At Barnswallows, we are passionate about caring for and rehabilitating abused and abandoned babies. We realize that their immediate needs are not only to be fed, clothed and cared for, but to be loved, cherished and gently guided into a positive, hopeful future where they can contribute significantly to their own communities and society as a whole.
We are helping to put a stop to the cycle of abandonment and neglect in these children’s lives, by loving and protecting every child that enters our doors – and by giving these precious children a strong moral foundation which will serve them into their adult years.
Our particular strength is our work with children with special needs, like premature babies, children born with fetal alcohol syndrome, cerebral palsy, HIV or any developmental delays. With our team of volunteer specialists we address these developmental setbacks through strict nutrition and stimulation in all areas of their lives. Our aim is to give every baby the best chance to overcome these challenges.
Changing the landscape for the vulnerable in South Africa
In 2009 Barnswallows welcomed its first babies, a set of abandoned and FAS damaged twins with significant developmental challenges, in the suburban home of director René Testa. René’s background is in early childcare education and development, helpfully coupled with qualifications in psychology, counseling and nutrition. Since then, the home has had 40 babies come through its doors, where they have received love and affection, as well as exceptional professional care from different health care experts. The home focuses on special needs babies, and while in many state institutions these babies are neglected and functionally left for dead due to their greater neediness, René and her team do their utmost to reverse dire prognoses and place babies in loving families, with outstanding results.
Barnswallows is setting a new standard for the care of abandoned and vulnerable children. Barnswallows is unique in its vision and method, and its results demonstrate the shelter’s great value to the nation of South Africa and its orphans.