WhatsApp line to help desperate mothers
CHILD activists have launched a WhatsApp line to help despairing mothers thinking of abandoning their children.
Thousands of children are abandoned each year and activists are trying to draw attention to their plight as part of Child Protection Week.
“Some of the babies abandoned in public places are premature and sometimes even have the umbilical cord on them‚” child protection activist Dee Blackie said.
The WhatsApp line will put mothers in touch with places of safety where they can leave their children.
Last year‚ 2 830 children were abandoned at child care centres nationwide‚ according to research by the National Adoption Coalition.
Gauteng registered the highest number at about 900, with two thirds of them dying.
Activists say they have encountered difficulties when trying to help these children.
For example‚ many are dropped off anonymously by their mothers‚ making it difficult to obtain documentation.
“There is an assumption that abandoned babies are foreign and‚ while they make up a significant number‚ not all of them are,” Blackie said.
“There are moms‚ including teens‚ who are unable to keep their babies.”
Adoption has remained stagnant‚ and more people from other countries are adopting babies than locals‚ according to the coalition. – Shenaaz Jamal