Since we've been back in South Africa in 2006, Kylie has been working as a nurse at an orphanage here in Durban. Its called Shepherd's Keep and is located on the other side of Durban in an area called the Bluff. Shepherd's Keep is a privately owned and funded orphanage for abandoned infants. Most are less than 6 months old. Many were found in parks, wrapped in plastic bags, in public bathrooms, all discarded like unwanted property. As a result, many of them have anoxic brain injury and/or cerebral palsy. Some will hopefully grow up to be healthy happy adults, others will have permanent dysfunction and fail to fully develop normally.
We visited Shepherd's Keep a few weeks ago and took some of the pictures below.
This is a picture of Kylie and Sibusiso. He is 7 months old and has been at the orphanage since birth. He is a very healthy baby and has hit all his developmental milestones on que. Currently he has no foster parents.
Zuma is 14 months old. He was brought to Shepherd's Keep when his mother was sent to prison. The orphanage had been doing the paperwork for Zuma's grandmother to adopt him. The mother will likely be able to stay with them once she is out of prison. Luckily, Shepherd's Keep was around for him during the interim period.
This is Princess (the baby) with Happiness (the caretaker). There are about 6 caretakers looking after 16 babies at any given time. None are actual nurses (Kylie was the first) but all are certified caretakers. They get paid about $5 a day to work at Shepherd's Keep. Keep in mind "a day" usually starts at 6 am and ends at 7 pm. Kylie thinks they could all use a raise.
If you'd like to make a donation to Shepherd's Keep, please click here. You can rest assured that your donation will be going to a good cause. Might even help the caretaker's earn a fair wage.