A Baby Home, a Mothering Center, and a Widows Home in Arusha, Tanzania
“Neema House Inc. is a 501(c)3 registered non profit in the USA and a registered NGO in Tanzania.
Operating now as Neema Village, the home began as “Neema House” in 2012 as a rescue center for abandoned, orphaned and at risk babies in Arusha, Tanzania, East Africa. During that time, more than one hundred fifty babies, like little Sifa below, have been rescued and found a new family at Neema. That is what Neema is all about, making new happy families.
Many abandoned babies at Neema have now been adopted and others who had lost their mothers during the birth were saved and have now been able to return home to an extended family member. We love the idea of “Families not Orphanages.”
Babies are brought to Neema when they have been found abandoned or the mother has died. Infants who lose their mothers in Africa are ten times more likely to die due to un-sterile conditions, lack of proper nutrition and medical care.
It is always a party day at Neema when the babies are adopted like Sifa in the picture above. The new mothers come and visit many times before they take the baby home. They spend time feeding the babies their bottles, changing diapers and cuddling until the baby feels comfortable with the new mom.
Neither Neema Village nor Social Welfare accepts money for adoptions.
Hospitals, police or Social Welfare call when a baby has been found or a mother has died and there is no one left to care for the baby. Our babies have been left on roadsides, in the bus station, in a front yard, in latrines, one in a gravel pit and one in an open pit latrine and had been there long enough that maggots were in his ear. All our babies have a tragic story or we would not have them.
We believe that what evil meant for death, God has meant for Life!
Little Deborah was so tiny she was not expected to live. She is a triplet and the tiny trio were all under three pounds when the hospital called and said if someone does not step in help, these babies will not make it. Neema is always glad to step in. See tiny Deborah in the picture below.
This little one had to spend a few weeks in the hospital before we could bring her home to Neema. After two years at Neema, we were able to send the little triplet girls home. You can see their picture below on their going home day. Deborah is the healthy, little two year old in the middle with her triplet sisters.
Not expected to live, tiny Maxine, pictured below in ICU, was brought to Neema after she was found abandoned. She spent many weeks in the hospital and came home to Neema weighing only 2.4 lbs. Bekah spent many hours caring for this preemie baby and had to make emergency trips back to the hospital to save her life more than once. On one occasion the Doctor said, “This baby will not make it.” Bekah replied, “Oh yes, she will, she is as strong willed as an elephant!” And she did survive. We have now written the Maxine story into a children’s book named “Maxine, the Strong Willed Elephant.”
That is sweet baby Maxine singing a song in the little pink shirt just before her adoption.
Begun as a home for babies we quickly realized that abandoned babies were not the problem. Mothers who are poor and desperate and feel they have no option other than abandon their babies is a big part of the problem. Pregnant women who are undernourished, have no access to medical care and have been subjected to age old customs which lead to the abnormally high death rate of women during childbirth leave motherless babies. Caring for these abandoned and motherless babies fills an immediate need but does not solve the problem.
Therefore, the mission of Neema Village has been expanded to include a wide range of programs for women. In 2014 almost 10 acres was purchased to begin a more dynamic, far reaching scope of programs designed to help women better care for their babies, survive childbirth, find ways to supplement the family income, have better nutrition, lift widows from lives of neglect and abuse and impact the surrounding Maasai villages through water wells and medical care.
We feel that with the purchase of this property, the completion of the baby home, the widows home, a volunteer house, 2 homes for unadoptable babies, construction beginning in the summer of 2017 on the women’s center that Neema Village is now on the verge of making real and lasting change in Africa. All we need is substantial capital.