CHILDREN ACCOMMODATED: 385
STAFF: 2 administrators, 8 care-givers
ANNUAL BUDGET: R 459,258
Located in Cape Town, South Africa, Heaven’s Nest is a project of the Church of St Francis of Assisi in Strandfontein and the Fikelela Aids Project. We care for up to 14 children between the ages of six months and eight years at a time, offering them a secure, loving home until they can be re-united with their families, fostered or adopted.
Many of our children have experienced neglect and abuse which have left deep scars. So, as well as providing love, good food, basic education and health care, we also provide counselling and play therapy to all our children.
Our Mission is to try to alleviate the plight of such children, by providing nurturing care and building self-confidence so that they can be reintegrated into the wider community, free from stigmatisation. To break the cycle of abandonment, abuse and neglect by empowering them to become healthy, happy and well-adjusted adults.
The Confidentiality Clause in our Constitution, protects children from having their HIV status revealed, therefore we generally provide care to all “Children in Need”
Since inception, more than 360 children have passed through our doors with many of them being placed in improved conditions with family members, foster or adoptive parents. Heaven’s Nest has forged a link with child welfare and social service and accommodates approximately 10 -14 children at any time. We sometimes exceeds this limited to accommodate siblings. Children who are accommodated range from the age of 6 months to 8 years of age. Children placed with us have been legally declared to be in need of care and are waiting for social workers to further investigate their circumstances of need – initially 6 weeks, or they are waiting to be placed with appointed adoptive or foster parents and the process takes 6 weeks. Alternatively they are waiting for adoptive parents to be appointed this process is indeterminate. Many of the children however stay here for much longer than 6 weeks. Some even stay as long as two to four years.
In our 15 years of experience we have discovered that many of the children placed at the home have not been exposed to the most basic form of education with many experiencing difficulties. Their mind have been deprived of the right to basic education with which to stimulate their minds.
With great success Heaven’s Nest has been able to be in the service of aiding children for the past six years having been established in 2004.