SOUTH AFRICA: Abandoned babies overwhelm orphanages
Orphanages in South Africa are overwhelmed by the number of babies every year.
Babies are simply left in the streets. But a few are abandoned on the doorsteps of baby homes like Door of Hope.
Francinah Phago is manager at ‘‘Door of Hope’‘ baby home.
“Last night around half past 8 the sensor went off, they looked at the camera only to find that there is a baby, and then they just went in front of the house and got the baby. The baby arrived in front of the baby box”, Phago said.
The charity built what it calls the ‘‘baby box’‘ in 1999 as safe place for mothers to leave unwanted children. Since then, it has received more than 200 babies. But sadly, many more die before being rescued.
“It’s important to remember that they’ve been abandoned themselves. They have been abandoned by the father of their child, they have been abandoned by their family, and they have been abandoned by their communities and society”, said Child protection activist, Dee Blackie.
Thuli Mahlangu will miss out on her granddaughter’s development. She and her daughter decided to give up the little girl for adoption because they could not raise her. Thuli’s daughter became pregnant at 21.
“They consider adoption as you are throwing a baby away. I chose not to follow through. Break the chains. I chose and I’m happier’‘, an emotional Thuli said.
There are no official figures. But NGO’s are positive that about 3,000 babies survive neglect in South Africa each year.