It takes a village to raise a child. And it takes a big and brave heart to build that village from the ground up. Marilyn May has such a heart. Marilyn, a registered nurse and doula, is the founder of Atlantic Hope – a Place of Safety for babies who have been abandoned, removed from their parental care due to neglect/abuse or are awaiting adoption.
While volunteering at a hospital, Marilyn picked up a crying baby who had been abandoned. Holding this baby was hard-hitting and on further investigation, she discovered that she could become a Safety Parent. Eleven years ago, Marilyn took home the first of many babies and opened the doors of Atlantic Hope which is housed in Marilyn’s flat. She has converted her lounge and dining room into a welcoming, safe, and nurturing space where 6 babies can be accommodated at a time. Her home is refuge to these tiny babies and the band of carers and staff who look after them 24 hours a day. The nursery is referred to as “a bubble of hope”.
Since 2010 Atlantic Hope has taken care of over 130 babies in need of child protection services, some for up to 12 months. Atlantic Hope is a registered non-profit organisation that works with Social Services and Adoption Agencies to provide care and nurture to the most vulnerable members of society. Every baby in temporary safe care at Atlantic Hope has been placed by order of a Magistrate at a Cape Town Children’s Court.
65% of abandoned children are NEWBORN babies
We surround vulnerable babies with love, care & safety
What We Do
The first 1 000 days of a baby’s life are of vital importance for the child’s sound mental and emotional life (as of course is good nutrition). If stability and nurturing in a loving environment is absent, the results can be disastrous in the long term, with the child becoming a dysfunctional adult, unable to form meaningful bonds, often accompanied by deep distrust. This can lead to anti-social behaviour in later life. We know that Atlantic Hope has played a critical role in many lives.
Atlantic Hope provides developmental, physical and emotional care. Medical needs are prioritised, we provide nutrition, health care services and give the babies the nurturing and care they deserve as they begin their lives in the absence of their parents, which is not what nature intended. We do this in a loving and peaceful safe haven, whilst legal proceedings determining the child’s future are conducted by the social workers.
Our Banking Details
Bank: Standard Bank
Account name: Atlantic Hope
Branch: Sea Point
Branch code: 024109
Account Type: Cheque Account
Account number: 071093966
Other information: 085-420 NPO / PBO 930036207