Guardian angel for tiny tots

ON THE corner of Old Transkei Road and Willasdale Drive, Guardians of Hope can be spotted guarding and giving hope to abandoned and destitute babies.

FULL OF HEART: Guardians of Hope founder and house mother Elaine Brenkman holds one of the many babies in her care at the home Picture: MADELEINE CHAPUT

At any given time, Guardians of Hope Place of Safety caters for six babies in need of arms to hold them and hearts to love them.

Under the guidance of founder and passionate house mother Elaine Brenkman, Guardians of Hope has flourished in the short time since its opening in July last year.

From caring for and loving 20 babies to a series of successful placements and adoptions (of which four have been successfully reunited with their families), Brenkman has gained the support and the hearts of the East London community, who continuously amaze her.

From individuals who have donated anything and everything a baby might need to companies such as ViP Promotions, PNA Stationers and SMB Traders, who have each sponsored a cot, donating R5000 a month for the care of a child, East London has welcomed Guardians of Hope with arms wide open.

“I am so grateful to all the individuals and businesses that have and continue to support Guardians of Hope. It really means the world to me that the community can see the worth and the value in what I am doing,” said Brenkman.

“Finances have been the biggest challenge – from all the needs of the six babies to my staff’s salaries, running the home requires a lot of funds. I hope East London continues to assist Guardians of Hope, and that this home continues to grow and be a refuge for babies in need,” she said.

The home’s mandate is to offer a short-term place of safety for babies in need. The main goal is to find these children forever families before they are six months old, whether it be with their biological families or with those looking to adopt.

“I’ve always had a mom thing. My dream was always to have a big family and have lots of children of my own to love and care for, and to one day have a place just like this. Every single baby has my heart and it’s difficult for me to see them go, but it also makes me exceptionally happy. It’s such a beautiful journey,” said Brenkman.

Unfortunately, after the birth of Brenkman’s biological daughter, she was diagnosed with cancer of the uteris, which left her unable to have any more children of her own.

“It didn’t work out the way I had planned, but God still blessed me with many children. I have three adopted children and take care of another six through Guardians of Hope. I’m living my dream, it is truly an honour to care for every one of them,” the Good Samaritan said.

At any given time, Brenkman is a mom to 12 children – from her 21-year-old daughter to a six-week-old baby in desperate need of love, and her heart is full of devotion for each and every child she has cared for.

Any individuals or businesses interested in assisting Guardians of Hope by pledging any amount on a monthly basis or sponsoring one of the remaining three cots, please contact Brenkman on 082-487-4406 or at


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