Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hospital Visiting Hours

Last week when Amanda and I visited the children in the hospital, she had a packet of lollipops as treats and I had a selection of balls for them. The little boy in the [second] photo below, who has been lying here for about five weeks, was the excited recipient of a real soccer ball made of leather. He is going to take this new toy home to the village when he is up and about again. 

The other little boy received a smaller soccer ball and the babies all got very small, soft balls. I didn't take any photos that day but I'm sure you can imagine the joy these children feel receiving one of the most desired toys imaginable to an African child. 

To understand why these children love a real shop-bought ball, many people reading this post may recall seeing television documentaries of children in African, South American and Indian villages playing with a shopping bag tied up with twine. This is normally what these children use to play "serious" ball games - mainly soccer. 

I also had two tins of [three-in-a-pack] tennis balls which Amanda and I handed out to the children along the streets. I didn't get photos this time but will the next time we distribute balls and/ or sweets.

Yesterday we visited the ward again. Last Saturday in our "newly discovered" supermarket in Kahama, Amanda bought a few packets of toys with battery-operated toys in them. Even though these inexpensive items may not last as long as the penlight batteries which we inserted, once again, the little patients were ecstatic when they saw them.
 A real toy - probably the first time this child has received something like this

 The little lad who's been in this bed for five weeks now, was more interested in the Smarties (candy-coated chocolate beans) while his grandmother tests the solar-powered calculator

Here the young mother tests the battery-operated fan, while her little boy takes out two of the toys from the packet which Amanda had opened for him

Is this a cell phone like my mom's?
This mother was lying in bed with her little girl when I first arrived at her side. Later she changed the baby and asked me to take a picha / photo. I gave mom a tube of Smarties to enjoy

Outside I spotted one of our askari with his wife and little daughter. They were waiting to see the clinic sister to treat the child for malaria. Here she holds up a lollipop while the mother is holding soft toy made by Amanda

Amanda also had a large box of hand-made toys which she handed out. Since arriving here, I've learnt to keep all my empty talc powder boxes, moisturizer tubs, medicine holders and even plastic herb containers from the kitchen for Amanda's Toy Factory. She is absolutely ingenious the way in which she makes toys out of old items. 

 [Empty] talc powder container becomes...
... a leonine character from The Lion King. (The powder box is filled with smaller items and becomes a rattle!)
I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.


  1. OH how special.... Those kids (and the mothers/families) appreciate the visits and the gifts I'm sure... Bless their hearts... That is wonderful that you all are involved with this ministry... God Bless.

  2. Wonderful ministry to the sick children. I love how Amanda is repurposing the items you would otherwise throw away. Blessings to you both!

  3. It must bring great joy to give to these children. Amanda is a whiz making such cute toys out of empty containers. Great reuse/recycle program.

  4. That's so nice of you and so touching how these children are happy with would be "nothing" here with our spoiled kids ! When I think how many toys are thrown in the garbadge I really feel sad ! I try to give away to poor children who also haven't that much to play with but they are still more "rich" than these kids !

  5. Jo, you are a very special emissary of Christ - bringing joy to the hearts of these children and their Mums! It is wonderful to read and to see the pictures you share. May God Bless you and Grant for the big-heartedness you show to others.

  6. Hi Jo, it is wonderful of you to visit the sick children in the hospital. I am sure they love their toys and gifts. Great photos, have a wonderful weekend!

  7. What a great idea to make toys and buy gifts for the poor sick kids in hospital. Well done to both of you.

  8. You and Amanda are such wonderful child advocates, so sweet and caring. Amanda is very creative in the gifts and toys she makes! I bet the children's eyes sparkle when they see you coming!


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