SPK begins our support of Forever Angels

I first came across Forever Angels in 2010 whilst doing some fundraising for a childrens charity. I was completely overwhelmed by the Hathaway’s extraordinary story and the amazing work they do which identifies so clearly with the SPK Foundation and our principles of supporting young lives.

Forever Angels Baby Home is a UK based charity working in Tanzania providing interim care for orphaned and abandoned children and empowering their families to care for their children in their homes.    

Forever Angels provides interim care for orphaned and abandoned children in Tanzania. It is the realisation of a dream Amy Hathaway had as a young child after watching images of the Ethiopian Famine. Amy and her husband moved to Tanzania in 2002 to teach at an International School. Whilst there, they visited many orphanages where children were being very poorly cared for. After seeing a huge need for a home specifically for babies, Forever Angels was built and they took in their first child in 2006.

Since then the focus has been on reuniting orphaned and abandoned children with their relatives and setting them up to be able to provide life-long care. After years of working closely with these families, Forever Angels found that child abandonment could be prevented by empowering a family. Maisha Matters was born as a way to work closely with at risk families and provide nutrition and education so families can live independently.

Meanwhile the baby home has been improved and expanded to include a pre-school, a sensory room for SEN children and a ‘Tiny Baby’ home, offering specialised care for premature, seriously ill or malnourished newborn babies. The emphasis is upon high quality interim care and their goal is for every child to be raised in a loving home.

80% of the children who enter their care have returned to live with their biological families or have been adopted into new families.

This is highly indicative of the success of the Baby Home and the excellent relationships that have been established with the local community and services.

Children are provided with a stimulating environment with the focus on play; music, dancing, water play, painting, building, sports and all the other activities that children love and which helps them become fully rounded individuals and able to meet their developmental milestones.

Maisha Matters is run by the Forever Angels Baby Home staff, aims to keep families together by empowering them to work their way out of abject poverty and care for their children at home. The goal is empowerment and sustainability.

It would cost a Tanzanian family roughly $2.50-3.00 a day to provide formula to an infant whose mother has died. The average daily income in Tanzania is $1.30. Families sacrifice everything to care for their babies, but often lose the battle and the child passes away or ends up in an orphanage.

The group take 50 families, each with an at-risk baby, through a yearlong project to empower them to care for their own children and to live independently. They start with a malnourished infant who has no lactating mother and who is at risk of malnutrition and death – and end with an empowered, self-supporting family.

Nutrition - They start with the most immediate need, by providing life-saving formula milk to the severely malnourished baby who has not received the nutrition they need

Crisis Support - Provide families with emergency items which immediately increases their quality of life. These are mosquito nets, mattresses, blankets, clothes and cooking equipment

Training - Provide weekly education and training in hygiene, child development, HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention, primary health care.

Empowerment - Work with families to help them set up a business in their community. With ongoing income, the family can provide for themselves.

Independence - Working closely with families makes it possible for them to look after their own children into the future. They give families a hand up so they can be free from poverty.