WITH Mandela Day fast approaching under the theme “Take Action Against Poverty”, caring for young abandoned children comes as a full-time job for Door of Hope baby house manager Celestine Kyangana.
Although she has a daily shift from 7am to 4pm every Monday to Friday, Celestine is always on standby to ensure the safety of children in her care and remains a top priority.
Leading a team of over 20 staff members and volunteers from across the world, Celestine facilitates the day and night care of all children under the care of the Glenvista baby house, which also serves as the storehouse for donations which are delivered. They then distribute to the other Door of Hope baby houses in Berea and Glenvista.
An early start
For the team, the day usually begins at 7am when they wake up the babies, clean them and feed them their first milk bottle around 8am.
The babies are given adequate time for stimulation and interaction between 8.30am and 9am.
Around 9.30am babies over six months have cereal as that is the period the organisation begins their solid drive and at 10am the children enjoy their nap time.
Between 11.30am and 11.45am babies are changed again and are prepared for their second bottle and at times they get entertained by listening to CDs and other fun activities for babies.
In the afternoon the team ensures the babies are served Purity after which they take an afternoon nap around 2pm.
The babies’ nappies are changed again around 4pm as the team also feed them another bottle of milk.
It is usually bedtime for the babies around 5.30pm as the team prepares handover reports detailing each child’s daily performance to the staff members taking up the night shift.
“Handing over a child’s daily report is very important because those on night shift should always know the full details of a child’s performance which helps us avoid problems like overfeeding and any abnormalities reported on a child,” said Celestine.
At 8pm, the babies receive their fourth bottle of the day and while babies who do not eat solids are usually given more bottles at midnight and 4am.
The institution is alert in responding to each baby’s needs and problems as Celestine said: “When caring for a child it is the smallest details that matter, therefore, I am always in the know by ensuring clear and effective communications with each team member.
“Although I officially clock off at 4pm I am always in communication with other staff members to be able to respond to any baby emergencies in the house,” she added.
Started from the bottom
Celestine has been working with Door of Hope since 2005 when she joined the organisation as a cleaner. She rose through the ranks and with her experience in articulating child care, she has been the Door of Hope Glenvista baby home manager since December 2015.
Over the years she has worked for the organisation she learned a lot about child care and the importance of caring for abandoned children across the country.
“Saving lives and having to play a legal guardian in the lives of these children is a blessing which I accepted when I joined the organisation over 12 years ago,” said Celestine.
She said working together with several community members to care for the babies is priceless.
“We commit our lives towards the mission and we need people to join us in this humanitarian journey through applying to be a volunteer on www.doorofhope.co.za, donating our urgent needs such as Pampers nappies small, medium, large and extra-large, Nan 1, 2 and 3 (Nido), Purity baby food, Nestum cereal, grocery vouchers, money and other donations to keep our babies well cared for.”
The organisation also requires cereals (Jungle Oats and ProNutro), fruits and vegetables, as well as medication vouchers.
Currently, the houses have 69 babies and Door of Hope has saved over 1 621 babies’ lives, with an overall intake of 201 babies through the baby box and an overall adoption number of 674.
Please call 011 432 2797 or email [email protected] for more information and to see how you can assist the mission of saving and raising abandoned babies.
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