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 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