Our Vision

Salem Baby Care Centre strives to ensure those destitute mother and their babies / children have access to a Salem Centre, which contributes towards the eradication of poverty.

Our Mission

Our mission, as a non-profit organisation, is geared towards providing destitute mothers and their babies / children with the basic needs, such as health and hygiene, food, clothing, skills training, free pre-school education by qualified teachers and continued after-care support.

Our Values

At Salem we believe…

Our Goals & Objectives


Salem Baby Care Centre is a community based, non-governmental organization. The centre was started in 1991 by Ria Stanton, who began to help destitute mothers and their babies from the boot of her car, in the parking lot of a local liquor store. Salem's first home was in the Oriental Plaza, where they occupied un-used office space donated by a local businessman. Salem then moved to the NICRO building in North End, from where they operated for 6 years .

In October 1998, Salem moved into their own newly built premises. This building project was funded by Nieuwkoop Rotary Club, Netherlands, North Sydney Rotary Club, Mosman Rotary Club, Australia. These funds were matched by Rotary Foundation through Rotary International U.S.A. Bonza Bay Rotary Club assisted with the completion of the centre and to supply vitally needed equipment to furnish the centre.

The Eastern Cape is one of the poorest regions of South Africa. Unemployment is rife and the poverty of hundreds of homeless people and "shack dwellers" is devastating. Children born into such conditions face a life of malnutrition. Salem Baby Care Centre plays a small but meaningful part in eradicating poverty and its causes and addressing the lack and destitution in our communities in the city of East London .

Grandmothers who have been left with babies abandoned by family members, as well as mothers living with HIV/AIDS are also cared for at the Centre. Volunteers form an integral part of Salem. Salem provides services to over 100 mothers a year. It is not an overnight shelter. The mothers come daily and some who live too far come once a month to receive a food parcel, formula, clothes and products. The centre has a management board made up of volunteers from various companies, businesses and communities.

So often we read about babies being abandoned, left to die, especially by young girls who feel they have nowhere to go. Salem strives to help all mothers who feel they have no support, to make them aware of Salem and the work we do and the services we offer, so that they know that they have somewhere to go before making any irrational decisions.

The centre has grown into a recognized developed organization, with its own premises ministering and providing relevant programmes. In 2006 Salem finally opened their satellite centre with the help of Life Health St Dominic 's, who sponsored our bath area and crèche, and kitchen area. This centre was providing services to the mothers from the Reeston area, as they cannot attend Salem I every day due to transport cost. However in 2007 we had to close the centre down as the number of moms attending was not enough and cost to run the centre was too high.

Due to the growth and increasing need for care within the East London community, and the continual deterioration of conditions of many informal settlements in the area. The role of Salem remains important in our community. The support of local businesses, churches, etc remains vital to the survival of the centre.

In the process of growth and transformation, Salem seeks the assistance of Social Development and Lottery Board to assist with implementation of its programmes.

The current operational direction of Salem Baby Care Centre is to put into place systems and structures to sustain the long-term health and development of the organisation and to ensure the well being of the mothers and babies attending the centre.


HEALTH & HYGIENE - The babies are fed and given a bath and clean clothing on a daily basis. The mother’s bath their own children with the guidance of staff members. The staff takes this opportunity to check each baby as they are being bathed to check if they need any medical attention. The children who are need of medical attention are sent to their nearest clinic, hospital or taken by Salem staff to a nearby doctor for emergencies. Minor treatment is done by a staff member who has attended First Aid Training. Children in the crèche receive breakfast -porridge (cooked I instant), snack -juice, biscuit & fruit and a cooked lunch. The mother’s receive a sandwich and tea and a cooked lunch and the family as a whole are provided with a food parcel as often as possible.

LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMME - The mothers whose children are in our crèche, are taught various skills such as basic health & hygiene training, parenting skills, basic home care, adult literacy, life orientation (including HIV/AIDS), first aid, etc. at the centre as well as training from other organizations or companies. However, training outside of Salem depends on the availability of funds. In 2008 Social Development funded most of the above courses and only mom’s whose children were in the crèche at the time could attend benefited from the money that was available.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME -this programme is also made available to mothers whose children are in the crèche. This is ongoing and mostly done by Salem Centre, unless free courses are offered to the centre. The moms are taught various skills such as sewing, craft, laundry, cooking, jewellery making, etc. Each year new skills can be introduced, depends on what is offered to the centre. In the past, once children started going to school (grade 1) the moms left the centre, thus losing Salem’s support, guidance and care. The moms now have the option to return and receive after-care support, still obtain guidance, support and care and be a part of the skills development programme. This is also a benefit to the Centre as these moms help as volunteers or help teach new moms the skills.

EDUCARE PROGRAMME -children 2 and older receive free education from qualified educare teaches. They have structured programmes that are run with the help of assistants. Children that are 2 years old are potty trained, and 3 -6 years are prepared for school (Grade 1). In 2009, due to the increase in the number of children attending the crèche and the challenges with having all the age groups in one class, one of our containers was converted into a classroom and hired another teacher. It is run like any other crèche, with programmes, meals, nap time as well as outings.

In 2009 we also introduced birthday parties for each child in the crèche with the idea that it might be the only time they have a party. The classroom is decorated, party packs are made, cupcakes and even a gift for each child. The gifts are chosen from donations we receive (people donating old I new toys). This has been so rewarding , just to see a child's face light up and know you have made their day and also how shy they are as they have never had a party.


The areas serviced by Salem Baby Care Centre with regard to destitute mothers and their babies include: Duncan Village, Parkside, Cambridge, Buffalo Flats, Amalinda, Reeston, Mdantsane, Scenery Park, West Bank and Braelyn.





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