Sometimes we have weeks to prepare for a child. Other times, a judge requests immediate and emergency placement within a few hours. Either way, our entire team steps up to welcome each child to our care with love and attention to detail. Yesterday we received an emergency placement for an infant boy, Mangaliso (name changed to protect his privacy).
One of the complexities of the orphan crisis in South Africa is that it creates a cycle. When children are orphaned without extended family or support, they often end up on the streets and their exposure to human trafficking, mental health issues, and AIDS increase dramatically. Many times, babies or children arrive at Acres of Love as second-generation orphans, entrenched in this cycle.
While we protect the details and sacredness of his story, Mangaliso was brought to us because he was in grave danger. He was a second-generation orphan, and the authorities were worried for his life.
We are committed to breaking this orphan cycle. As we rescue children like Mangaliso, we realize that his story is filled with pain. We work to provide the very best FAMILY care for him and for other children who have been abandoned, orphaned, and abused. Offering unconditional love and dignity allows our children to heal and begin to see their futures with hope as we empower them to become healthy, self-sufficient adults. Our goal is to provide the very best care so that our children can disrupt this cycle to become positive agents of change in their communities. Mangaliso is no longer and orphan. He is a much-loved son and brother, and we will work to ensure he has everything needed to thrive.
His past is heartbreaking, but his future has hope.