Justin is 9 years old, 3 years ago his mother brought him to the Salesians here in Betafo. At that point he couldn't walk, he hardly spoke and was seriously malnourished. His body was underdeveloped and all that really stood out was his large head. The sisters said some of the other children were scared of him initially.

First thing, they brought him to see the doctor who said his chances of survival were very slim. Nonetheless, the sisters took him in and he lived in the main house for about 6 months. They started him on a slow diet of water and sugar, then rice, then fruit and so on until he reached a more "normal" weight. Yet still he couldn't walk, so they placed him with the interns who live here. These girls are about 15 to 22 years-old.

Soon he became like their little brother and everyone was crazy about him. Surely enough a few months later he started walking! What was missing all this time was love and affection. This is something the sisters here try to teach the parents that even if they are poor and have many children they need to show love in order for them to have a chance at developing properly.

Justin still has trouble walking because his leg muscles are not strong enough yet, so I have asked if I could have sometime with him every day to do a little exercise. Every morning now, right after his breakfast, we play together for about 40mins.

He is very shy around me and it will take some time before we see some progress but still it's great to have the opportunity to help him even a little if I can.


  1. aww =) he'll warm up to you in no time!

  2. what a cute face! Yes Andreea yours too LOL.

    Love is what it is all about isn't it. My heart aches for these kids who don't get any or enough of it. I'm happy you are there to give some of yours. Do any of these kids every get adopted? Any international adoptions?

  3. Seeing how last post was about love I thought I would send you a happy valentines your way. The kids made you a painting, I will try and post it on my blog soon. They really miss you! But Liam said " Je vais la partager, mais pas pour toujours, okay Maman" Of course I wanted to cry and all I could say was "okay Liam, pas pour toujours"

    Your story about Justin has stayed with me since you posted it. I hope he is warming up to you.

    love you


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