On December 13, 2005 in Entebbe, Uganda a healthy baby girl was born to a mentally ill and homeless woman named Sarah. Weeks before the child was born, Robert Fleming was trying to find someone in Entebbe to help this woman. He alerted the police, local doctors, and the maternity ward at a hospital in Entebbe, to the news that a baby was about to be born only to die in a ditch on the side of the road. During this time Robert would visit Sarah and try to talk to her to see if she had friends or relatives in the area. He would bring her food and water and listen to her stories. Sarah had no idea where she was from and no understanding that she was carrying a child.
As luck would have it Robert found Sarah the day she started labor and she entered his truck. The doctors in Entebbe refused to help and sent them to a mental hospital in Kampala called Bitabika. The doctors there also refused to help and sent them to the Government hospital Mulago. All the while Sarah is in labor pains, vomiting, bleeding, and in great pain and hysteria. Once at Mulago the labor stopped and Sarah and Robert were sent to a very large room in the back of the hospital with many more beds than patients. Sarah was given a bed and Robert curled up on the filthy floor to rest.
At 4:30am Robert awoke and found Sarah in the bathroom, standing in a pool of blood, splashing water frantically. After searching everywhere for the child, including the toilets, Robert found the baby in the bottom of the trash can. Sarah had cut the cord and thrown the baby away. Robert quickly grabbed the newborn, ran her to the nurses, and rushed back to help Sarah clean up and find a doctor.
The doctors quickly realized Sarah was not capable of feeding or caring for the child. Having no other options for this baby girl’s care, the authorities asked Uncle Robert to look after the child until other arrangements could be made. They scribbled a note giving him permission and five hours after the child was born Robert found himself driving back to his with a newborn baby in his lap.
For months the baby cried all night and slept all day. Robert found support and guidance from the hotel staff. He named her Malayaka Mary and they quickly fell in love. Sarah was taken to Butabika Hospital but soon returned to the street. Robert never saw her again but heard stories that she died. It is a tragic story but Sarah’s spirit is alive and well in her beautiful daughter.
Malayaka finished Primary in 2019 and she is getting ready for the new step in her life: Secondary. She is healthy, confident, self-assured, and full of personality. Little did anyone know that the birth of this special girl would one day be the birth of Malayaka House, and home and refuge to many orphaned and vulnerable children.