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Criminal gang hits home for abandoned babies

Sunday, 3rd May 2015  I  For immediate release

Ethembeni, The Salvation Army’s home for abandoned babies in Doornfontein, has been hit by criminals who traumatised the staff and made off with several items of value during a 40-minute attack.

The gang of four struck the home just after 6.00 pm on Thursday 23 April, and made off with cash, jewellery, cellphones, cameras and laptops belonging to the home and its staff.

They also held guns to the heads of staff while forcing them to give them access to various places, which they then ransacked. Major Carin Holmes, PR Secretary for The Salvation Army Southern Africa Territory said: “It’s difficult to comprehend the inhumanity of people who strike a place of caring for helpless little babies who have been abandoned.

“Many of the items stolen are important for the effective operation of the home. Other items, such as wedding rings, have personal significance for the staff who give sacrificially of themselves to care for the babies. “We give thanks to God that our staff and babies were not physically hurt in the attack, but we are deeply disturbed at the level of trauma they have all suffered,” she said.

If you would like to help Ethembeni in their time of need, please contact Major Holmes on 011-718-6745 or 082-994-4351 or email her at Alternatively, you can make a contribution via our SMS line. The cost of each SMS sent to 42290 is R30. Please include “Ethembeni” in the subject line of the SMS. Those members of the public wishing to make a cash contribution through EFT to The Salvation Army for this cause can do so through our website: and clicking on the donations tab for the banking details.

The banking details are:
Bank: First National Bank
Branch: Braamfontein
Branch code: 251905
Account name: Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal
Account number: 50540087604
Reference: Please give your name and “Ethembeni” as a reference

Ethembeni Children’s Home is home for up to 60 children aged from birth to three years, all of whom have suffered emotional, physical or medical abuse or have been abandoned. Some are HIV positive. This special place provides mental and emotional stimulation, love and care for these children, and works towards their adoption or fostering into a loving family environment.

The children are brought to Ethembeni from various places. Some are found in black rubbish bags, in dustbins, on rubbish dumps, in shebeens, at taxi rank; others are left at the hospital after delivery. Some have been abandoned with strangers or left without care for long hours. The children are cared for, fed and clothed, and given the opportunity to enjoy their childhood despite the difficulties they have already encountered in their young lives. If possible, children are re-united with their biological parents/families or into the community, since institutionalisation is not an ideal solution for them. Alternately, adoption or foster care is encouraged. If this is not possible, the children are transferred on to other institutions to introduce them to pre-school facilities.

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God, and its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs without discrimination.
The Southern Africa Territory of The Salvation Army encompasses four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland – and the island of St Helena. Its officers, soldiers and full-time employees provide their spiritual and community services through approximately 230 corps (churches), societies and outposts, as well as through schools, hospitals, institutions for children, street children, the elderly, men and abused women, and daycare, goodwill, rehabilitation and social centres.


Media Contact: Ruth Coggin
Tel: 011-487-0026
Cell: 082-903-5819
Click here to e-mail Ruth
Client Contact: Major Carin Holmes
Public Relations Secretary
Tel: 011-718-6745
Cell: 082-994-4351
Click here to e-mail Carin