Donations needed for new moms

Thula Baba Project founder Caroline Isted with volunteers Wendy Purdon, Jacque Banda with baby Leo and Natalie Vito.

Thula Baba Project is in need of supplies for new mothers and their babies.

The non-profit organisation makes up hampers in 25-litre plastic buckets and gives them to mothers from poor communities when they graduate from a 10-week antenatal course run in partnership with the Zoe Fund.

Caroline Isted founded Thula Baba Project in November 2017 after the murder of Franziska Blöchliger the previous year. “I struggled to understand how a baby can be born, trusting and innocent and turn into a monster,” she said.

She started the project from a room in someone else’s house and was joined by Katy Caldis, Chrysse Vlissides and Trixy Lochner, who serve as board members.

From five graduates in 2017 there were 106 by the first half of 2020.

According to Ms Isted, the syllabus is provided by the Zoe Project and is taught by volunteers at the Retreat maternity clinic.

Thula Baba now operates from a large room in Ms Isted’s Tokai home where, with help from volunteers, they pack the hampers and offer support to new mothers.

Zoe Project chairperson Tracey Aitken said the Thula Baba buckets were a great incentive for the mothers and worked well.

The Zoe Project supports maternity clinics in Hanover Park, Capricorn, Gugulethu, Mitchell’s Plain, Retreat, Hout Bay, Groote Schuur, Mowbray and Khayelitsha.

Provincial Health Department spokeswoman Natalie Watlington said there was always a need for mother-and-baby supplies at any birthing facility. She encouraged mothers to book early and keep up their antenatal visits.

Thula Baba Project needs newborn clothing, baby products and nappies, money to buy material to make blankets and babygrows, and small soaps and wash cloths for mothers.

Contact, call 076 627 4776, or visit if you want to help.

Thula Baba volunteer Wendy Purdon with donated knitwear.
Thula Baba was founded in November 2017 by Carolinbe Isted.