Every morning as the staff enter the gates at Abide Family Center we are all greeted with shouts of “Auntie! Auntie! Uncle! Uncle!” as the children in our Child Development Center run to the gate to say hi. But as excited as they are to see us all in the morning, nothing can match the excitement they display when they see their moms walk in the gate after work to pick them up.
The Childhood Development Center (CDC) at Abide is run by our Teacher and two assistants. The children, currently ranging in age from 4 months to 6 years old, attend daily as their mothers are going through the program. When a client graduates and starts her own business, she is given the option of continuing to bring her children to the CDC for up to one year where free childcare is provided so that the caregiver can focus on growing their new business.
At the CDC the kids are taught basic preschool lessons through structured classroom time and play. There are eggs for snack in the morning, story time, puzzles, games, water play, lunch, and nap time! Through the lessons taught by our childcare workers, each one of these kids is given a healthy start to school and learning. They are provided a well-balanced diet and an intentional, loving environment so they can thrive, learn and grow.
Even though our CDC employees are doing an amazing job giving the children the tools they need to thrive in school, conditions are not ideal at our CDC right now. The classroom window faces an exterior wall and very little light is able to get into the room. When the kids nap they have to lay three to a bed in order for all of them to fit. The compound is constantly wet and muddy from the rain, so it is impossible to keep the kids clean!
This is one of the reasons Abide needs to move. It is our desire to be able to care for these children in the safest, cleanest environment possible. The new CDC will be clean and bright and a much healthier place for all those little immune systems, and our wonderful CDC workers will be able to do an even better job in such a great space!
And yet, even with all of the amazing experiences these kids are having at the CDC, even after we are able to move to the new facility, my favorite part of each day will always be watching their moms love them. Seeing Enid take baby Judah to the tailoring room as she learns to sew so that she can nurse him, watching her two older boys run straight to the Stitched Together room to find her if they need comforting throughout the day.
Seeing Trina run, screaming with delight, to the gate when her mama returns from a day of work to take her home, and watching them be so excited to see each other every single day. The bonds each of these children have with their mama’s makes every single part of this work worth it.
Trina could be at an orphanage right now. She could be separated from her loving mom and placed in the care of strangers, and all because of poverty. Trina’s mama loves her fiercely, the way most mothers love their children. Their family was so impoverished she felt she had no choice for her daughter’s survival but to bring her to a local orphanage. That orphanage called the social workers at Abide, and instead of losing custody of her daughter, Dorothy has now been given the skills to provide for Trina herself. She continues to have the joy and privilege of raising her little girl in a way Trina is healthy, nurtured, and loved.
ALL THINGS SOCIAL
GET IN TOUCH