By: Vuyolwethu Nzolongwane
The morning of July 06, Priority-Care Ambulance Services received a disturbing call from a concerned resident who heard an abandoned baby’s cry in nearby bushes close to the Scenery Park area. Priority-Care medic, Thabo Motsie who responded to the call out described the condition of the infant to have been very bad and said that the infant was very cold and hungry.
“The child was in very bad shape and I think that for such cases to not continuously occur, young mothers need to be educated about the different organisations that are available so that they do not dump their babies like this, some need to be counselled for past traumas that they may have,” he said.
East London has multiple non-profit organisations that offer a helping hand to mothers who do not want to have their babies. These organisations offer a safe space where the mother can drop off the child at their care and one such organisation is Guardians of Hope.
Founder of Guardians of Hope, Elaine Brenkman urges mothers who feel that they have no option but to give up their babies to always try and leave their babies at places of safety.
From her work, over the years she said she has observed that some contributing factors for unwanted babies are poverty or the babies being products of rape.
“If a mom is in trouble such as the mom of the baby that was recently found, I would like to urge those moms to leave their babies in a safe space such as the hospital, police station, or they can come to knock on the doors of any of the institutions that can help the moms because we would like to make sure that these moms feel that they have got a safe space, they can just come to us and we can help them,” said Brenkman.
Guardians of Hope has had their doors open to unwanted babies for 4 years and have taken care of more than 100 babies since the time that they opened with the financial help of the East London community.
Some organisations that extend a helping hand to moms in need are social development, CMR, the East London Child and Youth Care Centre and Breath of life to name a few and a mother has an option to hand over their baby anonymously.