Giving babies a second chance


HELPING HANDS: Breath of Life counsellors, from left, Noly Komsana, Chanelle Bunting and Pamela Ive Picture: SUPPLIED

RESTORE Trust, which was established by the Stirling Baptist Church in 2009, is continuing with its mission of developing innovative responses to social problems.
Director Andrew Reilly said the trust was the umbrella body of a number of non-profit organisations in the city, with a common purpose to “restore the needy emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually”.
“Breath of Life place of safety is one of the NPOs with the objective of saving babies by offering caring homes until they are reunited or placed with their forever families and to give women in crisis pregnancies professional support in their time of need.”
Babies were being abandoned in dumpsters, dustbins and drains. The SAPS, social workers and members of the public often delivered infants to the place of safety in Dawson Road in Selborne, which had the capacity to provide care for six babies.
“The house is staffed by a team of carers and house parents who provide around-the-clock care. In partnership with local social workers and adoption agencies, we find these children forever families within three to six months.”
Reilly said Breath of Life operated numerous counselling centres at Frere Hospital, Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, Empilweni Clinic and at various local schools.
“These centres provide women with support and information on termination alternatives. Many women seeking help have no support structures in place and no understanding of government grants, fostering or adoption services.
“To date, more than 18000 women have been through the doors of Breath of Life counselling centres, and 125 babies have been cared for at the Place of Safety.
“Since the Breath of Life counsellors also deal with stillborn births, grief counselling is done as well as counselling with women who become pregnant as a result of rape.”
As an NPO, Breath of Life is dependent on donations. “We need funds to cover monthly expenses. A simple way to donate is to join our guardian programme where a direct debit is set up for every month. People can donate from R100 or as much as they would like to give.”
Donations of essentials including nappies, wipes, formula milk, unscented aqueous cream, linen and clothing are welcome. “We appeal to the community to donate their time to volunteer at our place of safety. Our babies love cuddles and interactive play.”
For information, contact Michelle Reilly on 076-426-5749.


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