– October 1 2019
Newborn Asha found a loving home
As a baby, Asha was abandoned in a pile of garbage. Thankfully, she was rescued by a caring family. Asha's new family is part of SOS's foster care family program, which helps give the little girl a stable upbringing.
On December 13, 2015, a newborn girl lay in a pile of old construction waste in Somaliland’s capital of Hargeisa. The tiny baby was wrapped in a reddish silk scarf. She had been abandoned.
Sixteen-year-old Honey heard the newborn’s cries from the garbage heap behind her house and ventured outside to investigate. Afraid of illness, and uncertain of what to do, the neighbors just stood there—but Honey felt compelled to save the helpless little girl. She cradled the baby in her arms and brought her back home.
“It was 10 o'clock in the morning. I remember clearly when Honey came holding little Asha*,” says Honey's mother, Su'ad. “None of our neighbors wanted to take the little baby up, so she just lay there in the dirt and screamed. They were afraid that she was ill and would infect them. Honey and I took her home so we could take care of her until we could figure out what should happen to the little girl.”
Later that day, Su'ad's husband, Abdirahman, returned from his job as a truck driver. At 63 years old, Abdirahman thought he was finished raising children—but the entire family instantly fell in love with the baby and decided to give her a safe home. “She is the flower of the house. We love her very much,” says Abdirahman. The family named her Asha.
Asha was lucky to find the comfort of a loving family. Today, she is a thriving two-year-old.
Honey is the youngest of Su’ad and Abdirahman’s three children. She will be moving on soon, so Abdirahman is thrilled to have baby Asha in his life. “It is a gift…that we have another child. She gives the house life…I love to play with her,” says Abdirahman, smiling.
Support from SOS keeps Asha healthy and her family strong
Asha’s family has been part of the SOS Children's Villages foster care family program since it started in 2016. Participating families get financial support to ensure a stable upbringing for their children. Each month, Asha’s family receives the equivalent of $50 for food and clothes for Asha. In addition, SOS provides the family with funds to pay for the girl’s doctor visits and medicine. And when Asha grows older, SOS will cover her school tuition so she can have an education. As part of the foster care family program, an SOS social worker regularly visits to support and guide them.
You can help other children like Asha become visible
Asha and Honey think of themselves as sisters: a bond that formed the moment Honey saw the newborn and rescued her from the garbage heap.
But too many other children are never seen. 1 in 10 children across the world live without their parents. They are neglected, abused, orphaned, displaced—or abandoned like Asha. These children are all around us, but we don’t always see them.
They are invisible.
- - 91 out of every 1,000 children die before they reach five years of age, compared to the overall rate in Africa of 76.5 child deaths per 1,000 live births.
- - 11% of children in Somaliland have lost one or both parents. In Hargeisa, a city of approximately 1 million people, an estimated 3,000 children are living on the street.
*Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.