Beyond THE FUTURE: The Organization for the Support of Albania’s Abandoned Babies (OSAAB)
Claudia founded the Denver-based non-profit Organization for the Support of Albania’s Abandoned Babies (OSAAB) in the late 1990s. Her story truly is phenomenal, as is she. Because of her refusal to turn away from others in desperate need and her determination to stick with a very difficult project through years of discouragement, babies are no longer neglected and left to deteriorate in the former Abandoned Babies Ward (now renamed The Angel’s Cradle) of a maternity hospital in Tirana, Albania. Instead, they are fed, cleaned, cared for, held, and nurtured as all babies should be.
During the 1999 Kosovo refugee crisis, then-tiny OSAAB was the sole humanitarian agency prepared to help the many women who arrived at the two maternity hospitals in Tirana about to give birth or with newborn babies in need of care. I can’t help but think that Janiszewski’s inspiration to establish OSAAB when she did was an instance of divine intervention. And from reading her very personal accounts of the humble beginnings of her organization, I have a feeling she sometimes feels the same way. How can one person make a difference in such a world as ours? Read the history of OSAAB and find out. Then go hug a baby (or the closest human being you can find who’s agreeable to a hug). We’re all in this together, and stories like this one serve as handy reminders of that fact.