Our ChildrenThere are various reasons, which lead to children being referred to our center; they are brought to us as a last resort in attempting to address the needs and problems they have encountered. These are their cases:
ABANDONED CHILDRENDue to poverty, some parents leave their children in shacks hoping to find work in big cities; which ends up being impossible. Other parents just abandon them. In both these cases, the children have to fend for themselves; or depend on their feeble elderly grandparents. For the first few days neighbours and extended family would provide for the needy children; but as days go by it becomes a huge burden which they cannot carry. That is when these cases are referred to our Centre. We would report the cases to the local social workers, who would investigate further, hoping to find other family members who can assist; but eventually children will end up being placed at the centre.
These are very sad cases in which the parents or parent is staying with their children; but are virtually not concerned for their basic needs; this being due to drugs or alcohol abuse. Sometimes it’s a single parent who has found a new partner, and entertains the partner to an extent of totally neglecting their kids. Children as young as eight years old will have to bathe and prepare food themselves as well as their siblings. Most of the children in this centre fall in this category. In one case we found children with soars all over their bodies, these kids would be so sick and hungry that they cannot concentrate at school; then it would appear as though they are not intelligent. After good, treatment and love at Kingdom Life Children’s Centre, they begin to excel in their studies.
SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN
These are children whose innocence has been taken away by adults who are sexually sick. These children end up being emotionally and mentally traumatised. In these cases, the centre would ensure that the children get professional counselling; while also building their lost confidence so they become strong enough to bring the perpetrators to justice, even to testify in court.
We also works with an institute of refugees called Jesuit Refugee Services. JRS assists orphaned children from the Northern Africa who run away from their countries in fear of their lives. Some of them come with their parents whom upon arriving in South Africa, and realising that their dreams are not met, they find themselves having nowhere to go and nothing to eat. The JRS will then take the children and try to find them a place of safety, and refer the adults to other institutes helping refugees. The Kingdom Life Children’s Centre is presently accommodating 10 children brought by the JRS.
HIV/Aids causes many children throughout our country to grow up without their parents, it is very sad for a child to see their parents being ill; let alone to witness them pass away. We found some children living alone in shacks, knowing that they have relatives somewhere in the homelands whom they have never met; relaying on the help of strangers or resorting to crime in order to survive. The community would report the plight of these children to social workers who would then refer them to us.
HOW THE CENTRE ATTENDS TO THESE CASES
- Ideally, children should be place at the centre by social workers, but depending on the severity of the situation, we would immediately take in children from whoever would have brought those children to us, and then consult the social worker after wards. We offer immediate help.
- The social worker would investigate and prepare all the paper work so that the centre can be granted guardianship of the children where applicable; or look for the best possible solution for the child, including extended family. The centre assists with this process as well.
- We have a resident full time social worker who attends to cases brought to us. This saves time and ensures that the children are saved from harm as soon as possible.
- Our resident social worker provides daily counselling for all children in need of any sort of emotional attention. She sees to it that children get medical; mental and emotional help from the best practitioners. She works with other professionals in cases which need specialised attention.
- Our care workers are equipped with skills to help children develop a sense of belonging and security. They help in orientating them around the centre and monitoring their activities like school work, clothing needs and just being someone to talk to. This help them settle in and become part of this family with ease.
- Abused or neglected Children tend to be temperamental and angry; all the KLCC employees have been trained to handle children with patience and love. They are trained to correct children using positive reinforcement, correction and affirmation. This helps build children’s confidence and trust.
- We do our best to meet our children’s basic needs like warm meals, pocket money; clothing and school utensils; so concentrate on their school work and being normal kids who don’t need to worry about providing for themselves. Our care workers assist them with basic home chores.
- The director Mrs Magoba and her husband both live at the centre; they model a proper family structure for our children which gives them a good vision of what a family should be like, children learn from watching the how adults behave.
- We have various activities which our children get involved in. These assist them in forming a positive self-image; and restore their ability to perform in all areas of their lives especially at school.