Abuse doesn’t always mean sexual abuse
In the UK we raise an outcry is a baby is found abandoned - understandably. Here in South Africa, in one province alone, it is thought that over 200 babies every year, between the ages of 1 hour old and 2 weeks old, are being thrown away. Abandoned, and often dead, babies are found in gutters, in drains, in car parks and thrown out of windows.
It is easy to be condemning but if you are a young girl who has been raped and didn’t known about pregnancy or even the rudiments of getting pregnant the discovery of the pregnancy and birth is a terrible shock. Many times they try to get rid of the baby - if abortion doesn’t work [and often it is too late] then they do what they can to disguise things and crawl into some rotten hole to hide from what they see as their disgrace. However it isn’t always poor girls who have been raped who discard these babies, the police have found they come from all strata’s of society, but you still have to be pretty desperate to abandon a baby. In the light of this there are many places babies can be left like the traditional ‘Hole in the Wall’ where the baby will be taken in and cared for by children homes, but still babies are found in rubbish heaps.
Unfortunately many of these abandoned babies are sick, malnourished or infected with all sorts of things so their life span is likely to be short. We work with the ever amazing Big Shoes who work with children’s homes and try to give every abandoned baby a chance at a decent life [and grow into Big Shoes …. ] for however long is left to them. We fund training, through Big Shoes, for the children’s home staff – many of them volunteers - who work with these ‘found’ babies and who try to give the babies a good, loving, quality of life for however long remains.
A baby being lovingly cared for