“An estimated 40 000 babies are abandoned every year in South Africa.”
This equates to around 4 babies every 15 minutes.
These tragic statistics are the reality for so many little ones in our country, and it’s hard for many of us to wrap our heads around these numbers. Even sadder still is the fact that only around 3000 of these helpless infants are rescued while the rest are left to die alone.
This is not humanity!
It’s fair to say that this is a massive and complex problem, and not one that any one of us can tackle on our own. But we can make a start. We can help just a few of these tiny, innocent little people to not only survive but grow up and live a satisfying and rewarding life.
This mindset is shared by Kerry and Gary Stanton, both heroes without capes. They have opened their home and their hearts to help as many abandoned babies as they can. The Upper Highway Baby Home (UHBH) was established in 2019 by Kerry and Gary, both registered foster parents and acutely aware of the need to help vulnerable children. Their sprawling Summerveld home has been transformed into a safe haven for dozens of abandoned babies annually who are gently cared for until they are adopted into their forever homes.
UHBH is not what you would expect from an “orphanage”. With rolling green lawns for outside play, a meticulously set up sleeping and indoor play area, and a host of kind and enthusiastic volunteers to care for the babies’ every need; this is something of a Utopia.
Kerry says, “Besides looking after the physical well-being of these babies, we teach the babies how to function in a family environment. They learn to treat pets with care, travel in car seats, go to the shops and out for tea. In addition to this, they get to socialise with other children and adults. We aim to provide all the normal experiences a loving family would offer them. This way, when the babies are adopted, their transition into family life is a smooth and happy one.”
Kerry and Gary work closely with several reputable adoption organisations around the world to ensure that they are able to find loving homes for these lost little souls.
As with any charitable organisation, however, UHBH benefits greatly from the help of the community.
When our Kaomi Charity team visited them earlier this year, we determined that we could – and would – help. We set about collecting funds from our eager staff members which were matched by Kaomi, and we successfully raised R7,000.00.
We decided to offer foundational support in the form of farm-fresh vegetables to support the nutritional needs of growing babies, as well as a collection of vulnerable young mothers who UHBH also supports.
Enter the vibrant and energetic Kgune Dlamini, founder of Eden Veggies.
Kgune owns and operates Eden Veggies, a fresh produce and dairy delivery family business supplying locally and ethically grown produce to the Durban area. In addition to deliciously fresh vegetables, they source and supply fruit, herbs, cheeses, baked goods and a range of other delectable essentials.
Kgune was excited to participate in our support initiative for the Upper Highway Baby Home. True to his motto – “Why remain good when there’s room for better?” – he arrived punctually to meet us at UHBH with an entire bakkie load of fresh produce.
For our team, this synergy was a win-win-win: not only do vulnerable young mothers and babies get what they need to grow and develop, but we also get to support two fantastic causes driven by passionate people who love what they do.
The Kaomi Charity Club has made the decision to support both The Upper Highway Baby Home and Eden Veggies for the next couple of months and we hope to raise awareness of these two worthy causes in our own community.
For those of you who can help – as a business or individually – we would like to invite you to look into offering what you can. Whether your contribution is financial or otherwise, we know that both Kerry and Kgune will be thrilled with the support.
If you would like to know more about our upcoming Charity Drives please feel free to contact Jenna Gamble who will be able to answer any questions.