The Red Cross Children’s Hospital needs OUR help!
This is a really hard post for me to sit down and write because I am a total ostrich when it comes to stories like this. I keep starting it and going away and coming back. Because I can’t deal with the thought that their are adult human beings in this world who have it in them to harm children. The stories make me sad. They make me cry. So I look away. Because I can’t deal. But jeez! Those little kids had to deal with it so how dare I be uncomfortable by the stories?
Last week, I got this press drop. It was different to the million things my kids are so lucky to get because it was a very stark reminder of just HOW lucky they are. They are safe. They are loved. They have all the things they need and then some.
But for many children in South Africa, childhood is a lot like this box – empty. They grow up in an environment of pervasive violence. This violence alters the very fabric of their childhoods. The Child Protection Office at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital sees an average of 40 to 50 cases child abuse every month.
That’s close to (or in many cases over) 600 cases a year. 600 stories of empty childhoods.
One such child is one year old Sadie*.
Sadie was rushed to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital with a fractured femur. Doctors were told that she fell off the bed, but the fall was not witnessed by either parent. Sadie’s father explained that he left her alone in the family home while he used the bathroom, which was 100 meters from the house. Upon his return, he found Sadie on the floor and crying. When he picked her up, her cries intensified. He explains that this is when he noticed that there was something wrong with her little leg.
Doctors in the trauma centre at Red Cross Children’s Hospital examined Sadie and determined that the type of fracture she had, was not consistent with her father’s version of the events surrounding her injury. A child protection investigation began. After numerous social work assessments and hours of investigation, the findings of the child protection office were heart-breaking:
Sadie’s parents had lied about her fall being an unwitnessed event…
Sadie’s parents had lied about her fall being from a bed…
Sadie’s had lied about Sadie’s fall being a fall at all…
Sadie’s parents got into a physical fight and one year old little Sadie was picked up and used as human shield. In the midst of this violence, her tiny little body was pulled at and hit and in the end, the sheer force of this violence was the reason her little leg broke. Once the fight was over, Sadie’s parents continued drinking alcohol and little Sadie waited – in excruciating pain – for two days before her parents brought her to the hospital.
Sadie has been removed from her parent’s home and now lives in a place of safety.
* YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW HER NAME TO KNOW THAT SHE DESERVED A CHILDHOOD
ARE YOU EVEN FLIPPING KIDDING ME?!?!?! How the heck are you going to use a baby as a human shield?! Yoh, this makes me so mad and so sad. I mean imagine someone using The Potato as a human shield? I would do a murder! But I can’t because prison wouldn’t agree with me.
There are ways that we can help these kids though.
How you can help
This year we are standing up and saying no more. We will not limit the scope of our involvement to reactionary healing, we will actively drive awareness to prevent child abuse. But we cannot do it alone, we need your help.
In cases of extreme abuse and neglect, children are removed from their homes and relocated to places of safety. Very often, these children leave with just the clothes on their back. Our Child Protection office creates packs for children in situations like these. The packs are age-dependent and include things like hygiene products, toys, and snacks.
The festive season usually brings with it a critical shortage in the number of packs they are able to supply.
So guys, please if you can help out with donating anything from the list below it would be very much appreciated. No matter how big or how small the donation, every bit helps.
You can donate money via the donate page on the Children’s Trust website: http://childrenshospitaltrust.
If you need any more information please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org .
The children thank you in advance.