HOW WE CAME ABOUT
The centre was started by Moira Simpson, a qualified social worker, in October 1992 as a response to increasing numbers of children on the streets of Benoni and the violent deaths of two street children. Before she formally established the centre, Moira had been feeding and counselling children on the streets, but she knew that they needed to get off the streets before real healing could begin.
Initially, she approached the council for a property to rent and hosted a town hall meeting of business people, local churches and anyone who was interested in helping the children, but eventually Moira realised that she would need to find some space herself and start K.I.D.S. (Kids in Dire Straits) Haven.
On 13 October 1992, Moira established residential care for 20 children in the Old Kleinfontein Hospital and Kids Haven became a reality. She wrote a letter to Nelson Mandela, who passed on the letter to Ms Fraser-Moloketi, and Kids Haven started to receive some funding from the Department of Welfare almost immediately.
It soon became apparent that the Kleinfontein building was not ideal for the care of babies and toddlers, so Moira decided to find a house where they would be safe and well cared for. SA Breweries agreed to buy a house in 1995, but this would prove more difficult than anticipated. Nobody wanted Kids Haven anywhere near them. After many meetings Kids Haven eventually bought its first house, Sunshine House, in Mackenzie Park North in 1996. The whole community objected, but a tribunal at the Town Council decided in favour of Kids Haven. When the neighbours saw how well the house and children were taken care of, they soon became friends of Kids Haven. There are now six houses in the Kids Haven Village all sharing a common garden which have been bought and renovated by donors.
In 1999, the Old Kleinfontein Hospital building was condemned and Kids Haven was forced to move. A sponsor donated a building in the Benoni CBD and Kids Haven relocated to the current Multi-purpose Centre at 38 Cranbourne Ave, Benoni CBD.
Kids Haven was registered as a non-profit organisation in 2001, and remains dedicated to the care and protection of vulnerable children.
You can get involved by volunteering, donating money or second hand goods.
If you think your company could help make a difference please contact us.