If you look closely you can see all three of them. Mama is holding 2 babies feeding one of them from a bottle, and big sister of 8 years old is holding one. They are two boys and one girl, now one month old. The babies are still really, really small for one month but considering their very small birth weight, they are all doing pretty well.
The family came from a neighboring village abut 25 kilometers away. They heard that there was the possibility to get help with infant formula at the orphanage. Since Mama is not producing enough milk for the three babies they arrived hopeful and at the same time, a little fearful of being turned away.
Infant formula is expensive everywhere and Burkina is no exception. Although inexpensive by Western standards $7 per can is way beyond what a village family can afford to pay. Seeing the desire of this mother to care for her children herself, we are happy to do what we can to help supplement her milk until the babies are big enough for table food.
Before leaving to return home, one of our baby care-takers spent time with Mama explaining how to properly clean and sterilize the bottles, how to boil the water, and how to prepare the formula. Because of the distance, the Papa will be returning once a month to get more milk and they will bring the babies back to be measured and weighed every three months.