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New-born baby dumped at closed orphanage

Tsitsi Matope

MASERU — A newly born baby boy was abandoned at the premises of the closed Insured Salvation Orphanage in Mohalalitoe on Monday morning.

According to the Senior Social Welfare Officer, Benedict Ramakau, Pastor Mavis Mochochoko Maulubatso who was running the orphanage before its closure a few months ago brought the baby to the social development offices on Monday.

He said the underweight baby was rushed to Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital where he was admitted for treatment.

“The baby weighed 1.4 kilograms and because of exposure to cold, he needed some medical attention,” Ramakau said.

He said arrangements were finalised to place the baby at the Beautiful Gate orphanage in Ha Thetsane after its discharge.

Ramakau said babies were sometimes abandoned at the closed orphanages.

“This is because some people are unaware of the closure by the government.”

Two orphanages, the Insured Salvation and Malibuseng in Maseru East were shut down following concerns over their perceived inability to abide by newly set standards and guidelines.

In a separate incident, the Ministry of Social Development has issued a strong written warning to a woman from Ha Mofoka, after they found she had been neglecting her three grandchildren.

Some concerned neighbours reported the neglect to the Ministry last week.

“The neighbours had complained that the grandmother, who is in her 60s, was spending more time drinking beer instead of taking care of the children.

“She would also not sleep at home at times,” Ramakau said.

He further explained: “We visited the family on Tuesday this week and did not like what we saw.

“The youngest child is malnourished and she looked like she had not bathed for weeks,” Ramakau said.

The mother of three children, aged nine, six and four, died last year leaving the
children under the care of their grandmother.

The family lives in a shack.

“They are living in a shack because the roof of their original mud room was blown away by the wind last year.”

He said life was hard for the youngest of the children.

“The four-year-old girl is usually at home alone when the grandmother goes drinking and when her two sisters are at school.”

Ramakau said while it was clear the grandmother was struggling to provide for the children, they advised her to register for quarterly financial assistance with his ministry.

“We also advised her on other options available if she is unable to take care of the children.

“We strongly warned her to revise her ways or the matter would be referred to the police and other measures taken to
ensure the safety of the children,” Ramakau said.

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