Three abandoned children

Last month Babalwa Mfuleni, one of our Mentor Mothers, was awarded a certificate for exceptional work performance specifically for the actions that she took to assist three young children in the Site C area of Khayelitsha.

A few months ago Babalwa identified a mother struggling with alcohol abuse. The mother has three children: one young boy aged six and three year old twin girls. She was regularly leaving her children alone in the house without food or adult care so Babalwa was visiting the home to assist the mother in developing more positive coping skills to deal with her life challenges, rather than turning to alcohol.

Unfortunately, one weekend, Babalwa heard reports that the children had been begging for food on the street corner and that the mother had not been in the home for several days. She went to fetch the children and took them back to her house to wash and feed them. Babalwa then visited the neighbours to hear exactly what the situation was within the home. They reported that the mother had not been around for several days and they were worried that someone was sexually abusing the two younger twin girls.

Babalwa quickly reported the situation to Philani and together with the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) team, got to work removing the children from the mother’s care. With assistance from social workers at Bancedeni, the children were removed and placed in a nearby emergency foster home. Babalwa and our OVC Fieldworker, Nomacule Nmapu, continued to visit the children and the mother to support the family. They ensured that the six year old began attending one of the Philani Educares as he had never previously attended any form of schooling. The teachers report that he is doing well at the school and is enjoying his time there. The younger children are also at an educare and have been seen by a doctor to ensure that they are healthy and well taken care of. The children appear to be happy and have slowly settled into their new living environment.

Babalwa and Nomacule have been working with the mother, counselling and supporting her. She appears to be doing better and seems to be drinking less. She has also been visiting the children regularly, washing their clothes and taking them to clinic appointments.