NATIONAL ADOPTION COALITION LAUNCHES THE ‘CARE CRIB’ FOR MOMS IN NEED
Each year, many women face the stark realities of a crisis or unplanned pregnancy. Statistics show that 30% of South African teenagers have reported ‘ever having being pregnant’, and most of these pregnancies are unplanned. There are a number of causes including sugar daddies, a highly reported topic in the media, ignorance of birth control, rape, not wanting to use contraceptives, proving one’s womanhood, transactional purposes (survival), as well as healthcare workers and nurses refusal to provide birth control solutions to young women due to their traditional views on sexuality. Often teenagers from impoverished backgrounds face the greatest challenges and judgement, but it could just as easily be a single mother of three facing an unplanned pregnancy. From that moment on, lives are changed forever.
In support of all women facing a crisis pregnancy, the National Adoption Coalition of South Africa(NACSA) is launching a new initiative called the ‘Care Crib’ for Nelson Mandel Day 2016. The Care Cribis a sturdy cardboard box that doubles as a sleeping crib for the first 6 to 8 months of a baby’s life. TheCribs will be filled with all of the necessities that a mother needs in the first few weeks after the birth of her baby. They will be distributed by NACSA partners to mothers in need, as part of the NACSA ‘Chooseto Care’ crisis pregnancy support programme. NACSA launched the Choose to Care campaign in June2015 and have helped over 1245 women experiencing a crisis pregnancy since then (more than 100women every month from across the country).
“Women experiencing an unplanned crisis pregnancy can call us, email us or send us a contact formon our MXiT app and we can put them in touch with a crisis pregnancy support service in their area”,says Pam Wilson, spokesperson for NACSA. She adds that “most of the young women who call us aredesperate, living in dire poverty and have little to no support from their families or community. Through Choose to Care we are able to counsel them and give them advice on all of the optionsavailable to them. These options include parenting, abortion, kinship care, foster care, institutionalcare and adoption. Statistics of people who have accessed the support centre to date indicate thatthe majority of women in need are based in Gauteng (34%), followed by Kwa Zulu Natal, (16%), theWestern Cape (12%), and the Eastern Cape (10%).
“We developed the Care Crib in response to research conducted on child abandonment that found thatmothers who choose to abandon their babies have often not bonded with their child in utero”, says child protection activist Dee Blackie. “They don’t see the child as a person, but rather as a reason fortheir suffering, they are often victims of gender abuse, extreme poverty and have little to no supportat this difficult time”. Blackie notes that most abandoned babies are abandoned at birth and often in extremely unsafe spaces such as toilets, latrines and the open veld. “We are hoping that the Care Cribgoes some way to helping women experiencing a crisis pregnancy to connect with the baby growinginside their womb. Even if they decide that they cannot look after their child, the mothers at least havethe tools and information they need to place their child safely in our child protection system wherethey can be taken care of”, says Blackie.
The Care Crib is being launched on Nelson Mandela Day and a number of organisations are choosing tocare by packing and assembling the cribs on 18 July as part of their 67 minutes of community service. The Crib has been designed and donated by Mpact who are partnering NACSA on this exciting initiative. If you would like to take part in the campaign or for more information please contact projectchampion Tamara Dalhuijsen on 072 3083522, email email@example.com or visit ourwebsite at www.crisispregnancy.org.za
What is in the Care Crib?
- Changing mat/ mattress
- Receiving blankets
- Knitted blanket/ Thick winter blanket
- Baby grows
- Booties/ socks
- Cloth nappies
- Disposable nappies
- New born baby formula
- Baby bath towel
- Pack of sanitary pads
- Nappy rash paste/Vaseline
- Surgical spirits
- Sterilisation Tablets
- Cotton wool
- Baby soap
- Choose to care/ Courage child development booklet
- Baby Yum Yum tips & tricks brochure
Please see our website www.crisispregnancy.org.za for Care Crib content collection points. Bothnew and gently used items are welcome.