As a Nelson Mandela Day Initiative, our TWK Marketing Team visited Louis Hildebrandt Children’s Home in Volksrust.
Mr Louis Hildebrandt donated the Louis Hildebrandt Nursing Home was to the SAVF and made a substantial financial contribution to the home. Due to the reduction of government subsidy and a decrease in the number of residents, the nursing home closed. The elderly resettled elsewhere. With a constant lack of adequate housing for law-abiding children, the SAVF negotiated with the Department of Social Development to transform the building into a children’s home.
On December 1st, 1997 the Children’s Home was registered to accommodate children between the ages of 7 and 18 years from the Mpumalanga province. Changes are were made to the existing building. Another house and yard were purchased to accommodate 76 more children. During January 1999, the Children’s Home was full for the first time and has since been fully functional. With approval from the Department of Social Development, they extended the number of children to ninety in April 2003.
Perdekop was as a small rural village and did not have the infrastructure to meet all the children’s needs. They could not participate in any extracurricular activities. Besides, the hostel system is not therapeutically beneficial to children. So, in 2001 negotiations began to use an old-ESKOM house in Volksrust for a Children’s Home. On January 29th 2003, 12 houses in Juba Park, Volksrust, were donated and handed over to the SAVF Executive by ESKOM and received by the President, Mrs Irna Harteberg. The “Big Move” from Perdekop to Volksrust took place during February 2003. Two of the houses were converted into an administrative office and a kitchen, while the other ten houses were furnished for children.
Today, 2020, the children’s home currently has 100 children who are happy and well taken care of.
The house parents and house mother have a heart for caring and protecting the children. For them to see each child grow and to see them emotionally healed is what they strive towards.
Each house has their daily routines. Morning routines: Making their beds, eating breakfast and then off to school. In the afternoons they have lunch, study time and time to play outside. At 6 pm, each child must be in their home. After supper, they have some time to watch TV, and by 9 pm, the lights must be out for bedtime. The house parents also make birthdays unique for the children, and they try to send each child home for Christmas, either to their parents or family members.
The children’s home requires maintenance, like painting, the roof needs attention, and the kitchen cupboards need work done. They are also in need of new bedding and curtains.
Their vision is to be financially stable to provide even more in each child’s needs.
We had the privilege to give each child their personalised gift bag with basic toiletries. Clothes, blankets and balls to play with were also donated.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this Nelson Mandala Day initiative and for every donation given.
If you would like to get involved with the Louis Hildebrandt Children’s home you are welcome to contact Alta van Heerden. Tel: 065 096 2889, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org