Sibusiso was established by Henk and Atty Hammer-Roos in 2000. Henk, an experienced tropical doctor, worked as general practitioner until 2001. Atty is a nurse, midwife, and teacher. They both worked for years for Médecins sans Frontières in conflict areas and in refugee camps. Their experiences inspired them to create their own project for a group of vulnerable children in a developing country.
After long research, Atty and Henk started a project for mentally handicapped children in Tanzania; Sibusiso was born. To date, Sibusiso has given more than 3000 children hope for a better future.
The kitchen extension is finished!
In our previous newsletter, we reported our plans to extend the kitchen. Following several months of building work, the new kitchen is now ready for use, and fulfils all the increased demands.
We have doubled the kitchen’s capacity by building an additional cooking facility and buying new equipment. We now have four extra-large pans (instead of two), additional counter tops and extra sinks. We have created a covered area outside where rice and beans can be sorted and cleaned under hygienic conditions.
This is needed because we buy our staples in bulk, and they often contain small pebbles and other unwanted material. We also have more space to prepare vegetables.
The gas cooker, used to prepare gruel for children who have difficulty swallowing, has been replaced by a cooker which runs on bio fuel. Before we built the extension, there was nowhere in the kitchen to clean extra-large pans, so Gody had to clean them under the outside tap. Now we have a washing area with a big sink where he can work comfortably.
The kitchen extension was made possible thanks to the generosity of many donors, including the Dutch Flower Foundation. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who made these essential improvements possible!
Special attention for three childeren at Sibusiso
Douglas Dominic was born via caesarean section. The operation went well, however after he was born he did not cry for the first 4 hours. In the first days he did not eat well. His suckling reflex was very low, and after 3 days he got a tube for feeding. After two weeks of staying in the Tengeru hospital, Douglas started to suck a little bit and was getting breast feeding. He could go home with his mother. At home, he cried a lot. Again the feeding did not go well either. After trying for a week, his mother decided to go back to the hospital with Douglas. In the hospital they came to the diagnosis that Douglas had pneumonia. Douglas was admitted in the hospital again for a week to get the treatment for his pneumonia. After a week he could go home again, but at home it quickly did not go well. Douglas had to cry a lot, and feeding did not go good. Friends of his parents mentioned a pediatrician in the AICC hospital, who could perhaps help.
In the AICC hospital Douglas was seen by Dr. Mariam, the pediatrician. She came to the conclusion that Douglas was suffering from Cerebral Palsy. This news came as great shock for the mother. She realised that this is a big problem for the child. Fortunately she was getting a lot of support and cooperation from her family and her husband. This is of course nice, but it did not take the feeling of the mother away that her child will not be able to take care of its own. One of the neighbors of Douglas and his family, advised his mother to contact Sibusiso for more advice. Actually Dr. Mariam, asked them to come back to the AICC hospital after 3 months for a check-up, but the AICC is very expensive. The person advising about Sibusiso mentioned that the service at Sibusiso is good, and almost for free.
Here at Sibusiso we did various assessments. Douglas did not really have control of his head. Holding objects in his hands was impossible as well. Next to this he had a bad sight. After the first assessments Douglas and his mother were invited to join the 3 months group starting in January this year. Unfortunately she could not get off from her work during that period, but could arrange to have the months starting in April off, to join the 3 months group starting than. In the mean time she managed to come every months for de outpatient care of Douglas. Here he will get therapy and training, and his mother will be taught how to continue this at home.
Since Douglas came in to the programme he is able to control his hands a bit after the massage. He also has a little control of his head movements. This will also help him to sit, at the moment still with support. Due to the progression of Douglas, his mother is feeling a bit more positive. She can enjoy being with her child. Of course much has to be done, and Douglas will always have more difficulties compared to a healthy child. This knowledge still overwhelms the mother from time to time. For the moment she is very happy to have the chance at Sibusiso, and thanks the staff for all the support.
Fifteen-month-old Precious Jeremiah lives with her mother and grandparents in Ngaramtoni, a village near Arusha. Her father left the family when he realised that his daughter was handicapped. According to Precious's mother, her pregnancy passed without problems and her daughter's birth went well with no complications. At two days old, Precious developed a high temperature. Her parents took her to hospital, where she remained for three weeks.
At nine months, Precious still couldn't sit up or stand. She couldn't hold anything with her hands and had uncontrolled head movements. Her mother and grandparents went from hospital to hospital and were finally advised to contact Sibusiso to see if we could help. Precious and her mother first came to Sibusiso in January 2017. Following tests by our social workers, therapists and teachers, they were invited to join the three-month programme, which they started in April.
Two months later, Precious has learned to better use her hands and she can sit up. She can say a few words, including 'mama', 'sitaki' (I want) and 'acha' (stop it) and she laughs a lot. Her mother still struggles to accept that Precious is not like other children. She is distressed by being abandoned by Precious's father, who makes no contribution to the household and shows no interest in his daughter's development. Fortunately, she can see that Precious is improving, and that helps her to accept the situation. She is grateful for the help and care that the staff of Sibusiso provide.
At the age of four months, Ahmed developed a high fever with epileptic fits. At the age of two he was clearly not developing like other children his age. He could barely sit up, let alone stand and walk, and he dribbled a lot. As the difference between Ahmed and other children became more pronounced, his parents became very concerned. They took their son to various hospitals to try and find out what was wrong with him. Eventually, they were referred to Sibusiso.
Ahmed and his mother were admitted to the three-month programme at the Sibusiso Centre in April 2017. Following a month of intensive assistance, Ahmed has made demonstrable progress. He can now sit up, crawl and even stand if supported.
Ahmed’s parents are delighted with the help that Sibusiso is giving them, and with the positive results of our support and training.
The story of mama Eva
Veronica Nazaeli Mkumbo is a supplier at Sibusiso Foundation, Normally we call her Mama Eva. She started to supply Fruit and Vegetables to Sibusiso already since 2009.
In March 2009, she joined Sibusiso together with her child Evaline Filex. Sibusiso invited her to join the three months group starting in July 2009. Unfortunately she was not able to complete the 3 months because of her family condition. As she was the one to provide for the income, she could not leave work for three months. She was able to come every month with Eva for the outpatient appointment.
One day when on the way to Sibusiso for therapy, she met with Mama Atty. After hearing her story Atty advise her to start to supply fruits and vegetable at Sibusiso Centre. Up to now Veronica is a supply of vegetable and fruits at Sibusiso Foundation. She is happy because now she can get income to generate the needs of her family. Veronica found her relative and request her to stay with her child Evaline Filex at Sibusiso for therapy and manage to finish the programme of three months to the end. Now Eva is doing fine and made good progress.
Generally she is happy to had given the opportunity to supply Sibusiso. Even though there are challenges always challenges she is facing. She appreciate the work of Sibusiso Foundation and feel good to be part of it. Mama Eva realizes that it is important to show people that disabled children are children like other children.
Friends from Germany founding financial fund for Sibusiso
Autumn 2016 befriended couples from Büderich and Welver founded a German fund for Sibusiso. In August 2017 the founders of Sibusiso, Atty en Henk Hammer, were present at the first meeting of the recently founded German association in restaurant Werlinger, to discuss further possibilities for the fund to support Sibusiso.
After visiting Tanzania and the Sibusiso Centre near Arusha in 2012, Josef and Christine Blienert, Heribert and Thea Mundry, Peter and Christina Riechert and the Dutch singersongwriter Anton van Doornmalen and his wife Riekie were impressed by the sustainability of the Sibusiso project. „We are very motivated, but we need support“ says charman of the German fund Jozef Blienert. Atty explained the challenges of the work in Tanzania extensively at the meeting. She emphasised the importance of physiotherapy for the quality of life of the children.
Anton van Doornmalen, singer and new boardmember of Stichting Sibusiso, gathered the first funds last year during chartiy concerts in Einbeck (Niedersachsen) and Langenstein (Sachsen-Anhalt). "However, we would like to achieve more!“ says Josef Blienert. He is avaialble through email-address @email for questions, remarks or ideas. A new Gewrman website is under construction.
Members of the German fund for Sibusiso, left to right: Thea Mundry, Christina Riechert, Heribert Mundry, Peter Riechert, Sibusiso-oprichtster Atty Hammer-Roos, Josef en Christine Blienert, Henk Hammer en Riekie en Anton van Doornmalen. Picture: Sträter
And finally ….
And of course, keep informed by checking our website www.sibusiso.nl
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Sibusiso Board and Management