“They should have their children taken away from them.”
I have lost count of how many times we hear this phrase.
So many members of the general public, our community, our city, live in an opaque bubble of privilege.
There is an incredibly distorted idea of how the “other half” live. It’s not a “white” bubble of privilege, but rather a bubble belonging to anyone who has a decent paying job and a decent home, a car and have their kids in a decent school, across the races and cultures.
This bubble blurs the reality of the lives of the “other half”. It enables the bubble residents to ignore the reality, the bigger picture, the severity of the plight of our precious girls and their children. 💔💔💔💔
Almost daily I can go on any one of the Durban Facebook pages and find this phrase on a post. The quotee usually referring to an underprivileged mother of one or more children who are begging on the streets or trying to survive by some other means.
“They should have their children taken away from them.” And then what exactly? Take their child and put them where? Do you know what happens to those who are taken? Do you know where they go? Do you know how so many are treated? You make a blanket statement from within your Opaque bubble and actually have no idea what the outcome would be if every child belonging to an underprivileged mother was taken away.
Lets take a moment to have an enlightening chat…
Imagine for a moment that the social workers came and took Lihle away from Thuli, Banele from Andiswa and Avilah from Siwe. Each of these mothers would be sleeping on the street with their babies if it weren’t for the support of Hope’s Anchor. Each of them do what it takes to provide for their baby because they are GOOD mothers. And yet recently a bubble resident who assumes that she knows everything decided to put all over Facebook that our precious Thuli drugs her child to make her sleep while Thuli begs for money at a traffic light. The bubble resident assumed this because when she drove past in her car Lihle was asleep in Thuli’s arms.
So this woman put it all over social media and the sharks started to circle.
“she doesn’t deserve to have a child”, “take the baby away”, “arrest her”, “these people should be sterilised.”, “stop them from breeding”
I feel sick as I type this as I know Thuli very well. I love her and her little girl and I know how much she loves her child. I know that Lihle is fed, clean, has a place to live, is in crèche every morning and is very loved. And yet the bubble dweller decided that this mother deserves to have her baby taken from her.
South Africa is in the middle of a crisis when it comes to babies and children needing families. It’s out of control. And yet the government is making it almost impossible to adopt a child.
So here’s what is happening, the child is removed from the mother, placed into a government institution and the likelihood of them being adopted or even fostered is slim to none. So the child is raise in an institution, zero love or nurturing and very poor education. Then if they manage to hang in there until 18 years old (many run away before 18 due to abuse) they are then kicked out to fend for themselves. With no family, government or financial support.
The girls mainly turn to the sex trade, fall pregnant and the cycle continues. Another mother who “should have her child taken away”.
Now before people start getting the wrong idea, I am not at all talking about the babies and children who are being neglected and abused by their parents. Those little ones definitely need to be placed into the care of social welfare.
I am referring to the mother’s who love their children and are doing everything they can to provide for them.
We know as an organisation how our girls struggle, every day they hustle to make ends meet. Every day we are blown away by their strength and resilience. They are incredible and we cheer them on at every step. These mothers do not deserve to have their babies taken from them, they deserve to be empowered and enabled to raise their children in healthy environments with the support of others who can teach them and guide on their parenting journey.
This is one of the reasons why Hope’s Anchor exists. Empowering our precious girls to be the best versions of themselves. Walking in their Divine identity. Raising their children better than they themselves were raised. We will always fight for our girls and their little ones, because we believe in a better life for each of them
please pray for the Hopes Anchor Team as they minister tirelessly to support these young women and their children
if you would like to help support Vashti, her family as she works lead the Hope’s Anchor team and the ministry they have with the homeless and sex workers of Durban, please use her PayPal account
if you live in the UK and would like to support the family with monthly direct debits please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details