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Children have a special place within the ministry of The Salvation Army, and we provide several residential facilities for children in need of care. Our mission is to provide a secure, caring and loving home environment for children who have suffered emotional trauma. We seek to address their need for healing from past hurts, and encourage and nurtured a spirit of hope for the future. The children we care for come from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds. Many are from broken homes and have often been exposed to abuse and violence. All these children have suffered emotional trauma and need a loving and caring environment in which to live.
The Joseph Baynes Children’s Home
The Joseph Baynes Children’s Home is situated in Pietermaritzburg and provides love and hope for a better life to 82 abandoned, neglected and abused children. Some are mentally challenged while others are living with HIV and Aids. Care is provided irrespective of race, colour or creed. Some children stay briefly as they are helped through especially difficult or short term emergency situations. Others remain for years. However, the aim is to reunite families as quickly as possible or to place young people in a family environment through fostering and adoption.
The word “Home” is of paramount importance. Joseph Baynes provides a compassionate, safe, and secure loving environment including accommodation, care and psychological support. It has done so since it was founded in 1923, helping thousands of children in distress. Skilled staff and carefully designed programmes encourage children to grow mentally, physically and spiritually to become responsible adults. These include:
- physical care
- psycho-social support
- life skills
- early childhood development
- sports and recreation
- family re-unification
Many of the children have been through traumatic experiences. All have individual counselling with trained social workers. Those with serious issues are seen more regularly and if necessary referred to psychologists.
The home ensures that every child attends an appropriate school. This includes early learning education from Grade RR. Children with special needs attend schools that can meet their requirements. Volunteers assist with homework and there is additional Maths and English tutoring using computer programmes.
For further information:
Ethembeni Children’s Home
The Salvation Army Ethembeni Children’s Home, situated in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, is home for up to 60 children aged from birth to three years, all of whom have suffered emotional, physical or medical abuse or have been abandoned. Many are HIV positive.
This special place provides mental and emotional stimulation, love and care for these children, and works towards their adoption or fostering into a loving family environment.
Ethembeni is a Xhosa word, which means “Place of Hope”. The home opened in November 1995 and to date, 925 babies have come through its doors! Many have been fostered or adopted, some have been returned to their families, others have passed away, and still others transferred to another facility for on-going medical care.
The children are brought to Ethembeni from various places. Some are found in black rubbish bags, in dustbins, on rubbish dumps, in shebeens, at taxi rank; others are left at the hospital after delivery. Some have been abandoned with strangers or left without care for long hours.
The children are cared for, fed and clothed, and given the opportunity to enjoy their childhood despite the difficulties they have already encountered in their young lives. If possible, children are re-united with their biological parents/families or into the community, since institutionalisation is not an ideal solution for them. Alternately, adoption or foster care is encouraged. If this is not possible, the children are transferred on to other institutions to introduce them to pre-school facilities.
Parents who are experiencing economic hardship are assisted with baby care products when they are reunited with their children.
There are many opportunities for volunteers at Ethembeni, many of whom often pop in to give their free time and lend a pair of hands to help with the day-to-day tasks.
The spiritual needs of the toddlers are met through being taught Bible stories as well as Christian songs.
For further information:
Tel: (011) 402-8101
Strathyre Girls Home
The Salvation Army’s Strathyre Girls Home is situated in Kensington, Johannesburg, and is home to 60 girls between the ages of 3 and 21. The vision of the home is to ensure that the girls are well looked after, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually for their development in future and they become better as they are the future of our nation. Its mission is to provide a secure, caring and loving home environment, within which the children’s past hurts are addressed and where a spirit of hope for the future is encouraged and nurtured.
The home had its origins in 1921 as a shelter in Germiston for displaced mothers with children. In 1934 the name Strathyre, meaning “Little Haven”, was adopted when the children’s home was transferred to a house in Troyeville, Johannesburg. The home continued to function there until 1968 when it moved to the present facility in Kensington.
All the children at Strathyre are committed to The Salvation Army care through the Children’s Court due to varying degrees of abuse, neglect, poverty and/or abandonment or incapacity of their caregivers. It is here, within a secure and loving home environment, that the children’s past hurts are addressed and they start on the long and often difficult road to a meaningful future. The children attend eleven different local schools, including special needs.
In January 2007 Strathyre began a Skills Development Programme and through this, actively prepares the girls for life after the Home. The Programme focuses on providing academic support, facilitating life skills, providing career orientation and work experience and a diverse and stimulating activity programme. Without the help of both the corporate and private sector and also individual donors it would not be possible to provide adequate care and stimulation to these vulnerable children.
For further information:
Tel: 011 615 7327 / 011 615 7344