In 1999 the pastor at the time, Cheryl Allen, and deacons learned with deep distress that a high number of newly born infants were being abandoned. At the time 40-50 babies were being dumped every month and left to die of starvation or exposure. Cheryl realized that many of those desperate women and girls may well have acted differently had there been an alternative. The church made a hole in their wall and a ‘baby bin’ was installed allowing for mothers to leave their babies anytime day or night. The moment a baby is placed in the bin careworkers on duty receive an electronic signal alerting them. The baby is taken in and the anonymity of the donor ensured. News has spread and other babies have been brought personally by their mothers or have come through other means such as the police, community members, hospitals or clinics. By faith and reliance on God alone and from small, humble beginnings, the ministry has grown and over 100 children’s’ lives are being saved every year.
Whilst the Door of Hope baby bin was an innovative idea, the mission was criticized as it was felt that we were encouraging abandonment. However to date we have received only 10% of our babies through the baby bin. It was the uniqueness of this “hole in the wall” concept that has made us prominent and allowed us to become one of the foremost homes in Johannesburg for abandoned babies.
The church and baby bin are located at 48 Hillbrow Street, Berea. Johannesburg.
Cheryl and Georgina our first baby through the hole in the wall