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February 2024

Love goes a long way

Monthly news from Kids Haven

Changing lives through love

 The more you love children, the more they learn to love others. – A.D. Williams.

Teenager Naledi (not her real name) arrived at Kids Haven at the beginning of last year. She was struggling emotionally and her home situation was dire. She wasn’t able to attend school but really wanted to go to school. She was in Grade 11 at the time. Through much love and care, she quickly settled into Kids Haven saying she felt so at home. Because she was from an area outside of the usual catchment area for Kids Haven, the team approached the magistrate, requesting that she remain at Kids Haven and advocating for her, saying it was not in her best interest to return home and she needed to go to school. Naledi was desperate to stay. Fortunately, the request was granted and she could stay. Since then she has blossomed into a wonderful, young lady. She is doing Matric this year and is so happy.

One of Kids Haven’s more recent additions is a little boy, 7 years old, Simon (not his real name). He had a trembly start and has found it hard being away from his family who isn’t in a good place to protect and care for him right now. We continue to encourage the family to visit to maintain these important bonds. Recently, on his birthday, the family members came to visit. He showed them around the pre-school at Kids Haven where he goes to school and loved showing them his classroom and all the fun things that everyone does. There were tears when it was time to say goodbye, but he was also eager to get back to his House, his Kids Haven home, where he is warmly welcomed by his childcare workers and well-care for. “It isn’t always easy for the children to be separated from family. Our goal is to support and empower families and communities to protect their children and take good care of them. We have to intervene, however, when children are in crisis to provide residential protection and care. Simon now sees Kids Haven as his safe place where he is loved and cared for. We long for families and communities where all children are safe and well cared for. Until that becomes a reality, we will continue to love, protect, care for and educate children that need these fundamental things,” says Terri.

News of a bundle of joy expected this year

We were very excited to recently learn that one of our Kids Haven alumni, Edith (not her real name), is expecting her first baby. Edith lived at Kids Haven several years ago and since leaving has got married and is expecting her first child. “She brought her husband back to Kids Haven and showed him around the village where she grew up. She was so proud to introduce him to all the people who had loved her at Kids Haven, protected her and educated her. Now she will pass on that love to her own child soon. It was a very special moment for us all,” says Terri Heatlie, Kids Haven Manager. She says it really shows how Kids Haven is ‘home and family’ for so many children.

You are never too old to be loved

A young man, who is part of our Youth Hub, is living proof that you are never too old to experience love.

His dad is in prison, his mum is deceased. He was living with an aunt who was cruel, always telling him how horrible he was. “I started being naughty and hanging out with the bad friends. I was trying to find a place where I would fit in because I didn’t fit in at home,” he explains.

He joined the Youth Hub in 2023, going through the weekly sessions. Realising that this was a place where people seemed genuinely interested in him and how he was doing, he did so well. He was nominated to take up a work position at a local business starting at entry level. This month he has been promoted to take on more responsibilities in a front of house role.  He will also be entering a mentorship programme with a large corporate soon.

“I am so grateful. I found love at Kids Haven. I found acceptance at Kids Haven. I found someone who believes in me and I found a place where I am important,” he says.

Sam Mokgopha, CEO of Kids Haven, explains that is it very common for children who do not feel love and acceptance at home to look for it elsewhere. “Peers become more and more important. We are wired for connections. Unfortunately, peers are not always the right influence and this is why it is critical for young people to have a safe place they can go to for affirmation and love, like Kids Haven. We are so proud of this young man and wish him all the best as he enters the working world.”

Show us some love and grant us a wish

Our first BIGGEST wish is for Friends of Kids Haven to help us every month with a small donation (click on the QR code on the left for quick sign up) or to set up an EFT – Nedbank, Account Number: 1948063824, SWIFT NEDSZAJJ

R227 every month brings our prevention team to a family in the community – assisting with parenting, gender-based violence prevention, mental health and more.

Collectively, if a group of friends each donate R209 monthly, we can look after a child like Sophie and Naledi.

Your company may be able to support a young person to complete our Training For Change programme and gain confidence to get that job – R600 monthly ensures inclusion in training, transport, mentorship and support to move from NEET to EET.

We also have several items on our wishlists for this month and would so appreciate your help in any way. (See below)

Help us make this Easter a yummy one

Easter is just around the corner and we would love to make sure each of our children in residence receives a special chocolate egg or bunny on Easter Sunday. If you can assist with donating these or a monetary donation so we can buy some that would be greatly appreciated.

All other eggs donated will be shared with our community and our children will be involved in distributing them so they too can experience the joy of giving on Easter.

Contact Connie on connie@kidshaven.co.za if you can assist.

Get Involved

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.

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