More children abandoned during lockdown, says Joburg baby shelter

Door of Hope Children's Mission has welcomed a new baby to its shelter as child abandonments increase.
Door of Hope Children's Mission has welcomed a new baby to its shelter as child abandonments increase.
Image: 123RF/Kati Finell

Door of Hope Children's Mission has welcomed a new baby to its shelter — the seventh since the start of lockdown.

The baby shelter in Johannesburg announced on Tuesday that the baby - just a few months old - was found abandoned on the side of the road.

The shelter said the increase in child abandonment suggests that mothers are unable to care for their children under lockdown because of possibly reduced incomes or lost jobs.

Under level 4 of the lockdown, many workers are allowed to return to work and mothers going back may find it is difficult to work and look after a new baby.

“Mothers might be facing poverty and desperation. This might be a reason we are experiencing an increase in child abandonment of older babies,” said the shelter.

The shelter also said lockdown regulations have stretched it to capacity and that it is unable to unite babies and children with their new or biological families.

“Across SA, many childcare agencies and places of safety are stretched to capacity as we are unable to unite babies and children with their families under the lockdown,” said Door of Hope.

“We pray that urgent policies are put in place that could help non-profit organisations which are bridging the gaps in childcare for the children of this beautiful nation.

“Too many children are facing abuse, neglect and abandonment. We need to be their voice, we have to stand up for them.”

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