Celebrating the Most Significant Birthday in the World!

Do you know the most important birthday milestone anyone will ever celebrate? Their first birthday. In the United States, we often throw big parties for our babies turning 1, complete with banners, cake and hoopla. We’re so excited to see our babies take their first steps, discover new foods and burble out those first words.

Moms around the world are excited for these things too. But some moms are celebrating something even bigger on their child’s first birthday: Their child has survived.

A group of women wearing long dresses and holding babies stands under a tree and cheer, some raising their hands in the air, celebrating an important birthday milestone.

The majority of the millions of children who die each year, pass away before their first birthday. Those most at risk of death are babies in Africa living in extreme poverty.

That’s why today we are celebrating something BIG.

Christine, Pamela and Faith from Uganda reached the most important birthday milestone: They turned 1!

Three babies sit at a table with a cake in front of them to celebrate a birthday milestone. They are wearing party hats and women stand behind them, helping them.

Last year, you got to say the first hello to these three beautiful babies in our New Moms series. Now here they are, all grown. They are laughing, walking and bringing their parents so much joy.

But this first year of life for these three precious children was not guaranteed.

Each of their moms, Juliet, Rahuma and Kate, were at high risk of losing their babies without the intervention of Compassion’s Survival Program.

So many people banded together to make Christine’s, Pamela’s and Faith’s first year possible: The parents who spent themselves on behalf of their children, the Survival staff who ensured the moms and babies had the care they needed, and the donors who walked alongside these moms and babies from afar.

Celebrating Baby Faith’s First Year

Four pictures of a baby at different ages.

When Rahuma first found out she was pregnant, she was worried. How would she provide for her baby? She thought maybe she should have an abortion. But instead she and her husband, Amon, decided to keep their baby. Rahuma and her baby nearly died in childbirth, but thanks to the intervention of the Survival staff, they are both happy and healthy.

Amon and Rahuma still struggle daily to provide, but recently the family has been able to move from eating two meals a day to three meals a day, thanks to Amon’s chapatti business!

A man wearing a blue T-shirt holds a baby girl in his arms, standing in an open-air kitchen with breads and eggs on a table. A man in a pink shirt with his arm around a woman in a black dress holding a baby in a red dress.

Rahuma is still receiving the care and support of the Survival Program and her social worker, Lydia. She has learned how to make nutritious meals for Faith, and now she is learning an income-generating skill: shoemaking!

“The best thing about this year is that we are alive and our child is too.” – Mama Rahuma

Celebrating Baby Pamela’s First Year

A collage of four pictures of babies at different ages. Text reads: 1 m, 3 m, 6 m and Happy Birthday!

When we first met Kate, she reported feeling depressed and hopeless when she became pregnant. Her husband had abandoned her and their two older children and she was struggling as a single mom.

But over the past year things have changed so much.

A group of woman holding babies leans over a cake with candles lit. Everyone is looking at the cake.

Kate and moms at her Survival Program have a party to celebrate their babies’ first birthday milestone!

Kate started attending Survival Program activities regularly. She made friends. She learned skills, and she grew in confidence. Once shy and withdrawn, unable to maintain conversations with people, now Kate is a different woman. Shelia, her social worker expands:

“At our caregivers meeting, Pamela’s father commented to me that Kate seemed different. He was right. Kate was stronger. She thinks she can do this! He gave his life to Jesus at that meeting. Today he’s back living with Kate and his three kids and he’s a transformed man.”

A woman in an orange shirt and white skirt stands in front of a beige wall, holding the hand of a baby in a white dress standing next to her.

Praise God that Kate now has support at home. Let’s pray for the continued transformation of this family!

“These days, I’m no longer sad and alone all the time. And if I ever do have a moment like that, Compassion seems to pop in and encourage me to go and study something at the center or have group time.” – Mama Kate

Celebrating Baby Christine’s First Year

Two photo, one on the left of a newborn baby. Text reads: Hooray for Christine! On the right is a woman in a black shirt holding a girl in a red and white dress, smiling at her, celebrating her birthday milestone.

When Juliet was pregnant, she could rarely afford to go to the doctor. When she did, she was told that she was going to lose her child. Thankfully, Juliet was registered in the Survival Program and she received the care she needed to have a healthy baby girl, Christine.

Through the program, Juliet learned to save money, and she also learned basic financial literacy to run her family’s chapatti business. Their hard work is beginning to pay off.

“[The] business has been growing. There is progress,” says Juliet. “We have added a popcorn machine and that has added to our income. We have been saving some money.”

A man in a grey shirt stands next to a woman in a black shirt holding a small girl in a red and white dress. They are standing on a street, both looking at the girl.

Christine and Juliet survived their first year, and this family is hopeful for what is ahead.

“I love to see my baby growing up. I thank God for the gift of this child and how she is progressing so well.” – Mama Juliet

Will you celebrate these babies’ first birthday with us?

A girl wearing a red and white dress lays on her mother's lap. The mom wears a black shirt and black and white striped dress. They sit on a bed with a mosquito net on it.

Celebrate all the snuggles these moms get to have with their babies. Celebrate that their joy didn’t turn to mourning. And celebrate all who made it possible. Faith, Pamela and Christine might not have reached this birthday milestone without the generous people who decided to reach out to moms and babies.

“If this program didn’t exist, things wouldn’t be positive for many of our moms and babies. They would go back to that hopelessness that they had before the Survival Program entered into their lives, and many might not make it.” – Shelia

No parent should have to lose their baby to preventable death. Our church partners around the world are reaching out to more moms and babies waiting to receive vital pre- and postnatal care. You can bring them the care they need.

Celebrate Faith’s, Pamela’s and Christine’s birthdays by giving the gift of Survival!

Help Babies Reach Their First Birthday! ›

New Moms Series: Behind the Scenes 

We hope you have loved getting to know these moms and their children as much as we have. Would you like a behind-the-scenes look at how we followed these young ones’ first year? Hear from the woman, Helen Manson, who spent 15 months chronicling these families.

Can you see yourselves in these moms, as Helen has? If so, celebrate the first year of life with a gift of Survival.

Help Moms and Babies Survive! ›

1 Comment |Add a comment

  1. Laurie June 25, 2019

    Beautiful stories! Happy Birthday precious little ones!

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