! Will you join with Saving Moses to continue caring for these little ones?
From Bad to Worse
Written by Director of Operations, Heidi Cortez
Before the novel Coronavirus ravaged our world, Angola was already extremely food insecure. That means that most of the population lacks access to affordable, nutritional foods. A combination of drought, poor infrastructure, and vast inequality causes this food insecurity. Inequality is readily seen after visiting the prestigious coastlines that are lined with luxurious yachts and then visiting a malnutrition clinic where two babies share a bed, each fighting for its life. It is a country where 93,821 children under five died in 2019 of mostly preventable causes. That was before the pandemic.
Then, the country went into lockdown in March after the capital, Luanda, had two cases of the virus. These lockdowns, although effective at easing the spread of the virus, exploited the inequalities between the wealthy and the poor. While there are those in Angola who can comfortably quarantine, many in Benguela (where Saving Moses works) are food insecure. They depend on services like our clinics to provide for their vulnerable babies and toddlers. These babies and toddlers are susceptible to Severe Acute Malnutrition. This disease wreaks havoc on little bodies with symptoms of edema (fluid retention marked by protruding tummies and limbs), unconsciousness, lethargy, and low weight for height. Essentially, it is starvation. Left untreated, it is fatal.
Anyone who has witnessed a young child suffering from severe acute malnutrition will see the agony of watching a little life fight to survive. It is one of the hardest things to witness.
Saving Moses provides therapeutic milk to combat Severe Acute Malnutrition. Mothers travel to our clinics (sometimes spanning long distances) to receive this vital milk. Saving Moses has provided this service since 2012 and has saved thousands of babies and toddlers.
When the lockdown hit, Angolans were not permitted to leave their residences. Clinics were mandated to discharge current babies and toddlers early. Amidst the backdrop of the pandemic, babies and toddlers suffered at home from Severe Acute Malnutrition with no remedies, unable to seek proper healthcare. Our staff on the ground sought government approval to travel and provide necessary milk during the lockdown.
As the country began to open in May, our clinics saw a spike in clinic admissions. Fortunately, our team secured two therapeutic milk shipments to ensure each admitted baby had enough formula to survive.
We are encouraged that babies and toddlers now have access to the clinics; however, there is potential for a second wave of Coronavirus. That could force another lockdown. To combat this risk, we provide additional rations to babies and toddlers to prepare them if this happens. We continue to watch our on the ground situations to ensure that each baby and toddler has a future.
Learn more about our Malnutrition program HERE.
From Bad to Worse Written by Director of Operations, Heidi Cortez Before the novel Coronavirus ravaged our world, Angola was already extremely food insecure. That means that most of the population lacks access to affordable, nutritional foods. A combination of drought, poor infrastructure, and vast inequality causes this food ... Read More»
Work with Children, End Poverty
Written by Regional NightCare Director, Matt Nathaniel
Note: Reference to children includes babies and toddlers too.
The world, in general, is not in the way it ought to be. Our greatest concern is poverty. The genuinely poor are those robbed of the ability to make choices for themselves – the choice for safe and clean water, the choice of education, the choice of protection from abuse, the choice of medical care, the choice of participation, the choice of development and more.
Children are Almost Half of the World’s Extreme Poor
1 in 7 people live in extreme poverty, or over 900 million people live in extreme poverty. Of these, a shockingly high number are children. Specifically, 47% of all people living in extreme poverty across the world are 18 years old or younger. These poor children will grow up to be poor adults. It indicates the need for child rights intervention.
Children are the Most Excluded Social Group
Research says children are the most oppressed and excluded social groups. The exclusion of children is not only subjected to children who suffer from various physical, mental, and social disadvantages, but it’s an issue common among most children. The problem is with our understanding of who children are and how we see and treat them.
The Most Powerless Members of Society are Children
We often see children being punished or ill-treated or abused just because they cannot retaliate due to their limitations. Harming a child is not an act of power. It conveys the fact that we are powerless. The bitter truth is, when the child experiences abuse, it grows in fear and misplaced trust. The babies Saving Moses works with are often subjected to mistreatment, abuse, and torture, either by their mother or the clients. They are always at risk.
Finding the Poor
A decade ago, I visited a government-run orphanage home in the south of India. On my very first visit, I noticed something strange. Throughout the two hours I spent with the babies in that center, the babies remained quiet. It simply did not add up. Being a father of a five-year-old, I know how much sound (crying in particular), part of a child’s communication mechanism is – whether to acknowledge or revolt or negotiate or attract the attention. Those babies probably cried at one time. They once tried to acknowledge, revolt, negotiate, or attract the attention of others. But help probably never came. And they probably decided to accept their reality and remain silent. We must go in search of the poor. It must be us who should take those first steps. We have to find those in need. We must become intentional in the way we defend the rights of children.
Seeing the Potential in Each Child
Each child deserves the right to protection, but they also deserve the opportunity to unleash their potential as they grow. Can you imagine the opportunity we as adults have for creating an impact in the lives of the little ones? When we invest our resources in them, we invest not only in their future but also in the future of society. Investing in children’s life is a gesture for the common good. Children have the potential to become agents of change.
Children Transform Us
As much as we must commit to impact the lives of the young ones, we can experience transformation through them. When we begin to see the world through the eyes of a child, we can only become pure in our hearts and minds. Children have the untainted inner faculties for creative imagination, conscience, connectedness, and intuition. Every time we spend time with children and babies, we experience change, change for better.
Working with children is urgent in terms of their vulnerability; at the same time, it is an excellent opportunity for change because they are the future. Below are three principles we all should remember.
a. Care for children because they are the most vulnerable.
b. Invest in children because they are the future, and we can break the cycle of poverty.
c. Spend time with children because they change us for the better.
Work with Children, End Poverty Written by Regional NightCare Director, Matt Nathaniel Note: Reference to children includes babies and toddlers too. The world, in general, is not in the way it ought to be. Our greatest concern is poverty. The genuinely poor are those robbed of the ability to make choices for themselves – the... Read More»