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$1,717 of $3,250
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31 donations

This fundraiser ended on 12/10/10

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The Baby Selam donation page aims to raise money to provide formula for orphaned newborns in Ethiopia. $32.50 can save a life.

Thousands of children are orphaned every year in Africa by HIV/AIDS and other causes of maternal death. In the hospital in Northern Ethiopia where I am currently working, at least one baby per month is orphaned when its mother dies during childbirth. These infants, often born HIV-exposed, premature, and malnourished, may not have other family members present to pay for their medical expenses, including the formula they need to replace their mother’s breast milk. The only nutrition available to them is a tin cup full of cow’s milk and sugar a few times a day, which babies cannot properly digest, so most of it ends up running right through them or being spit up. If these babies survive, most end up with lifelong developmental disabilities due to the lack of nutrition they received during this integral period of growth.

One of these infants whom I have grown quite attached to is known as Baby Selam, because her mother Selam died before she was able to name her. The name, which is an Ethiopian greeting, means Peace and Health. She has not gained a gram more than the 1800 she was born with since she arrived two weeks ago. During a Thanksgiving celebration held by the foreigners in town last weekend, we collected money to provide enough formula to get Baby Selam through the few months it will take for her to become strong enough to be placed with an adoption agency and given to a compassionate western couple. I spend a part of each morning and afternoon ensuring that she is fed, held, and loved, since she is the only baby in the neonatal unit without a mother to provide those things for her.

For all of the Baby Selams to come, and in the name of all who have gone before her, a stock of infant formula for the neonatal ward is desperately needed. Just $32.50 can feed an orphaned newborn for the two months it takes to keep them alive and well enough to win the jackpot that is a family, desperate for a child, with the love and resources to provide for it. If we raise $3250, we can save 100 babies.
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