It is possible for you, the reader, not to fully realise the depth of the mother’s needs.
The S.A. Official unemployment rate is 27.7%, that is 6.2 million without work. Unemployment benefit is given for 10 months then it stops. Add those off benefit and no longer seeking work it becomes more than 9,000,000, 40%. Of these 60.3% are between 25 and 35. - 39% of these have never worked and have no benefits; up to 50% of the unemployed are women, many of them mothers and the babies keep coming.
With little or no money the mother relies on family, friends, temporary unmarried partners or stealing, maybe prostitution to feed her children. If enterprising they may self-employ. In 2017 There were 15.5 million people working and over 17 million receiving benefits, being invalid, sick, old age, or for child benefit of R400 a month. Add the million without work; over 26 million, 50% of population are not contributing to an already subdued economy.
Little hope or money, means poor expectations, live for today, make no plans, survive somehow. This has negative social implications; rape, violence, murder, theft, drink, drugs, prostitution, political manipulation, loneliness, aggression and social unrest. Women are increasingly threatened, facing the constant possibility of molestation. Unwed pregnant girls often told to leave home, they have disgraced their Father’ name.
Most of our mothers, rural or township, live in this socially threatening environment. Many babies are born into stressful situations. Hug a Baby serves them all, they all qualify, the babies are helpless. The Hug a Baby bag is given to the hospitals to give to all the mothers, single or married. It is a love gift. We do know that 20% of our bags go to homeless mothers, it is very difficult to imagine how they live with a baby.
These are the mothers and babies that Hug a Baby serve.