Fairfield Orphanage, formerly known as Babyfold, ceased to exist in 2004, when it was changed to Fairfield Children's Home. Before the children's homes opened, the children were often in poor health, did not perform well in school, and had bad behavior. A rotating staff cared for them, so there was no one to take responsibility for specific tasks. Often, sick children were not even taken to the hospital on time, even though it was just next door. Over 40 children shared one toilet and one bathroom. There were many deaths during that time and there was no sense of belonging. A pile of clothes would be thrown into the middle of the courtyard and a child would pick what they wanted to wear for the day. Things were always going missing because no one was in charge of specific possessions. The babies under one year of age were kept in cots in a room at the hospital. A nurse would come in once every three hours to change and feed them. Otherwise, they were left alone. There was no sense of attachment because at the age of five, the children were moved to another orphanage for older children.
Since Fairfield Children's Home opened, we have been able to increase our numbers to help up to 80 children at a time. Children are kept in homes of 8-10 "brothers and sisters" with their own "mother" hired from all over the country, with a special emphasis on hiring those who either have older children or no children of their own so they will really connect with the Fairfield Children as their own family. Right away, the difference could be seen. The children performed better in school, were better behaved, their health improved as they felt the love of a family for the first time. They now have their own clothes and belonging to teach them to care for their things. They have their own cupboards to keep their clothes nicely.
We now have next to zero death rates as our children have a mother to take them to the hospital at the first sign of illness knowing they will be accountable if anything goes wrong with the child. The main problem with the children's home set up is the dramatic increase in finances needed to run the home efficiently. It requires more staff that has higher levels of education. We now have 24 separate homes to maintain between children and staff. Because we doubled in size, we need twice the food, fees for school, clothes and other materials.
Goals & Objectives
- To respond to Jesus' call to care for the orphans and needy children.
- To expand the poultry project currently at 100 to about 1,000 birds to provide meat for the children and income through selling.
- To organize refresher courses for house parents.
- To install two tower lights at both ends of the home.
- To plant winter crops such as wheat and harvest the winter crops.
- To repair broken windows at the home and all the fittings/ceilings.
- To scout for career opportunities for our children in colleges or doing apprenticeship programs.
- To have clean water flowing into the homes 24 hours a day; currently we only have water 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.
- To prepare hostel accommodation for children over 18 years still in need of care; this will allow them to complete skills training.
- To place our first college graduates into employment and career paths.
- To monitor and evaluate the success and challenges of running a children's home following our present patterns and systems of residential family homes system.
- To evaluate challenges and successes and recommendations on a way forward and the improvement of systems and approach to achieve maximum benefit to needy children.
We have already started to seek out grants that would help us with some of the projects, such as poultry project and building of the hostels.
We also plan to utilize our Fairfield Advisory committee, which is a group of individuals from the community committed to assisting and advising the Fairfield administration. They will have contacts that could assist our children with resources and jobs as they reach adulthood.
We also hope that teams traveling from the US this year will be able to assist with manual labor and finances for things like window repair and house repairs.
We have asked engineers to help us locate a water source and find costs of getting a borehole to provide 24 hours of clean water daily.
We will be doing research and finding mentors to talk to our older children (15 and above) about career guidance.
We will be visiting other homes to learn how they care for their older children-those who have hostels and those who continue living in the home over 18 years of age.