Queenie was the second child we took in. She is one of our single orphan children. What this means is that although she has a father, she is considered in this country to be an orphan because her father is not able to provide for and care for her on his own.
Queenie also has two older sisters who would look after her and carry her on their backs when they could, but they were just little girls themselves.
After taking Queenie in and getting her some clothes and food, Tom went back to her house to meet her extended family. Even after all our time here it is still sobering to see the conditions of absolute squalor that so many people call home.
The contrast in living standards was huge. Queenie went from spending her days riding around on her sisters' back or sitting in the dirt outside her home to playing with colorful toys and eating five times a day and having nannies to look after her all the time.
The change wasn't without a few tears but Queenie has always had such a sweet personality.
She grew up really fast and got healthy and strong.
There was some concern on the part of the nannies and her dad when she didn't speak as early as they would have liked. They kept asking us to bring in a witch doctor to cut her tongue. We urged them to wait and let her develop in her own time. Sure enough, while not a chatter box, she is a normal preschooler who speaks just fine.
Queenie loves spending time in our petting zoo, which consists of two ducks, many rabbits and guinea pigs and a monkey. The children are introduced to animals in a friendly environment, and eventually they'll be able to help care for them as part of their chores.
This story contributed by Amy Morrow, project manager at African Educational Services