It happens in the UK as well…..

We’ve all read the atrocious stories in the UK press. Doesn’t it simply defy belief that a father can behave in such a brutal way towards his children – whether or not the statutory services could have done something, the fundamental responsibility lies with the man who rapes his daughters at any age, let alone at 8 years old.

We are just in the run-up to Christmas in the UK and although the credit crunch has already bitten hard many of us will be thinking about what we can do to celebrate the season of good cheer and joy to all. I just ask you to remember that at any time of the night or day a small child somewhere in South Africa is being badly abused, often in a similar way to these lassies in Sheffield

I have just returned from South Africa and meeting people whose lives have been irretrievably traumatised by unspeakable abuse — there it is around 20 times higher than in the UK, and those are the ones we know about.

Many of the children concerned live in isolated communities far from anywhere else and where there is almost no infrastructure to help and support … however imperfectly. Through our training of community volunteers we know that dire things are happening day in day out.

Why December is particularly bad:

What has happened in the UK is truly, truly dreadful. Please also remember the hundreds of children, black or white, for whom, from very early on in their lives, this brutalising is a regular occurrence. We are working hard to train as many community volunteers to protect children and help stop the abuse

We appreciate, so much, any support you can offer. Thank you.

December 2008

Lesley Rudd
Chief Executive
the infant trust


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To date, with the help of DHL, we have sent from the UK to South Africa, over 2,500 soft toys for vulnerable children. The outpouring of love and donations of beautiful soft toys has been quite amazing and we thank every child and parent/guardian who have donated. Each and every toy that we sent will be cherished in their new home. We are now stopping accepting toys because those lovely people at do this all the time, again with DHL, and send toys to children all over the world. Any kind people who wish to donate will now be referred to them.

Click here for more information

We are proud and honoured that our work has been recognised by the UK Prime Minister, and that he has given Lesley his Point of Light award, stating
With the Infant Trust Lesley has empowered thousands of women across South Africa to protect and safeguard children in their communities. The education and training she has provided has helped to improve the lives of over 800,000 children, tackling the violence and abuse that affects too many of them in their early years. As we mark International Women’s Day this week I am delighted to recognise all that Lesley has done.”
You can find the full story at

Why are so many small children abused by male perpetrators in South Africa? Our researcher interviewed 27 perpetrators in prison in South Africa; all are in jail after being found guilty of some of the most terrible crimes against some of the most vulnerable children – some as young as a few days old. Those interviewed are all men aged between 16 years and 84 years old, and all have brutalised and raped at least one child. But the findings aren’t maybe what we might expect – it makes interesting reading.  We have been funding research into this for 5 years and it is finally finished and published – you can read the summary here

Our flagship Caring for Crèches programme has reached into some of the poorest communities in five of the nine provinces in South Africa and we have crèche leaders everywhere clamouring for the training. We have now trained over 2,200 people and they in turn have already positively impacted on the lives of over 160,000 children … and will continue to help many hundreds more children for years to come

Just once in a while, amongst all the amazing work that is done to help children in South Africa, we come across a shining star. One such is Wilhelmina who determined to setup a refuge for abandoned children.
Newsletter The report from our most recent visit to South Africa

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