‘Society too quick to judge mothers who abandon babies’

Berea – Mothers who are unable to care for their babies need to be aware that there is help at the Door of Hope Children’s Mission in Berea, Johannesburg, says operations director Nadene Grabham.

Grabham says since 1999 they had taken in more than 1 700 babies; and of that total 230 were dropped in the baby-box at the church.

“Society is too quick to judge and disgrace a mother who chose to give up her baby. We need to put ourselves in that mother’s shoes. She may have been abandoned herself by the father of the baby when she told him she was pregnant,” Grabham says.

She explains that there are many more reasons for child abandonment.

“She might not have any family support, unemployment has increased, mothers are not getting salaries, and they are not getting grants; and rape is such a great influence of child abandonment,” Grabham says.

She urges women in such situations to find help, and not give up hope.

“It doesn’t matter where in the country you are, reach out to a church, a community centre; many police stations have child protection programmes, reach out to those people.”

The Door of Hope Children’s Mission started operating at a church in Berea in 1999; amid a spike of child abandonment cases, Grabham says.

A metal box with a door was built into the church wall to allow a parent to safely leave their baby and remain anonymous if they so wish.

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