BabyBox Inititive profile picThrough the Baby Box initiative, boxes of baby goodies are helping ensure SA’s disadvantaged moms get what they need to give their baby’s the best start.

For 75 years, Finland's expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It's a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and is designed to give all Finnish children – no matter what background they’re from – an equal start in life. 

BabyBox Inititive 4

MySchool and Better SA, a MySchool beneficiary, has teamed up with Cape Town Rotarian Jo Maxwell – who also designed the low cost Good Night God Bless sleeping bag - to design a lower cost version of the baby box for disadvantaged moms in South Africa. “We sought out a lower cost version so we could reach many more mothers in need, but our boxes are still very special and much appreciated by our beneficiaries”, says CEO of Better SA, Roberta Donovan.

BabyBox Inititive2

The boxes are made out of non-toxic board and have been certified safe for infant use. The blankets and sheets are made by the Diepsloot Foundation’s sewing group, made up of previously unemployed women who now earn a living sewing. 

Each box contains the following:

  • A foam mattress
  • A sheet
  • A blanket (that also covers the box to beautify and protect it)
  • A box of baby cereal
  • Baby toiletries (Talc powder, baby wipes, baby soap, baby oil and bum cream)
  • A new item of baby clothing
  • A plastic plate, cup and bowl
  • Any second hand items collected by the group funding the boxes (which usually include toys, books or clothing)
  • A handwritten letter of support from the volunteer who packs each box

On the 26 September 2016, the MySchool team and Better SA volunteered their time to visit The Parent Centre and pack 100 baby boxes for moms and babies who are part of their home support programme. The Parent Centre supports around 231 727 parents and caregivers, by promoting and supporting positive parenting, and the Baby Box initiative brings beneficiaries like Better SA, The Parent Centre and MySchool staff together.

BabyBox Inititive3

Better SA is a non-profit organisation that exists to make it as easy as possible for South Africans to volunteer their time and skills. Described by SA’s media as ‘The Uber of volunteering’, Better SA’s Hop on Hop off volunteer bus service is taking all the hassle out of volunteering. The service is free of charge and each experience is fully facilitated, ensuring that volunteers make the biggest impact in the time they have available. The only requirement from the volunteer is that they book a spot on one of our buses, arrive and hop on. Better SA does the rest.  Volunteer activities include teaching computer skills, playing educational games, typing up hand written CV’s for the unemployed, visiting the elderly, painting inspirational murals and environmental clean ups, building Baby Boxes.