Nestled in leafy Westville is a sanctuary run by remarkable people, dedicated to protecting the abandoned babies of today so that they do not become the street children of tomorrow.
Story by Kirsten Clark
In an effort to feed the many mouths, the team at The Baby House will be hosting a Valentine’s Wine Tasting and Fashion Display on 10 February 2012. The event will take place at T-Zone in Botha’s Hill and will feature the delectably sinful lingerie of Satin Candy, as well as a number of special sponsored giveaways. See below for more details.
The Baby House endeavours to place all children in loving families where they can develop a sense of belonging. The charity cares for children from birth to two years, with the various satellites housing over 60 children.
Daphne Banks and her husband began the project in 2002 when they took ‘crisis babies’ into their own home. Following the death of their son and searching for a reason to live, Daphne volunteered at Itembu Lethu, helping children affected by HIV/Aids.
“Exactly one month after his death, the social workers knocked on the door and asked me to help them with a placement for a very malnourished seven-month-old boy,” says Daphne. “I remember asking God what he wanted me to do with this broken child, when he took my perfectly healthy strong boy away from me. The answer came in the support I received from the community – people arrived from all over to assist by volunteering their time so that I could have time out with my family.”
In August 2003, the first eSimphiwe Baby House opened its doors in Mendoza Drive, Umhlanga.
The Baby House is run by eSimphiwe Trust, which has provided care to over 400 children in nine years. The trust manages a shelter facility in Richmond, which can house up to 30 children and four satellite homes, including The Baby House in Westville.
The satellite homes can take in between six and 12 children at one time. The children are placed in The Baby House Westville by social workers, as well as various police stations with approval from the courts. The home will not accept children handed over by parents or the public.
Help where it’s needed
As Daphne says, “We do not receive Government funding and we were declined Lotto funding this year, so all funds raised will be utilised where most needed to keep The Baby House going.”
If you’d like to help, items that are always in demand include nappies, baby milk formula, toiletries, toys, clothes and financial aid. Volunteers are also needed, especially at feeding and bath times. “We would also love some volunteers to do outdoor and creative play times. These are such a blessing to the children and are much appreciated,” says Daphne.
To book your place for The Baby House’s Valentine’s Evening, contact Bronwyn van Wyk on 072 725 1017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets cost R250 per couple.
Sponsored by Heritage Wine and Liquour, Satin Candy, Justine, Kelly’s Photography, Sica’s Guesthouse, Cool Jam Entertainment and T-Zone.
eSimphiwe Trust http://www.esimphiwe.co.za/
Ithemba Lethu http://www.ithembalethu.org.za/