Not so long ago I confessed to friends that when I take walks in our neighborhood I tend to walk a little slower past dustbins and manholes.I’m listening out for the cries of a baby.Weird I know! The odd thing is I’ve done this since I was in my early teens I remember doing cross-country racing in the veld area across from our school and keeping an ear out for a baby.Looking back I like to think that the Lord gave me this “Alertiveness”early on for a reason and this is my reason………..
This weekend through our local community forum we received news that a new-born baby had been found by homeless people rummaging through a dustbin. You all know how cold it was this weekend!The baby was still attached to the umbilical cord and placenta.Last year there was a baby found in similar conditions in Bassonia (http://www.tametimes.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4812:abandoned-baby-in-bassonia-jhb-south&catid=39:advertising). I was heart-broken the week after the story was in the newspaper every time I thought about it I would cry.I’m not going to allow for another little angel to die – I’m going to do something about this.
There is such a stereotype that we only hear about these sad stories happening in the rural areas or to black babies but it doesn’t clearly.We reside in your average middle class-to-well off mixed race area so why is this happening?
A few years ago I heard about The Door of Hope , founder Cheryl Allen realized that many of those desperate women and girls may well have acted differently had there been an alternative. The church made a hole in their wall and a ‘baby bin’ was installed allowing for mothers to leave their babies anytime day or night. The moment a baby is placed in the bin care workers on duty receive an electronic signal alerting them. The baby is taken in and the anonymity of the donor ensured. News has spread and other babies have been brought personally by their mothers or have come through other means such as the police, community members, hospitals or clinics. By faith and reliance on God alone and from small, humble beginnings, the ministry has grown and over 100 children’s’ lives are being saved every year.(Taken from the Door of Hope Website – www.doorofhope.co.za )
Its better than dumping it in a dustbin in the hopes that someone will find that baby.I found out that there are two homes in our area……Clearly not everyone knows how close there are to saving that baby’s life.
Do not condemn a mother, I keep thinking,I was 28 years old when my husband and I decided to plan for a baby , I was in a committed relationship ,a planned pregnancy and yet when I went through the motions of pregnancy and labour I was absolutely petrified,I had a full support system from the word go. Can you begin to imagine hiding your pregnancy for 9 months ,going through contractions in silence and then worst of all, delivering your own baby.
- To go into High Schools in the area and talk about the Door of Hope, we can’t even back step and talk to them about not being sexually active – then we being naive ourselves, sex amongst teens is happening , teenage girls are still afraid of going to a free clinic for their contraceptive (where to they hid the pill?) and in the heat of teen passion it seems from the statistics that any form of precaution is forgotten.
- The Door of Hope and its Bin are a great idea but it seems these mothers are just not getting there alternatively leaving these babies to die – what next? An SMS line where the person with the baby could just sms a short description of where the baby is being left(abandoned)this information is then dispatched to volunteers who will act on this immediately in order to get to the baby as soon as possible to get to a baby who is alive and not dead.
- Baby Kit – Creating a baby kit that all the volunteers have with them at all times – Blankets , Nappies , Basic and 1st Aid Training kits.
- Getting the community involved – Advertising (flyers , posters ,radio,etc )of the SMS number – I want it to be remembered like we remember our emergency contact number
- Taking this from local to nationally in Jesus Name…….Amen