People

Home should be a place where you are supposed to be loved and cared for – “A Home of Dignity”

I think we can all agree that everyone wants to be loved. To feel worthy and important enough; that someone will care about you; want to be with you and love you. With that said, this story is extremely near to my own heart. Today I want to tell you about New Life Children’s Home in Emalahleni.

At first glance, you will agree that the picture doesn’t represent our perception of a children’s home. And that is exactly the point. With this ‘state of the art’ container homes the aim was to provide not only a house, but a beautiful loving home with well-designed and welcoming spaces. This idea was the brainchild of Paulo, Tammy’s husband who is the architect.

According to UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Fund) South Africa currently has 3.9 million orphans. How terribly sad to hear! Although the need is huge, New Life Church felt they needed to make a difference, even if is is only to a few children in our city. Every child matters. So in 2016 the New Life Children’s Home was established as a non-profit organisation. Meeting the NGO’s directors Ryan and Tammy warms your heart. Their love and dedication for children are admirable to say the least.

Giving children the opportunity to have a new life, not only filled with hope and excitement but also faith. A place that they can call a home, where they are protected and encouraged. Where life is built on Godly principles. At this time three houses are finished and the plan is to open the blue house at the end of July. In total there will be five houses and a community center and 50 children will have a home. Liesl, the first house Mommy will also be the center Manager. The houses operate as a normal household with parents. Because of the newly built houses, 4 sets of siblings have been re-united and this seems to become a pattern. How wonderful and heartwarming it must be to have your own siblings with you. Not only has it already been traumatic to be removed from your parents and terrible circumstances, but to be split from your brothers and sisters are unimaginable. On the other hand, the reality that so many children in one family are in this situation is extremely sad.

Due to the sensitivity of these cases we are not able to show you the happy faces of these children. Receiving love and feeling worthy change dull, lifeless eyes into bright shiny ones.

Some of the kidz
At a volunteer Birthday party

Playing outside
Ryan (Director) opening the very first house
Grand Opening

Dining room table used for the grand opening

New Life Children’s Home is so grateful to already have received land and sponsorship to complete the first three houses. The community has been very supportive and quite a few businesses have partnered with this project so far. But as we all know the need for funding never stops. If you have a businesses or want to as an individual partner with them for this great cause, there are many ways your involvement can make a difference. Corporate donations are not only tax deductible, but will also count towards the BEE spend. You can have a look at the website for the different ways you can become involved. https://newlifekids.org/

Lounge
Liesl, a house Mommy and Center Manager & Tammy, one of the Directors

Kitchen

Slide to take you downstairs
Bottom of the slide
House parents bedroom
Making the house a home
Bus sponsored by Eastvaal Ford
Sponsored sea holiday

Another very sad issue New Life Church became aware of is that about 3500 children are abandoned annually = 300 Per Month. This figure only includes survivors, the total number of abandonment is far higher. Many of the abandoned babies are never found and only one third of them survive. As this is in line with the vision of the New Life Children’s Home, they have partnered with the SACCW to find a solution. This is how the ‘Baby Safe’ project was started. The Baby Safe provides a safe place for desperate mothers to leave their babies if they are unable to care for them. They are thrilled to report that there are already three Baby Safe’s in Emalahleni. You can go to www.ourneighbourhood.co.za/babysaver to get more information on the SACCW’s project and vision.

The process works as follows: The door is opened from the outside, a baby is placed on the pressure plate and the door is closed. When the baby is placed on the pressure plate the micro switches are closed. An alarm system is connected to a circuit and sends a ‘panic’ signal to a security service. There is no alarm that sounds at the saver. When the door is closed the magnetic (normally open) switch which is built into the magnetic lock, closes and completes the circuit. When the baby is removed, the micro switches open and the magnetic lock disengages, the light extinguishes and the unit is again in the “ready” state. The entire electrical system will have a battery backup and the alarm system incorporates power failure reporting.

Ryan and Tammy at the first Baby Safe
View from the outside
View when both sides are open

Hearing the stories of these children touches your heart like nothing else. So much sadness and trauma. Amazing stories of boys and girls that have already changed. Like Tammy says “without the community we won’t be able to sustain it. They come to visit them, bring gifts, spoils them, plays with them. They are still in our schools and embraced by our community. We are SO grateful. God has provided for us and our trust is in Him.’ This just shows you that one person’s initiative CAN make a difference. People committing their full lives to the well-being of others are truly remarkable and beautiful to witness. An example to us all.

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New Life Childrens Home Website https://newlifekids.org/

About the author

Sherene Grobler

Sherene Grobler’s work experience stretches over a period of more than 30 years and includes a diversity of industries and processes. Her experience includes Mining, Marketing, Event Management and more. This insight gives her the ability to see business from a different perspective. She loves people and are passionate about them reaching their potential.