Saturday, February 12, 2011


 Nathalie reports the following--
These two mothers traveled three hours on foot to get a tap-tap in Ducis to come to town and see a doctor because they are both sick and in pain.  One mother has 3 kids, the other has 4 kids (she left 3 at home with a neighbor).  They arrived too late to see a doctor on Thursday.  They all slept on the hospital grounds and begged for money for food for the kids.  On Friday the hospital staff told them they could see a doctor on Monday.  Without money or food (or a way home), they were going to abandon their children and attempt to walk many hours to get home.  A worker at the hospital called me to see if we could help.  I called Social Services.  Our temporary solution is to have the mothers and their kids stay with us until Monday so they can see a doctor. 
They have only the clothes on their backs and no shoes.  The mother with the three children is widowed.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I am not being judgmental, merely seeking to understand...

    If the mothers were going to walk back home, however long it took, why would they abandon their children?

    Do the mothers think that by leaving the children unattended that the children will then be taken in? Because it could just as easily be that the children end up on the street or worse.

  3. As Nathalie was the contact person for this case, I can't answer your question. I do know that desperation leads people to do things they would normally never do. It may be that the mothers were only thinking to leave the children at the hospital and come back for them on Monday.

  4. I would imagine many decisions are made on a "What's the worst case scenario?" basis. There are probably so many factors that go into such a gut-wrenching decision. Maybe one or more of her children were ill, malnourished, emotionally distraught - and she felt that they couldn't make the trip. Maybe she had nothing to bring them home to and she didn't want to make them journey all that way only to be hungry on arrival. Perhaps she could only manage one fare on the tap tap. I really don't think it's possible for us to understand these decisions- but one thing is for sure....The majority of these decisions are not made selfishly. A mother's own interests are usually the last to be considered.

  5. This is Nathalie:
    The mothers couldn't make the trip with the children as it was too late. Staying in town meant they would have to ask for charity for themselves as well as the children. They didn't want to burden anyone with their own needs, they only wanted someone to help the children until they came back for a doctor. Espwa was able to do both. When I came to work this morning, I found one of the mothers sweeping/cleaning the yard here at LaMadonne. She wanted to work for the food and clothing we provided for her and her children.

  6. Although I meant to donate $100 next month, I was moved to do it this month which I shall do by Wed next week when all the deposit I just made will be fully available. I think I can commit to donating every 2 months. These ongoing stories move my heart. I wish I can give more but the harsh winter in NE means higher bills and repairs.