Noa was referred to the WIZO comprehensive Day Care Center at the tender age of five months as her single mother Elli was unable to care for her.
Concerned neighbors had alerted social services when they heard the baby crying in the daytime and realized that there was no one home to answer the door. At the same time, as neighbors were banging on the door, Elli entered the apartment building, screaming at them to ‘mind their own business.’ She was agitated; she slurred her words and was quite obviously drunk.
One of the neighbors, a friend of Elli’s mother, went with Elli into her apartment and was sickened by what she saw. Noa was laying on a filthy crib, red-faced and screaming. She smelled strongly of urine. Soiled diapers discarded on every surface, unwashed dishes in the sink and dirty clothes and empty beer cans strewn all over the floor.
As Elli threw herself on the couch, oblivious to her surroundings, the neighbor pacified the baby as best she could before phoning Elli’s mother, who promptly left her place of work and headed straight there.
Elli’s mother was a secretary at a busy law firm. She could not easily take time off to look after her granddaughter, but she knew, all too well, that Elli was not a fit mother and she had to take control.
“At first, I was in denial over Elli’s drinking,” She said, “but when I realized that it was putting my granddaughter at risk, it was then that I knew I had to enlist the help of the welfare services.”
Noa, who now lives with her widowed grandmother, has been attending the WIZO Comprehensive Day Care Center for over a year.
Noa’s grandmother explained:
“My daughter, Elli attends rehab, but more often than not she fails to remain sober. I am powerless to do anything about it, but at least I do not have to worry about Noa because she thrives at WIZO Day Care. She is happy and healthy and rewards everyone she sees with the most adorable smile.
Now, I have peace of mind knowing that Noa receives balanced, nutritious meals in a framework of care and attention. Every day, when I collect her after work, sometimes as late as seven pm, the day care center staff are always so caring. They are sympathetic towards me, knowing what I go through with my daughter being an alcoholic. They always enquire after her and they don’t judge.”
Noa has benefitted greatly from therapies that bridge the gaps in the development of toddlers who never experienced the joys of ‘mommy and me’ time. For her grandmother, WIZO has provided a lifeline, allowing her to continue working at a job she has enjoyed for many years that pays her rent and puts food on the table – and WIZO has also enabled her to reap the pleasures of looking after her beautiful granddaughter.
(Names changed to preserve anonymity)
(Photo for illustration purposes only)