While we work to better the lives of children in Kalungu we also dedicated to ensuring the children with whom we began programs in 2009 make a safe transition, from the orphanage where they currently live, into the care of their families or foster homes. Since we began our work three years ago several children in the orphanage have been collected by family or expelled from the orphanage by the orphanage administration. These children continue to be at risk of abandonment due to the lack of support given to their families and a lack of family assessment and follow up to ensure children are not at risk in their family homes. For this reason Thrive has been tracking down and following up with children who have made the transition home. Here is the story of one girl who we have located, now living with her mother in Kalungu:
We began supporting Grace*, photoed above, who was living at the orphanage in 2009. Her mother, a young teen at the time, couldn't cope with raising her daughter while also continuing her highschool education and so she placed Grace in the orphanage when she was two years old. Two years later, after completing her studies, she collected Grace from the orphanage and brought her home. We recently tracked down Grace and were overjoyed to find that Grace is loved and well-cared for by her mother who currently sells second hand clothing to pay for her daughter's school fees. Despite spending nearly three years in the orphanage Grace has a strong attachment to her mother and is thriving at home and is very much the same outgoing and expressive little girl we met in 2009. We will continue to visit Grace and her mother to provide support and to help improve their income to meet other household needs.