My friend Karen is on a one woman crusade to help people that need it in South Africa. Her latest charity involvement is that she rallied for donations for a centre for abandoned babies. The centre is called Door of Hope, which I think is a pretty great name for this kind of place, don’t you? Karen had bags and bags of clothes, toys, toiletries etc that had been donated by friends and readers of her blog in Singapore. Karen actually brings many, many kg’s of donations from Singapore every time she comes back for various communities that need charitable help and I think that deserves a
big glass of champagne pat on the back!
Door of Hope is a ministry that provides a safe, caring environment for abandoned babies, before they are hopefully adopted. The babies come to them in all kinds of ways – via hospitals, the police, community members, and also via a baby drop “bin” (hole in the wall) that they created at the church. When a baby is placed in the bin, care workers are alerted via an electronic signal and the baby taken immediately from the bin to be cared for. They say that some people have criticised the baby bin concept for encouraging the abandonment of babies, but I am so glad that they had this idea. 10% of their babies come from the “drop box” and I dread to think what might have happened to them if the baby bin had not been available. There have been too many stories about babies abandoned in ditches and left to die.
We were so lucky to accompany Karen and her husband as it is such a wonderful place. When we arrived there were around 12 babies all lying on the play-mat just waiting for me to coo over them! They really were adorable. They all had these huge brown eyes staring up at me that just made my heart melt. Rob became great friends with a 1 year old boy who had the most serious little face I have ever seen. He really took everything in without reacting, which is so different to all the other little bubba’s that were there. One of them had a very long, serious conversation with me in baby chat. We played with them all for around an hour, and then it was nap time for some and feeding time for others. It was nappy changing time for a few too!!!
A lot of the children had umbilical hernia’s, which I have never seen before. They occur in 10-20% of children, and especially in girls, preemies and children of African ethnicity. These kids ticked all of the boxes!
I struggle to imagine how these beautiful creatures ended up in a place like this, but then there are all kinds of stories behind how each one got to be there, and mostly they will have a much better life than they would have had should their biological parents have kept them. They are cared for extraordinarily well at Door of Hope, and according to another friend in attendance, it is a much better facility than other orphanages that she has visited. Lots of the babies there were being adopted soon, which made me feel warm and fuzzy. I just hope that they are all lucky enough to find a forever home.
We were not allowed to take pictures of the babies faces in order to protect their identity, otherwise this post would be filled to the brim of these gorgeous, smiling little people.
Hats off to Karen for her donation, and to everyone that is involved in Door of Hope. They are doing such a great job. I came away extremely broody, and inspired to get involved and volunteer some time. If you too want to get involved, check out their website and see how you can.