Novel plan to save infants’ lives

First Bay safety deposit for abandoned babies established by caring women

In a desperate attempt to rescue abandoned babies, Port Elizabeth organisation Hannah’s Arms will install the city’s first-ever baby safe next month. A baby safe is a secure box where babies can be placed safely, rather than being discarded.

Believing Nelson Mandela Bay was seeing an increase in abandoned babies, Hannah’s Arms founders Esme Chesworth, 50, of Mount Pleasant, and Kim Taljaard, 48, of Charlo, decided to try using a baby safe.

Hannah’s Arms was founded by the two mothers in 2011 to help abandoned and neglected babies.

The safe will be in a private building opposite Dora Nginza Hospital.

Once the baby is inside the safe, a signal is sent to a cellphone.

The baby will then be kept safe until a Hannah’s Arms representative collects it. Chesworth said the baby safe had been inspired by a similar initiative in Johannesburg by the Door of Hope organisation.

Baby safes are used in cities across South Africa.

“Initially I thought we would make it easier for [women] to dump their babies, but after I had a baby in temporary care who had been abandoned with his wrists cut I decided I would somehow get a baby safe up and running,” Chesworth said.

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