Volunteers of Street Children.DK spend a lot of time doing outreach work at Sealdah Station as well as in the surrounding areas. We try to base our work in the areas where the children reside and we seek them out and help them with health care check-ups, clothes, recreational activities and love and care.
In our outreach work we have contact with almost 150 children and we try to visit them once every week to make sure they are doing all right. We talk to their parents and make them aware of various sensitizing issues such as the importance and value of education to a child’s life and future.
On a warm Wednesday in February 2018, Amanda, one of StreetChildren.DK’s volunteers in Kolkata, found a small and premature baby, who was only 12 days old. The baby was so small and weak that she could hardly breathe by herself. Amanda hurried to the public hospital (NRS) with the baby, where they said the baby was in a very critical condition and in need of oxygen supply and to be placed in an incubator immediately. But the one incubator hospital had was occupied. Amanda had to get hold of an ambulance and go to a private hospital, as the baby’s condition was very critical.
At Apollo private hospital the baby was placed in an incubator. The little baby had a serious infection in her lungs and in her brain, which was affecting her breathing. She was in critical need of various kinds of medicine to recover from the infections, but at Apollo private hospital the baby was in safe hands.
The baby was given the name Little Wednesday.
After just two days in the hospital, the volunteers were informed that Little Wednesday’s breathing had worsened, and the doctors had placed the baby in a respirator. Although her condition was critical, it took a turn for the better. Little Wednesday’s breathing improved, and her heart became stronger. Day by day, her condition improved, and she could finally breathe without the help of the oxygen machine.
Today, Little Wednesday has been discharged from the hospital and has become strong and healthy. She now has a completely new life ahead of her. She is still very small (1,7kg), vulnerable and needs a lot of care, but her mother takes very good care of her and she has learned a lot from the doctors at the hospital.
This would not have been possible without StreetChildren.DK’s supporters, who have helped with donations to Little Wednesday’s treatment. Thank you so much to everyone – You have helped save a life.
In January 2018, our team found a cute little boy in the slum, which was only 9 months old. His name is Salim. Due to intestinal problems, he had been operated and his intestine extended outside his stomach. He lived in the slum with his mother among rats and many bacteria, making it difficult to keep the area around the intestine clean. When the team found him, he was in serious pain and had vitamins deficiency.
StreetChildren.DK’s team took Salim to Apollo private hospital, where he was examined by the doctors. They were advised by the doctors to keep a close eye on his condition. In India, it is impossible to get ostomy bags that can keep the area dry and germ-free. Without an ostomy bag, Salim had serious pain in the area of the intestine, as the acid from the stomach constantly came out.
From StreetChildren.DK’s previous fundraisings, the team had sufficient money to give Salim the treatment he needed, consisting of medication, ointments, vitamins and regular checks at the hospital. Ostomy bags for children were donated to StreetChildren.DK, and the volunteers received expert guidance on how to clean the area and put the ostomy bag on Salim.
Unfortunately, Salim later became ill and had to be hospitalized. The doctors delivered the harsh message that Salim would not survive without an operation. The doctors would put his intestines back because the skin around the area had been damaged. Salim lost fluids daily and was not able to absorb nutrients.
Through fundraising and donations from StreetChildren.DK’s supporters, the possibility of operation was established. However, the operation was canceled on the day, because the doctors were afraid that Salim would not wake up again from the anesthesia. He was too ill to undergo an operation.
The status today is that the team and Salim’s mother got a diet plan that Salim must follow to get the right nutrients and thereby decrease the number of platelets. The elevated platelet count probably comes from infection, dehydration and poor nutrition. We now support Salim and his mother in the best way possible with both special diets but also sterile linen, gauze ties, clean towels, hand disinfection, various medications, local anesthesia, and the recommended cream to get the skin around the stoma to heal and reduce his discomfort.
Right now, StreetChildren.DK’s primary task is to help and teach Salim’s mother how to take care of him he does not get a new infection. In addition, we will assist them in the hospital weekly to have blood samples collected, so he can get the surgery as soon as his little body is ready for it. Now, the prospect is that it will take 1-3 months for him to get ready for the surgery. During this time, StreetChildren.DK will do everything we can to ensure that our little boy is stabilized as soon as possible so he can undergo surgery.
In August 2017, our team was contacted by the school regarding, Saida, a young 18-year-old pregnant girl, who lived at the railway station. The girl was in pain and was scared. Our volunteers, Claudia and Emilie, rushed to the station and took the girl to the free hospital, which is close to the railway station. At the hospital, the doctors said it looked critical and they were not sure if the child were alive or if the mother would survive giving birth. They would not scan her or check the baby’s heart rate.
Our volunteers acted quickly and took the young girl to Apollo private hospital where doctors were ready when they arrived. The girl was dilated and could give birth at any time. At Apollo, she was scanned immediately, and fortunately, they could hear the baby’s heart rate. The baby was alive and at. 03.20 am a beautiful 2 kg girl was born. According to the doctors, it was fortunate that the baby survived.
Mother and daughter were well after the delivery but remained hospitalized since the baby was born prematurely. Saida had difficulty breastfeeding, so the baby needed tube feeding until her mother was able to breastfeed. Fortunately, both were in good hands in the hospital, as well as in safe and clean conditions.
StreetChildren.DK’s team chose to name the sweet little baby girl Piya.
Sadly little Piya did not survive. She went to heaven after being breastfed at. 4 am in the morning. The doctors could not explain why happened.
The volunteers of StreetChildren.DK were deeply saddened. They had fought incredibly through it all. Our little princess was born and loved very much in the few days before she left us. We are happy that she spent her first and last days on earth in the safe environment of our children’s home and not on the concrete floor of the railway station.
Piya smiled at us the day before and we believe it was her thanks to us. We know everyone has enjoyed every minute spent with her. Heaven has gained the most beautiful little star and she will always be in our hearts.
A volunteer at StreetChildren.DK, Emma, had a 3 months stay in Kolkata, India. One of her greatest experiences was when she met a 5-year-old girl at Sealdah Station.
The volunteers and Emma were at Sealdah Station in the evening and playing with the kids. Emma quickly noticed the little girl, because she was standing insecure five steps away from our blanket, looking at the coloring books and crayons. Eventually, she sat down by the volunteers and the other children. She wore a cloth over one of her arms, which was attached to her dress with a safety pin. Emma carefully lifted the cloth and was shocked. The little had a very large burn wound on her arm. Having found her family living at the station, Emma was told that the girl had had this burn for a whole month, after she was hit by a pan with boiling content.
The next day, Emma and another volunteer took the little girl and her mother to the hospital. It was a long day of crowded waiting rooms, but she did it all in the best way. They got everything they needed to heal the wound, and Emma agreed with the mother that she would come by every day to help clean and wrap the wound.
For about a month, Emma went to the station every morning and was always greeted by the little girl who ran to her with a big smile, and the parents who gave her biscuits and chai. The wound healed better every day, which eventually meant she didn’t need major surgery, as the doctors had thought was necessary when they first saw her.
The girl and the family’s joy and gratitude are one of the most overwhelming experiences Emma has experienced. Emma later chose to call the little girl Anju, since it means “A person who lives in the heart”.
In 2014, StreetChildren.DK found a little boy at Sealdah Station, platform 4. StreetChildren.DK saved the little boy’s life and as it was a fight for life or death, we named him little Fighter.
He was 9 months old and had wounds all over his body, coughed and was very weak. We had to convince the mother that her baby wouldn’t survive if we didn’t get him to the hospital. Despite everything we did, she refused – but we continued until she finally said yes. However, with the condition that he would not be hospitalized. We left together with two other children from the station at. 23:00 in the evening.
In 40 degree humid weather we had to walk and half-run with the little boy at the dirty platforms of Sealdah Station with rats and garbage everywhere. It was chaotic to get a taxi with the small baby, who coughed constantly. When he wasn’t coughing, we were afraid he was slipping away from us. At the first private hospital the doctor had gone home, so we were referred to another hospital. Private Institute of Child Health which were open 24 hours a day open and they took us in.
The doctors said he needed to be hospitalized immediately as he would not survive if he didn’t receive help. But the mother would not allow us to hospitalize Fighter. We had an agreement with his mother, but we had to abide by it. Therefore, we took a taxi back to the mother at the station, but first we had to find a pharmacy at 2 am at night and make milk in a feeding bottle which we bought. We sat on the pavement with a dying little boy, where we tried to spray a little bit of fluid in his mouth.
He didn’t take the fluid, but just the little bit he did get helped. We went back to the station and told Fighter’s mother that her little boy needed help right away. He was 9 months old and weighed only 2 kg.
Eventually, she said yes, but only the next morning. Well, this was tough! We wanted to leave immediately, but we couldn’t do anything. She cried, and she was afraid that the doctors would take her baby from her, but we promised that they wouldn’t. We had to tell her she was the best mother in the world and give her a big hug. The trust she gave us with her little boy was unique and we were allowed to pick him up the following day.
The next morning we stood at 8 am at the platform and brought him to the hospital with one of her other children. We went to the hospital and paid for the hospitalization, bed no. P34. We bought medicine, clothes, diapers, breast milk, and a blanket so he wouldn’t freeze. He received help and we were so happy that it can hardly be described how we felt. It was a huge victory and incredible joy. Our little Fighter got the care he needed. We were waiting for the doctor’s diagnosis, and fortunately, he did not have HIV.
Today, Fighter is a healthy and happy boy with lots of energy.