News archive

Social Auxiliary Workers

SAW grads We have helped fund another four very proud community workers to achieve a life-long ambition to become qualified Social Auxiliary Workers[SAW]. That now is over 50 people we have funded through this life-changing course. SAW grads

These graduates have and will spend their working lives interacting with damaged children; they help the children in group sessions, help families to understand and help them all to cope with what has happened. If a perpetrator is charged these excellent people will work with and support children going through the long and traumatic road to court and beyond.
The Social Auxiliary Workers are crucial in helping children and their families rebuild their lives after severe trauma, we are really proud of them and their work and are really proud to be part of ensuring they have enhanced skills and a qualification that will give each individual a confident and secure future.

From Childline Mpumalanga where we have, to date, trained over twelve hundred people:

"This program [Caring for Crèches] has impacted hugely on the quality of care for children less than 6 years of age and Childline Mpumalanga is really proud to have touched and changed the lives of 13,313 children in our last financial year of June 2012 to September 2013 through the support of the infant trust funding. The positive contribution of the infant trust funding is much appreciated and it will always be part of our history as Childline Mpumalanga in Child protection services.

Compiled by: Joyce Maelamo
Training Manager: Childline Mpumalanga

An indication of the impact of the Caring for Crèches training recently undertaken by Childline in North West Province

“It is a privilege for the undersigned to report back on the first training that has been conducted in Tlhabane, outside Rustenburg, during July 2013. This training was a wonderful and fulfilling experience for the trainer and for the participants.  It took me back to the very beginning seven years ago when the pilot training was done and the long road of establishing and developing this life-changing training course. This would not have been possible without the infant trust. We want to thank you for making a such difference in so many people’s lives. These are just some of their comments after the training:

  • I have learned how to identify abused children, what to do if a child is abused, and that I must not conclude before I know all the reasons and facts.
  • I have reported about several children in my crèche I now know are being abused
  • The community must be involved to recognise and help abused children.
  • I have learned more about children and how to take care of them.
  • We need to protect and love our children.
  • We will be able to identify children who are being abused.
  • I will not allow our children to suffer from abuse.
  • So many children are abused at home by parents and family members.

It is a pity that the appreciation and the emotions of the participants cannot be displayed on paper for the funder [the infant trust] and others to read. All we can do is to thank the infant trust for this extraordinary opportunity that has had such far reaching and ongoing impact in people’s lives, the children in the crèches and the communities”

Alice Carnell

A few words of thanks and appreciation from one of our partners in South Africa …

They used to be the Childline Services in Port Elizabeth but have been reconfigured as UVIWE – this means ‘you are heard’, a very appropriate description of a service for small children who are otherwise rarely listened to…

"On behalf of the Management, staff and clients of Uviwe Child and Youth Services, I wish to thank you most sincerely for another year of committed funding for the Caring for Crèches Programme.

We are extremely encouraged by the positive and noticeable results we see in the community based crèches through working in partnership with Infant Trust.  We greatly value your interest and investment in bringing hope to the children of the Eastern Cape."


IPSCAN Conference 2014


I finally got to Japan – what a fascinating place - and spoke at the conference of the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect [ISPCAN]. I talked about our joint work with Childline SA, and others, and specifically about the Caring for Crèches project. It all seemed to go very well and there were many questions afterwards; several people from different countries have asked about the viability of running this in other places … in one word? Funding … !





News about some toys - September 2014:

a happy young man

Thanks to the extreme generosity of UK children we have now sent nearly 1,000 pre-loved and in-excellent-condition soft cuddly toys to our partners at Ekupholeni Mental Health and Trauma Centre [] at Imisebeyelanga [], and Childline SA [] ….. three organisations we are really honoured to partner with.

heartfelt thanks

At Ekupholeni they provide therapy, counselling and support for hundreds of children who live on the edge, in trouble, often in great poverty and often having been seriously abused – it is one of the most inspiring and well-run NGOs we have come across in South Africa and we are very proud to have been supporting them and their work for the last 9 years.

Imisebeyelanga provides training for home and community-based care workers; it supports crèches for vulnerable children and helps to set-up and support crisis services for traumatised children.

Childline SA works collectively to protect children from all forms of violence and to create a culture of children's rights in South Africa.

New toys
a first toy

The children in SA have clearly loved getting their own toy; these are the pictures of some of the toys that were sent, and the happy recipients.

Thank you so much to everybody who helped in the UK, and again thank you to the amazing people at Ekupholeni, at Imisebeyelanga and all through Childline in South Africa for the work they do.

To read our guidance on how to donate toys, click HERE.

We love our toys

Report of Lesley's visit in March 2014
Report of Lesley's visit in March 2013
Report of Lesley's visit in September 2012
NewsletterClick here to download our newsletter

May 2012

Annual reportClick here to download our Annual Report 2011 - 2012
(Beware, VERY large file)
Report of Lesley's visit in March 2012
Report of Lesley's visit in August 2011
Report of Lesley's visit in January/Febuary 2011
Annual reportClick here to download our Annual Report 2009 - 2010
(Beware, VERY large file)
Sunday 16th May 2010.
Finally one of the UK broadsheets has taken note of the amount of child rape in South Africa – read the piece by Rachel Shields at in the Independent on Sunday.  Rachel also talks about a programme to be shown on UK C4 at 9pm on Sunday evening 23rd May – a Dispatches programme ….  it promises to be fairly hard hitting stuff.
NewsletterClick here to download our newsletter

May 2010

Strategic plan 2010The Trust's strategic direction document, April 2010
Report of Lesley's visit in March 2010
South Africa is one country that is suffering from a surge in sexual violence, even though it has one of the best constitutional and legal frameworks in the world for human rights, including violence against women. After the end of apartheid in the early 1990s, and during its transition towards democracy, South Africa experienced a rapid increase in reported rapes. South African rape statistics are now among the highest in the world. …. child rape in South Africa has reached "epidemic proportions". One-third of reported rapes between January and September 2001 were of children between zero and 11 years of age”.

Julie Bindel The New Statesman 5th March 2010
Encouraging words from one of our partners in South Africa – evidence of how much our work is valued and how much impact it is having. Read it here.
Information just in from one of our partners
Fred Bridgland, award winning journalist, has written an in-depth article about the situation in South Africa - you can read it at
or download a pdf copy here. It is gripping reading.
The annual report for 2008-2009 is available here (warning - large file!)

8th April 2010. Rhoda Kadalie.

'One important element in the murder of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging leader Eugene TerreBlanche — and one that has been generally overlooked — is that one of the suspects is only 15 years old. A mere child. But then he is just one of the many South African children who are raping young women and children and murdering people, black and white, old and young, rich and poor.’ Read more here.

Report of Lesley's visit to South Africa November 2009
It seems as if the abuse of small children is getting worse in southern Africa – see this story from the BBC from Zimbabwe, similar problems, similar causes and almost certainly similar ways to help resolve the situation.
There was, recently, an article in the Star newspaper from Johannesburg highlighting the terrible abuse against some infants – infants who are, literally, just thrown away. Read it here.
Hillary Clinton, Cape Town 8th August 2009:

"I have travelled literally all over the world and when people organise themselves and are given the tools and the training to really empower themselves and their future …. and communities, that's what's lasting."
Official figures, just out, show that sexual offences in South Africa have risen by 10% in the last year, and that one in four men admits to having forced a woman to have sex – read the story here.
Report of Lesley and Liz's visit to South Africa, August 2009
We have been turned down, yet again, for funding from Comic Relief. We hoped that they might give us some help to extend the programme for women and children but we will keep trying
Protecting children in crèches
Projects Update March 2009
The Long Term Neurological and Developmental Effects of Sexual Abuse on Infant Children - report
You might find these interesting:
HIV/AIDS, the stats, the virgin cure and infant rape
Report of Lesley's visit to South Africa, April 2009
It happens in the UK too
Annual review Annual Review 2007-2008
Imisebeyelanga – the story so far. October 2008
Update August 2008
Ekupholeni Mental Health Centre: Plus News
Man convicted of child rape: South Africa News
NewsletterClick here to download our newsletter

May 2008

Update May 2008
Report of Lesley's Visit to South Africa, February 2008
Annual reviewAnnual Review 2006-2007
Things are getting worse
NewsletterClick here to download our newsletter

November 2007

Research programme
Strategic PlanThe Trust's strategic direction document, April 2007
Update March - August 2007
Unicef Report Report from Unicef on the status of children aged 0-4 in South Africa
Stories Some stories from a reliable website
Report of Lesley's Visit to South Africa, July 2007
NewsletterClick here to download our newsletter

May 2007

Update December 2006 – March 2007
Annual reviewAnnual Review 2005-2006
Lord John Lee joins us as Patron
Update August - November 2006
NewsletterClick here to download our newsletter

November 2006

The United Nations Secretary General’s Study on Violence Against Children
Report of Lesley's Visit to South Africa, August 2006
Update April - July 2006
Infant rape is happening all over the place
NewsletterClick here to download our newsletter

April 2006

Report of Lesley's Visit to South Africa, March 2006
Dr Chai Patel agrees to join us as Patron

March 2006

Report of Lesley's Visit to South Africa, November 2005
NewsletterClick here to download our newsletter

November 2005

Baroness Joan Walmsley agrees to join us as Patron

September 2005

"Rape: the new scourge of the Cape Flats" By Di Caelers

Article in The Cape Argus on June 28, 2005

Report of Lesley's Visit to South Africa, April 2005
"Voices being raised against baby rape" By Charlene Smith

Article in Sunday Independent. March 27th 2005

"Child sex abuse is on the rise" By: Lindsey Arkley

Article in Pretoria News on September 23, 2004

"Rape only the tip of the iceberg in the sexual abuse of young children" By Linda Richter

Article in HSRC Review, Volume 2, Number 2, and Child Abuse Review, Vol. 12, 2003.

"Sexual Abuse of Infants - A five-part question focusing on sexual abuse during infancy"  By: Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D
Facts and Statistics

Our project locations

Map of South Africa

We are not sending any more toys to South Africa. If you would like to donate then please contact the lovely people at:

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 .

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