Place of hope for little ones

2016-11-08 06:00
Photo: Nosipho Mkhize Lynne Pieterse with Baby T in the Baby Hope House play area.

Photo: Nosipho Mkhize Lynne Pieterse with Baby T in the Baby Hope House play area.

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HOPE House in Pinetown, a haven for abandoned babies, was co-founded by Sonia Swinton and Lynne Pieterse in 2007.

“We are a non-profit Christian home, caring for up to 12 abandoned babies from newborn to toddlers.
“Our organisation became a registered NPO and PBO in 2014,” said Pieterse.

“We started as part of the Pinetown Presbyterian Church’s New Hope Ministry, with the intention of giving mothers who cannot care for their babies other options rather than to abort or abandon them.
“We continue as one of the ministries of this church.
“Babies, who have been given up for adoption are placed in our care, waiting to be united with their forever families. As part of our outreach programme, Hope House also assists mothers who, due to their circumstances, are unable to care for their babies at the time, so we give them the opportunity of getting back on their feet.
“In the event that the mother’s circumstances become stable again, the child is returned to her.”

She said children are taken by a social worker and placed there by the court until their adoption, or until circumstances allow them to be returned to their biological families.
“Over the past eight years 50 children have been fostered at Hope House, most of whom were adopted. It seeks to recognise and, within reason, provide for each child's specific needs.
“We affirm that children are to be loved and celebrated and placed with families. Hope House is a place of rekindled hope for the children, parents and volunteers.”

Swinton is a registered child carer and has extensive experience with children.

“These children are God’s blessings, which He has entrusted to us for a short time, before going to their forever families. They give us a lot of love and joy.”

Pieterse is also a registered foster parent, who cares for abandoned babies­ at Hope House.

“It’s not about what you give the children, but what you get back from them. It’s so rewarding to see them develop.”

Pieterse cooks the daily meals and looks after the home’s administration side of things. She works from the home office doing the books for three small companies in order to bring in an income.

“To enable us to continue this service to our community, we require support, donations or sponsorships to ensure the children at Hope House receive the shelter, food, medical care and love they so desperately need.

“There are currently 10 children being cared for at the home. In the past nine years a total of 58 children have been welcomed to Hope House. Of these, two were adopted locally, 25 were adopted internationally and 19 were returned to their families.”

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