The doctors warned that the child’s outcome was grim.
As a 15-month-old toddler, Akoba weighed less than 10 pounds — less than half the average weight of a healthy child his age.
His mother and twin sister participated in a feeding program through Good Shepherd’s Fold (GSF), a nonprofit that serves orphaned and vulnerable children and families. Yet, as a little baby with special needs, his disability was making it challenging for him to eat.
“We were torn about what to do; Akoba’s case was so unique. He’s special needs and he had a loving mother, but the mother was not able to provide him with the level of care that he desperately needed,” said Corrine Iya of Good Shepherd’s Fold.
“We decided to go ahead and bring him in residence at the GSF Baby House to provide more advanced medical care and supervision, but only if the mother continued to stay involved. Every week, the baby’s mom spent 3 full days and 2 nights at the baby house. She moved to live within walking distance of GSF, and she stopped in to see him every day.”
The team began him on a feeding tube and eventually were able to stabilize the child. Slowly, she said, he started to gain weight.
‘The baby went from being tube fed and on the brink of death to receiving appropriate medication for his disabilities, eating orally, and ultimately being reunified full-time with his mom,” she said. GSF is located in the Buwondo Village of Uganda. In an agricultural community, many families rely on sugar cane. They live without plumbing and running water, fetching water on a daily basis and cooking over charcoal or firewood stoves.
GSF started its work in the community as a home for orphaned and vulnerable children but has grown its mission to support the greater needs of families as a whole as well as the community. Its current mission is making disciples through childcare & advocacy, education, and community development so that we are holistically building thriving families and transforming communities for Christ.
GSF is a Jake’s Diapers Diaper Drop partner, and the organization has relied on our diapers to help children in its care as well as special needs kids.
“Your partnership has helped the people we serve by providing hygienic, quality reusable diapers,” Corrine said. “These diapers are used for the children in residence at Good Shepherd’s Fold, specifically the babies in the baby house and some of the older, special needs children in residence. When the diapers begin to wear, we pass them on to babies and special needs children who are on the GSF Community Development programs, such as the infant feeding program.
“Your continued partnership with us allows us to provide an adequate amount of reusable diapers for the babies and special needs children at GSF,” she said. “Adequate diapers ensure that our babies and special needs children do not get diaper rash or sit in soiled diapers for too long! This simple amenity is truly life-changing for the babies and special needs children.”
That toddler near-death is now a thriving child benefiting from Jake’s Diapers. His mom now works with a GSF program called Ekiggo to provide therapy, support and respite care to families of children with disabilities in the community.
“His mother is a great encouragement and role-model to these families as she lovingly and selflessly cares for her own child with disabilities,” Corrine said. “It’s beautiful to see his mother giving back to her community in this way and joining in the mission of GSF to holistically build thriving families and transform communities for Christ.”
About Our Global Efforts: Through a trusted network of community-based partners Jake’s Diapers provides predominantly reusable options to solving hygiene needs worldwide. We have a growing list of diaper drops in countries outside the United States.
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