Smiling faces everywhere

Not a cloud in site in Kroo Bay today

Today is a scorcher! Not a rain cloud in site. The corrugated metal housing in Kroo Bay intensifies the heat so much you feel like you’re in an oven. Not the easiest working conditions but far worse to live there permanently.

Despite all the challenges that face the community there’s no shortage of smiles, jokes and high fives. You can’t walk anywhere without kids grabbing your hands and tagging along saying ‘snap me, snap me’. Today we gave some of the children we’ve got to know through the website some cameras to take their own pictures. They loved it – there was some real posing going on – some wannabe models perhaps!

After the children’s ‘shoot’ that will feature in the next webisode we headed to the clinic to catch up with Adama, the Officer in Charge of the clinic and Bintu, the Maternal and Child Health Aide. Bintu told me that so far this year 295 babies have been born in Kroo Bay. These have either been born in the clinic, by trained traditional birth attendants or non trained traditional birth attendants. However, there’s bound to be more babies born in Kroo Bay that the clinic don’t know about yet – mothers who haven’t come for their vaccinations for example.

We gave another hat to a mother called Adama who’s just given birth to a baby girl called Kadija. She told me that she already had two boys and really wanted a girl so that she could dress her up in pretty clothes. True to her word her baby daughter was dressed in a pretty red checked dress with a frilly collar. Adama chose a black hat with silver flecks for her new daughter.

As we left the clinic I saw a goat being sacrificed in the street. I looked away quickly but asked my translator what was going on.

Apparently it’s the tradition to celebrate a baby’s naming ceremony. Babies aren’t named for the first week of their life just in case the worst happens. Once the baby has reached a week old they are given their name and traditionally a goat or a sheep is slaughtered in celebration. The poorer families will cook up the best meal they can afford.

To read more about Kroo Bay or donate to the project click here

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