Annually more than 3,500 babies are found in sewer pipes, garbage bins, isolated fields and even buried in shallow graves because their desperate mother, due to circumstances, could not offer them a future.
The South African Medical Research Council (SAMNR) goes as far to claim that twice as many abandoned babies die than are found. In light of World Adoption Day today, the pressure group Action Society pleads for the public to open their hearts and wallets.
“We find that people do not get involved because they are not sure how. That is why we are soon rolling out a campaign to create awareness of the problem and stereotyping to offer solutions,” says Daleen Gouws, spokesperson for Action Society.
It seems that reports of abandoned babies, as well as violence against women and children, peaks during the festive season. Therefore there is no better time to get involved than now.
According to Elsabe Esterhuizen of Huis Adaliah in Swellendam, people often do not realise their longing to get involved in these projects until they start. This safe home for babies has offered an alternative to 362 babies in the Overberg since their opening in 2008.
“It is self-enriching when you can change the world of a child. If you cannot open your home for these children, you can strengthen the hands of people who are willing to help by contributing financially,” Esterhuizen says.
Her advice to start is to address and act on needs within your community. “When a child for example is assaulted by her parents, it can take up to two years when you follow the correct procedures to get her into an orphanage. If there are no safe houses available, she has no alternative to protect herself in the meantime.”
Awareness that expecting women has an alternative choice is also a priority for House Adaliah.
“For various reasons prospective mothers sometimes realise that they will not be capable to take care of their baby. We try to embrace these ladies in our area and play a supporting roll so that they find an alternative in time. We must break down the stereotyping of adoption and the condemnation of mothers who give up their babies. When people are more informed, they can see that adoption is a positive, new beginning for a baby,” says Esterhuizen.
Action Society is a civil rights organization that strives to protect vulnerable parties in society by giving them a voice. They encourage the public to get involved with non-governmental organisations (NGO’s), safe houses and children’s homes in their area.
“Non-profit organisations like Care Protect Invest South Africa (CPI SA) focus on changing lives. To raise awareness about adoption in South Africa, they ask the public to text the word SMILE to 40112 to donate R20 to CPI SA. This donation will make a huge difference in the lives of the children in their foster and care homes. You can also support their other projects by visiting www.cpi-sa.org.za,” says Gouws.
ISSUED BY: Action Society
DATE: 9 November 2020
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
Spokesperson: Action Society,