suffer the little ones

ANGEL OF MERCY: Capricorn FM chief executive officer Simphiwe Mdlalose holds one of the abandoned babies at Umephi in Polokwane. Pic. CHESTER MAKANA.  10/02/2010. © Sowetan.

CARE FOR ME:Capricorn Fm CEO Simphiwe Mdlalose with one of the babies abandoned at Umephi house in Polokwane.
PHOTO:CHESTER MAKANA
ANGEL OF MERCY: Capricorn FM chief executive officer Simphiwe Mdlalose holds one of the abandoned babies at Umephi in Polokwane. Pic. CHESTER MAKANA. 10/02/2010. © Sowetan. CARE FOR ME:Capricorn Fm CEO Simphiwe Mdlalose with one of the babies abandoned at Umephi house in Polokwane. PHOTO:CHESTER MAKANA

THE number of babies abandoned at hospitals and in public areas in Limpopo is increasing.

As a result orphanages in the province are struggling to cope with the influx owing to lack a of funds.

An organisation caring for neglected babies, Umephi, said yesterday that it had seen the number of babies increasing this year, though it had been able to reunite some of them with their mothers.

Umephi, which operates in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, is faced with a lack of resources to deal with the problem. The organisation is looking for help.

Umephi coordinator Yolanda Stevens said most children were born in hospitals and their mothers disappeared because of post-natal stress and or rejection by their relatives.

Speaking after receiving a donation of R17000 from Capricorn FM, a Limpopo commercial radio station, Stevens said any donation made a huge difference since the organisation did not receive any help from the government.

"The donation was set to change the lives of the children and caregivers. Most of the babies were left in hospitals, while others were brought to them by police who found them dumped.

"For the past few months we have seen an increase in the number of babies and our house is at present 140percent full," she said.

Umephi said unemployment contributed significantly to the abandonment of babies.

Capricorn FM chief executive Simphiwe Mdlalose said the station was touched by the conditions at Umephi and had pledged to continue its support. He appealed to other private sector institutions to help give the children "love and care".

Limpopo provincial department of health and social development spokesperson Selby Makgotho said they would investigate why Umephi was not receiving government grants.

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