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Nsukka has a Motherless Babies Home run by the National Council of Women Societies. In 1986 a group of women and children began visiting the home as part of the vacation activity Caring for Others, and this led to the Motherless Babies Project.
On visits, children would change and feed the babies, and more important, hold and play with them, sing and talk to them, each child adopting one baby for special attention. We noted that while basic physical needs were being met, the overworked staff did not give babies much individual attention.
This led Children’s Centre to employ two caretakers from 1988 to 1994. The Centre also provided regular supplies of milk, eggs, crayfish and fruit, and basic equipment such as mattresses and beddings, all in addition to the children’s visits through Caring for Others.
Our member Peris Maduka brought in the Social Work students she was supervising; these visited the Home and carried out follow-up visits to discharged babies as part of their fieldwork experience.
Visits to the Motherless Babies Home have remained a Children’s Centre activity during vacation programs over the years.