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The Just In Time Baby Sanctuary was born from a vision – a vision to help the littlest of littles, who have been left to fend for themselves.

 

Krugersdorp, South Africa (16 March 2021) – Georgina Caetano, a 56-years-old from Krugersdorp, founded the baby sanctuary in 2016 after waking from a dream. Her dream was to save abandoned babies, a dream to give hope and help frightened mothers who found themselves in such dire conditions that they felt their only way out was to abandon their newborn with the hopes it would be found in time.

Stats at the time showed that 3,500 babies were abandoned annually – these were the babies fortunate to be left in hospitals and the babies that were found.

“I knew that my life was about to change and that what I was envisioning was just plain madness. What did I know about running a home for babies, operating an NPO, fundraising etc.? I had been in corporate all my life. Yes, I am a Mom, but my boys are all grown up and living their own lives. Wasn’t I supposed to be having the best time of my life now? Travelling, sleeping in, going out with friends? Isn’t this what I had worked for all my life? Clearly not! The universe and powers that be had other plans!”

And so her vision came to life! Within a week of talking to her boss and putting her story on Facebook, she was offered a home in Randfontein. A week later, someone bought them a little “Mom Van”, they received a R10,000 donation as well as baby clothes, cots, prams, bottles, formula, nappies and even a washing machine! The response and generosity of the public was overwhelming.

“My boss at the time very kindly allowed me to leave 2 weeks earlier so that I could start sorting out and getting our new home ready. I have never done so much washing in my life!!! Myself, my ginger tom Bo and my gorgeous Schnauzer Gabi moved into this huge 4 bedroomed home on the 1 July 2016.”

The baby sanctuary had its official opening on 27 August 2016. And their first baby arrived on the 25th.

“She was 11 months old. Her mom had simply disappeared. By Christmas 2016, we had 6 babies. And they just kept coming. Some for a night or two, others for a couple of months and then others for years.”

The sanctuary has assisted 32 babies since the 25th of August 2016 and has created employment for 5 previously unemployed Moms. They assist Moms in need within the community, and during COVID last year, they helped 10 families for 6 months with food parcels, formula and nappies.

Caetano also does talks at schools on sex education, late-term abortions, infant abandonment, the cost of taking care of a baby in order to try to stop the cycle of abandoning babies. She says that she “just gets down and real; I speak their language.”

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to move from our donated house and find something affordable. Unfortunately, affordable is not very safe. The house floods when it rains. It is riddled with mould. The wooden floors have all lifted, and the house reeks of mildew. This is very unhealthy and has caused a lot of health issues.”

Caetano explains that the current owners that the Sanctuary is renting from are not in a financial position to fix the house. So in October 2020, they decided that the Sanctuary were going to try and buy a house.

They had found the one! It was perfect in every sense and would make the ideal new home for the Sanctuary. And even though Caetano believed that the property was in their price range, the banks were not willing to assist with a bond.

“We were devastated. However, as this journey and vision of mine is based on absolute blind faith, I believe we will still find our dream home. And that’s my goal for this year!”

Cartano would also love to have a baby saver bin built. They would need a sponsor for this – possibly a steel manufacturer/engineering company, but this is also on her list of goals.

“While abandonment is illegal, our aim is to encourage safe abandonment, and for that, we need a home in the perfect location and a baby saver bin. Currently, there are two areas in desperate need of baby bins – the South of Johannesburg and the West Rand, bordering Roodepoort and Krugersdorp.”

The Sanctuary currently have two homes in Randfontein with 12 children ranging from 8 months to 5 years, but this number changes daily.

There are also other needs, but a safe place for the kids is the most important for now to keep little South Africans hope for a better tomorrow. For more information, click here.


Sources: Georgina Caetano | Just in Time Baby Sanctuary 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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