Choices Residential Unit Success:

The Choices Residential Unit opened in January 2000 and closed in June 2016. The unit provided a safe and secure environment for women who chose to release their babies for adoption. They were also supported through the birth and adoption process. Between 2009 and the closure of the unit, Choices served 141 women, 87 babies were released for adoption and 41 mums chose to parent their babies themselves once the babies were born. 12 Women chose to leave the unit before they gave birth and Choices had one still birth in 2014. The unit closed because the stigma experienced by women choosing adoption seems to have reduced significantly, so that there was no longer a demand for a safe residential unit for these pregnant mums. The unit will now be let to local volunteers and students who are serving local NGOs (non Government Organisations) in the area, in the hope that this will produce a regular income stream for the Choices Centre. Women of all ages were able to stay in the unit as they prepared for the birth of their babies. During this time they were provided access to a social worker who visited the unit and assisted the women with their adoption plan. They could also enrol in the Skills Development Programme which provided training in basic computer skills, typing and operating a cashiers till. This gave women vital skills for re-entering the employment market after the birth of the baby. Having women from all social and economic circumstances, combined with prenatal hormones and the stress of crisis pregnancy would make the time in the unit a challenge. For this reason, the role of the Unit Manager was crucial. She was responsible for the well-being of the residents as well as the successful management of the unit.  She was also on standby to take the women to their clinic and hospital appointments and to support them when they went into labour as a birth companion or a Doulah qualified support person. Imogen’s Story Choices has been changing lives for the past 20 years, here is one such story... It was soon after Choices opened doors that Mary came for help. She was afraid and pregnant with her eighth pregnancy, she was overwhelmed with the thought of raising another child on her own and didn’t know what to do. What she found at Choices was a safe, loving environment where she could talk about her fears, where she felt heard and accepted and no longer alone. Through counselling she was able to connect with the child she was carrying and wanted to make the best decision, given her situation. After a while she came to peace with her decision, she would release her baby for adoption. Mary wanted a family that would love her child (as she would have if her situation was more favourable) and was given the opportunity to choose a family for her baby, she chose a special family who had one son. Little Imogen was born in February 1997, Mary lovingly held her and wept as she prayed for her. Three days later, she released Imogen to her new family who instantly fell in love with her and bonded with her right away. They promised to send Mary news and photographs of Imogen every year on her birthday. When Imogen was three years old, the family emigrated to Perth, Australia but kept their promise to Mary and sent letters and photos on her birthday for 18 years. Imogen knew she was adopted, she asked early on why she looked different from her mom, dad and brother. She also recalls that she knew from a very young age that she would want to meet her biological family. In March 2016, this dream became her reality when her mom and dad brought her to South Africa to meet Mary and her siblings. The reunion was everything she could have dreamed it to be, she connected with Mary and four of her siblings who have embraced her as part of their family and are able to stay in contact via Facebook and Instagram. After their reunion, Imogen and her two mums visited Choices and heard how their story had been the start of many women just like Mary seeking help for their pregnancies - many of them choosing adoption for their babies, this is their legacy. Imogen is currently studying Social Work at a university in Perth and aspires to building her career as an adoption social worker.

Success Stories

©  Ukuthasa 2017 | Charity Registration Number: 1055539  
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Choices continues

Ukuthasa continues to support Choices Centre. Choices remains involved with women in crisis through pre and post termination counseling, birth preparation and support and skills training.  The services of our volunteers remain in constant demand.  As a result, they are hoping to increase their opening hours during 2017.

How you can help

If you would like to make a difference in the lives of the people we support, contact us. No matter how small the amount, every donation makes a positive impact.  

Other projects

Handmade Jewellery Ukuthasa supports small business projects with start-up funding to help men and women develop skills which can be used to create a source of income.

More success stories

Lezaine Davis Helderberg Academy provides mentorship and life skills training through sport to young people in disadvantaged communities. Athenkosi Emyezweni School provides vital foundation stage Education to young people in disadvantaged communities.

Choices Residential Unit

Success:

The Choices Residential Unit opened in January 2000 and closed in June 2016. The unit provided a safe and secure environment for women who chose to release their babies for adoption. They were also supported through the birth and adoption process. Between 2009 and the closure of the unit, Choices served 141 women, 87 babies were released for adoption and 41 mums chose to parent their babies themselves once the babies were born. 12 Women chose to leave the unit before they gave birth and Choices had one still birth in 2014. The unit closed because the stigma experienced by women choosing adoption seems to have reduced significantly, so that there was no longer a demand for a safe residential unit for these pregnant mums. The unit will now be let to local volunteers and students who are serving local NGOs (non Government Organisations) in the area, in the hope that this will produce a regular income stream for the Choices Centre. Women of all ages were able to stay in the unit as they prepared for the birth of their babies. During this time they were provided access to a social worker who visited the unit and assisted the women with their adoption plan. They could also enrol in the Skills Development Programme which provided training in basic computer skills, typing and operating a cashiers till. This gave women vital skills for re-entering the employment market after the birth of the baby. Having women from all social and economic circumstances, combined with prenatal hormones and the stress of crisis pregnancy would make the time in the unit a challenge. For this reason, the role of the Unit Manager was crucial. She was responsible for the well- being of the residents as well as the successful management of the unit.  She was also on standby to take the women to their clinic and hospital appointments and to support them when they went into labour as a birth companion or a Doulah qualified support person. Imogen’s Story Choices has been changing lives for the past 20 years, here is one such story... It was soon after Choices opened doors that Mary came for help. She was afraid and pregnant with her eighth pregnancy, she was overwhelmed with the thought of raising another child on her own and didn’t know what to do. What she found at Choices was a safe, loving environment where she could talk about her fears, where she felt heard and accepted and no longer alone. Through counselling she was able to connect with the child she was carrying and wanted to make the best decision, given her situation. After a while she came to peace with her decision, she would release her baby for adoption. Mary wanted a family that would love her child (as she would have if her situation was more favourable) and was given the opportunity to choose a family for her baby, she chose a special family who had one son. Little Imogen was born in February 1997, Mary lovingly held her and wept as she prayed for her. Three days later, she released Imogen to her new family who instantly fell in love with her and bonded with her right away. They promised to send Mary news and photographs of Imogen every year on her birthday. When Imogen was three years old, the family emigrated to Perth, Australia but kept their promise to Mary and sent letters and photos on her birthday for 18 years. Imogen knew she was adopted, she asked early on why she looked different from her mom, dad and brother. She also recalls that she knew from a very young age that she would want to meet her biological family. In March 2016, this dream became her reality when her mom and dad brought her to South Africa to meet Mary and her siblings. The reunion was everything she could have dreamed it to be, she connected with Mary and four of her siblings who have embraced her as part of their family and are able to stay in contact via Facebook and Instagram. After their reunion, Imogen and her two mums visited Choices and heard how their story had been the start of many women just like Mary seeking help for their pregnancies - many of them choosing adoption for their babies, this is their legacy. Imogen is currently studying Social Work at a university in Perth and aspires to building her career as an adoption social worker.

Success Stories

©  Ukuthasa 2007 | Charity Registration Number: 1055539  

Choices continues

Ukuthasa continues to support Choices Centre. Choices remains involved with women in crisis through pre and post termination counseling, birth preparation and support and skills training.  The services of our volunteers remain in constant demand.  As a result, they are hoping to increase their opening hours during 2017.

How you can help

If you would like to make a difference in the lives of the people we support, contact us. No matter how small the amount, every donation makes a positive impact.  

Other projects

Handmade Jewellery Ukuthasa supports small business projects with start-up funding to help men and women develop skills which can be used to create a source of income.

More success stories

Lezaine Davis Helderberg Academy provides mentorship and life skills training through sport to young people in disadvantaged communities. Athenkosi Emyezweni School provides vital foundation stage Education to young people in disadvantaged communities.
ukuthasa Encouraging local communities in Africa