THiNK interviews Bethany O’Connor, from Baby Safe. Causes like this force up to reject apathy and take take action! Click the links below to do something about it!
Bethany O’Connor on Twitter:
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Austin Crane – The First Shall Be
Baby Safe is located in Sun Valley, (near Cape Town) which is home to thousands of African refugees and South Africans struggling to survive in the midst of poverty, unemployment, a 40% HIV/AIDS infection rate, and the devastation of addiction, domestic abuse and broken families. We have discovered that one of the consequences of the poverty in South Africa is that new born babies are literally being thrown away.
Baby Safe was birthed out of the realization that next to nothing was being done to prevent this. We are available to intervene with abandoned infants found anywhere but we also have an anonymous baby drop called a baby safe. Its our desire is to help women who may find themselves in desperate circumstances if they are not comfortable coming forward to discuss their situation. But it is also our aim to prevent baby dumping by connecting with at risk pregnant women before they come to such a point. We offer counseling-related services and resources for the expecting mother and brand new mom. Baby Safe is building a network of safes in areas of need throughout Cape Town and South Africa. Parties interested in the low maintenance management of an actual baby safe in their area please contact [email protected] for more info.
We are a ministry of All Nations and this is what we do:
- We are countering infanticide through providing alternatives to desperate mothers. Baby Safe intervenes in South Africa’s baby dumping crisis by providing a drop off point (the baby safe), where a mother can leave her baby anonymously, legally, and safely, 24 hours a day.
- We staff the local hospital with a pre-abortion counselor for all women scheduled for weekly abortions. This is where women recieve education, all of their options, and most of all a non judgemental encounter with the hope.
- We network to provide babies with immediate and excellent care at local private baby homes and then with permanent, loving, and Christian families through adoption. (http://www.abbaadoptions.co.za)
- We engage with pregnant women and new mothers in crisis openly, through counseling services that seek to address the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual state of each woman. Mothers seeking to relinquish their child for adoption are also served and walked through this process. Women served by Baby Safe are connected with spiritual and social support in their community through All Nations home churches, service referrals, job creation schemes, discipling relationships, and baby care needs.
What else do we do to impact the surrounding townships?
- We advocate at a government level for women and children and network with the local social service organizations, hospitals, clinics, and police on behalf of abandoned babies.
- We have built a network of local foster families and we place abused and neglected babies for temporary safety.
- Baby Safe is staffed full time by a qualified social worker, counselor and trained volunteers.
- Baby Safe offers foster care recruitment & training to children’s homes as well as adoption preparation education.
- Baby Safe offers workshops for new mothers on birth and infant care.
- Baby Safe offers workshops for pregnant teens, focusing on options, pregnancy education and follow up.
- Baby Safe staff also does home visits with new mothers to offer education and support as means of child abuse and neglect prevention.
- Baby Safe provides False Bay hospital with “new baby packs”. These go to mothers who give birth but have absolutely nothing for the baby. This pack includes a Baby Safe published booklet on infant care and safety, a blanket, nappies, vest, grower, gender specific newborn outfit, baby lotion, wash cloth, soap and also a handwritten note of congratulations