The building looked modern outside, just like ordinary kindergarten. As we entered the first room, we saw a floor of mattresses covered with crippled helpless bodies in the same color pink striped PJs, as if it is a handicapped child’s prison. They hardly speak possibly due to never being given speech therapy. You look at them and wonder why did they get those illnesses, what for? You can’t really guess their ages, as they look small and clueless. Little bodies are sometimes sharing one crib. Heads are shaved so you can’t tell their gender. Their eyes are wandering with curiosity, some faces are smiling, you know that children are happy to get attention.
I am speechless, I want to cure them all and see them live independently and happily, but it’s impossible to do. What is the point in playing with them, making them happy for a moment, but then leaving them, knowing what kind of ending they are going to have either here or somewhere else?
Then we were told that children (about 60 of them) are on the floor in two rooms temporarily, because other rooms are being renovated. Andy said that this orphanage is better run than some other ones he knows, because it is sponsored by the government and has more standardized procedures in place.
I was very impressed with how good food was. Carers were very efficient in feeding children and changing their nappies. I also saw carers folding clean nappies and stacking them into big piles in the closet. It is a very smooth process of feeding children 5 times a day and bringing them to beds. Majority of the kids in these two rooms have cerebral palsy due to various reasons. Carers, busy with many duties, do not play with kids, which is not very educational or entertaining for the kids. Whenever carers have a free moment they sit in quiet or chat to each other.
Children and staff sleep after lunch. We returned to Peace House for lunch and we went back: feeding and playing again. We saw some other children who came for day care, almost all of them had Down syndrome. I fed about 5 children that day and when I looked into children’s eyes while feeding them, I saw their souls deep inside: pure and wonderous. What they need is love, which is not always available for them.