Welcome to the World: Meet 8 Remarkable Babies Born in Lockdown

Even in the chaos of a global pandemic, God brings forth new life.

Baby Thomas Uganda

Even in the chaos of a global pandemic, God brings forth new life. Let’s meet eight newborns who are thriving with the help of Compassion’s Child Survival Interventions.

For many years, the programme has kept mums safe during their pregnancy. It provides pre-natal and post-natal care, including check-ups, vaccinations and the presence of a medical professional during childbirth. As well as assisting mothers, Compassion’s Child Survival Interventions help babies, like these little ones, reach their first birthday by ensuring they receive the support they need.

As countries lockdown their communities to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our church partners are working harder than ever to safely welcome babies into this world. We thank God for their care and dedication.

Grace from Burkina Faso

Baby Grace Burkina Faso

This is Grace. At the time of her birth, Grace’s parents had lost their income due to the lockdown restrictions. Her mother, Celine, could not run her business and her father, Dimanche, was an unemployed farmer during the dry season. It was a time of great worry for the family.

But thanks to the support of our church partner, the family received a gift basket full of essential supplies soon after Grace arrived. They included soap, sanitizer, and face masks for Celine to help prevent COVID-19, as well as clothing, shoes, a mattress, bathtub, food, milk, and a mosquito net.

At a time when an infant is most vulnerable, Grace is being protected not only from COVID-19 but from other preventable diseases like malnutrition and malaria.

Valery from Honduras

Baby Valery Honduras

Meet Valery. Her mum, Heydi, adores her and says she is “God-sent”. Heydi was only 19 when she joined the Child Survival project. She was six months pregnant and abandoned by her partner. Unable to support herself, she moved back to her parent’s house. Then the pandemic hit Honduras, shutting down businesses and public transport. Mercifully, the nearest hospital remained open, and the maternity unit was isolated from COVID-19 cases.

After Heydi and Valery were discharged from the hospital, our church partner gave them a new-born kit, baby formula, a mosquito net, and groceries.

“I must say that my last weeks of pregnancy were rough as I was worried and trying to figure out ways to get to the hospital. I appreciate my Survival worker’s support and counselling. She not only eased my anxiety and reassured me that I was not alone but arranged transportation for the time of my baby’s arrival.”

Thomas from Uganda

Baby Thomas Uganda

Thomas was born only days after the Ugandan President banned the use of public transport in a bid to protect citizens from the spread of COVID-19. Only private cars were allowed on the roads.

It was 10 pm when the contractions started. His soon to be mum, Rose, could not afford a private car to take them to hospital. Throughout the long night, the Child Survival staff worked on a solution for the young mother.

“It was difficult to get transport in the night but early in the morning, we talked to the police and they gave us a letter permitting us to move. We hired a car for Rose and took her to Busolwe hospital,” says Sam, who leads the home-based Survival initiative at the Compassion project.

Staff also provided groceries, including milk and eggs, as well as essentials for the new arrival: a mattress, mosquito net, blanket, bedsheets, baby shawl and socks, soap, and washing powder.

“I feel so good when I see my baby kicking and sucking his thumb. It reminds me of when I was in labour going to the hospital and so afraid because of COVID-19. I am grateful to God because I thought I would not come back, but I did and my baby is alive," says Rose.

Amoresia from Indonesia

Baby Amoresia Indonesia

This is Amoresia quietly defying her challenges. Not only was she born in the chaos of lockdown, Amoresia’s mother, Alince, had given birth to five others before only to lose three of those babies before they reached their first birthday.

"I didn't have the right knowledge on my five previous pregnancies," says Alince. "No one ever taught me about proper nutrition during pregnancy. I bore the consequences of losing my three babies in three different births because they were born prematurely."

This time, the support Alince received from the Child Survival project equipped her to deliver a healthy baby.

"Staff at the project not only provide us with knowledge but also care and commitment to make sure that we understand and are able to practice the learning at home," says Alince.

Boonerjee from Bangladesh

Baby Boonerjee Bangladesh

Master Boonerjee gave his parents quite a scare when he was due. It was midnight. He was in the wrong position. COVID-19 restrictions meant there was no transport available to take his mum, Joya, to the hospital.

Our church partner finally managed to secure a taxi to take the family to the hospital at dawn. Seeing Joya’s condition, a doctor quickly decided to perform a c-section and baby Boonerjee was delivered safely.

“My boy is a champ! He has won the race against time,” says proud father, Ripon.

Luan from Ecuador

Baby Luan Ecuador

Luan is one determined little man. It was 8pm. There was no transport due to a curfew to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But none of that mattered to Luan. He was going to be born, in a hospital or not.

His terrified father, Carlos, called Compassion’s church partner in their Santo Domingo community in the Ecuadorian rainforest.

Staff were able to find a vehicle to take Soraya and Carlos to the hospital. On the doctor's advice, Soraya and Luan were discharged just 24 hours after she had given birth due to the risk of contracting COVID-19.

While the family is quarantining themselves at home, a bag full of groceries arrive every week from the project.

"[Compassion] took care of me and helped me when my baby was born,” says new mum Soraya. “I am also grateful to God that they always take care of me even during this world crisis. I am happy because we do not lack food and we are safe."

Eleno III from the Philippines

Baby Eleno Philippines

Just four days before Mary Grace went into labour, the entire island of Masbate was quarantined. She and her husband, Eleno, travelled more than 31 miles to the provincial hospital only to be told their baby had to be delivered by caesarean. Their hearts sank. They didn’t have the money for the procedure and the required medicine.

But help was at hand. As a mother registered in Child Survival Interventions, Mary Grace’s operation and medication were paid for by Compassion.

The procedure was successful, and she gave birth to baby Eleno III, their sixth child, and first boy.

Imelda Cabarles, project director, visited the newborn at home shortly after.

“Mary Grace’s wounds are healing," she says. "Her [safe delivery] shows that God and His ministry through Compassion are not on lockdown.”

Metages from Ethiopia

Baby Metages Ethiopia

This is Metages. He was born at a time when his parents lost their jobs due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The family was in dire need. But thanks to our church partner, they received clothing, nappies, baby wipes, soap, liquid detergent, and food supplies. Metages’ medical costs were also completely covered by the Compassion project.

“Witnessing their joy as they received the food support and additional baby items made me thank God with them in tears,” says Danse, Child Survival Intervention staff member.

Even in uncertain times, there is hope. Hope that new life, born in adversity, will overcome the challenges and thrive. We met eight such babies today. These newborns are so very precious to their families and to God. May they grow up knowing just how loved they are.

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WORDS : Agnes Wilson, Compassion International Photojournalists

PHOTOS : Compassion International



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