With COVID-19 continuing to have devastating effects on both the local and global economy, and financial pressures mounting on more families, paired with rising unemployment, there has been a rising number in babies being abandoned or given up for adoption.
In response to this pandemic, the office of the Short-Term Insurance Ombudsman (OSTI) revised its corporate social initiatives to reach out to charities that care for children, to support these organisations during this difficult time. “Every year, OSTI plans its CSI initiatives for the year to uplift our community. This year, we amended our plan to support a few new local orphanages, to provide them with necessities and protective personal equipment (PPE),” says OSTI project coordinator Marilize Blignaut.
During July, and in the spirit of Mandela Day, OSTI donated essential items and PPEs to the Door of Hope Children’s Mission, a place of safety for abandoned babies, in Glenvista, Johannesburg. Since the start of the lockdown to mid-July, the Door of Hope took in an additional 13 babies, of whom seven were abandoned babies. Since 1999, the organisation has taken in and cared for 1 720 babies.
OSTI’s donation comprised nappies, baby formula, baby puree, sterilising liquid, disposable face masks, hand sanitiser and refuse bags.
Door of Hope baby house manager Claude Boni notes that they currently have 69 babies in their care, ranging from new born babies to two-year old toddlers. “Every donation to the Door of Hope is much-needed and deeply appreciated. For those who would like to donate, our list of needs is outlined on our website,” says Boni.
He notes that as a result of COVID-19, the Door of Hope has had to close its doors to volunteers, but that they still needed assistance through donations. “We are grateful to our supporters who ensure that our needs are met.”
“We look forward to meeting and spending time with the staff and children when it is safe to do so,” concludes Blignaut.