Don’t miss out on the webinar set to address South Africa’s baby abandonment crisis

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The societal challenge of ongoing child abandonment in South Africa was in the spotlight earlier this month when news broke that a 23-year-old mother had abandoned her three-month-old baby next to a stream in Verulam. The case made national headlines as the mother had left a heart-wrenching note with her baby’s bag of supplies, explaining how the system had let her down and how she felt that she was left with no alternative but to abandon her baby.

This is just one example of the entrenched and systemic challenge of child abandonment that will form the focus of a webinar entitled, Tackling the Crisis of Child Abandonment in South Africa on Thursday, 20 October at 10am. The webinar is being hosted by KwaZulu-Natal-based NPO The Peace Agency and their two main projects; the Durban North Baby Home and BabyLine.

Tragically, this case is just one of many cases of infant abandonment dealt with in South Africa every day. According to Law for All, there are a reported 3 500 babies deserted annually, with the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbating an already desperate situation. While some survive and go on to be homed, many do not.

The Baby Home, a Durban North-based organisation that cares for abandoned and orphaned babies, and BabyLine, a national call centre for mothers in distress, want to ignite a much-needed national conversation around the topic through this webinar, as a way to create deeper levels of understanding of this complex issue and to prompt action. Witnessing first-hand the root causes of child abandonment, these two projects of the Peace Agency are perfectly positioned to lead a panel of experts in unpacking the issue.

“We need to change perceptions and attitudes around this problem if we’re going to really turn the tide on infant abandonment in this country,” said Justin Foxton, founder of The Peace Agency. “We need to begin by understanding the root causes of infant abandonment and what we as the citizenry can do to get involved and be part of the solution.”

The webinar will cover a number of key topics around the crisis of abandonment including Why mothers abandon their babies; What alternatives are available to them; and the responsibilities of first responders, the public and the media to protect the child and uphold their right to privacy.

The webinar speaker line-up includes several experts in their fields with first-hand experience of this ongoing challenge. Speakers include advocate Debbie Ainslie; Robyn Wolfson Vorster, writer and child activist; Ruth dos Santos, founder of the Adoption Companion; Pamela Mchunu social worker and founder of BabyLine; and Jo Teunissen, crisis parent at The Durban North Baby Home. The session will be hosted by Justin Foxton, founder of The Peace Agency.

This free-to-attend webinar is open to all citizens, first responders, social workers, nurses, child protection organisations, religious and civil society organisations, media, educators and anyone who is interested in learning more or wants to make a difference. A donation to assist the work done by The Baby Home and BabyLine is encouraged.

To join the webinar and become part of the solution, please email For more information, visit and