sponsor a child

From Abandoned Baby to Miracle

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”


Toddler in Rwanda

A baby’s cry rang through the trees. Laying his tools down, Benjamin looked around but saw no one there. As he went back to work, he heard the cry again. Looking into the bushes it was then he saw her.

A tiny baby. Covered in ants.

Frightened to carry the fragile newborn, Benjamin ran to the house of Geraldine, a renowned community health worker.

“I was at home with my daughter when Benjamin came running, saying he’d seen a baby in the bush, covered in ants. He told me the child was naked. I handed my daughter to my husband and immediately entered my house to get a kitenge (African fabric similar to sarong). Then we ran back to the bush.

“When I saw the baby my motherly instincts just kicked in. I tried my best to wipe off the ants from her body, although they were biting her. I could see she was a newborn – she was a few hours old – because the piece of umbilical cord attached to her belly was still fresh. I wrapped her in the kitenge to warm her up after spending so many hours in the cold, and then I ran with her to the health centre,” recalls Geraldine.

The baby girl remained in intensive care for two days. During this time her parents couldn’t be traced and no one came forward to collect her. She’d been abandoned.

“The hospital director called me by phone to tell me to go to the hospital with my husband. When we arrived there, the local officials and police asked me and my husband to foster the child,” says Geraldine.

Despite struggling to provide for their own children, Geraldine and her husband didn’t hesitate to take on a sixth child.

Rwandan mum and baby

They named her Impano, which in the Rwandan language of Kinyarwanda loosely translates as ‘gift’.

“This baby was a gift from God. There is a reason why Benjamin passed many homes and came to ours. I know we have many children to take care of, but this baby didn’t have a home, and as Christians we are supposed to offer help to people who are vulnerable,” says Geraldine with conviction.

Rwandan family

From the day Impano came to live with them, Geraldine has raised her alongside her own daughter, Gisele. “Breastfeeding two babies was tough. I didn’t have the required foods, and the chance that both children would be malnourished was high.

“When Impano was two months old she was registered into the Compassion Child Survival project, which is something I’m still so grateful to God for. The project began giving us milk and food to supplement the breastmilk and they still do it to this day. This has kept Impano healthy and you can see that she is growing,” explains Geraldine.

Twins in Rwanda

Seeing Impano and Gisele playing together they could be mistaken as twins. “They are so inseparable,” laughs Geraldine. “Even when we buy a pair of slippers for one of them, to maintain peace in the house, we have to buy for both of them.”

Impano is living up to her name and for her new family she is the best gift they could have received. Her cute smile brings the family so much joy. 

It’s such a privilege to be able to come alongside mums and babies like Geraldine and Impano. It’s scary to think what would have happened if she hadn’t been found or how different her future would have looked without the support of the Child Survival Programme.

Every day we’re able to give babies like Impano a future full of hope because of your amazing support.

Help other babies like Impano

 



WORDS : Emily Laramy

PHOTOS : Doreen Umutesi


MORE STORIES FOR YOU

8Jul

From Extreme Poverty to Compassion National Director

No running water at home. Days without food to eat. This was Tony Beltran’s reality when he was growing up.


4Jul

Different Path One Year On: How Your Generosity is Bringing Hope

It was incredible to see the Different Path appeal raise £2.2 million – your donations were matched by the UK government. One year on, this means that we’ve been able to open 20 new projects and continue funding three existing Child Survival projects.


11Jun

A Future Free From Child Labour

Rescued from the field and restored to the classroom.


31May

If Poverty Could Speak to You, What Would it Say?

“Poverty began to speak to me as a child. I felt I was nothing … Nobody cared to know my name,” remembers Richmond from Uganda.


14May

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

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


8Apr

8 Holy Week Devotionals That Point Us To Hope

Join friends of Compassion, Cathy Clarke, Steve Gambill, Philippa Hanna and more, as we reflect on the hope Easter brings us.


27Mar

Prayer Resources for the Coronavirus

Find guided prayers for those affected by the Coronavirus and Coronavirus prayer resources to help you lift up our world, and particularly those in poverty, during this season.


26Feb

17 Celebratory Photos of Birthdays Around the World

Enjoy these joyful photos of children celebrating their birthdays around the world.


6Feb

The Scientist Mum Making waves in Marine Biology

The Compassion graduate who’s become an award-winning scientist.


, ,

5Feb

This Hero Has Rescued 150 Girls From FGM

Florence Lomariwo’s lifelong crusade against female genital mutilation started with her own narrow escape. Now, the little girls in her care are benefiting from Florence’s passion and dedication.


29Jan

Where Are They Now? Meet 15 Remarkable Compassion Graduates

From police officers to entrepreneurs, get to know 15 inspiring Compassion Alumni.


23Jan

January Magazine 2020

The January magazine celebrates the incredible difference your support is making. Your faithful prayers, words of encouragement, generous donations and gifts of time have a...


,