By Kopano Dibakwane
The Emmanuel’s Home invited community members to celebrate Mandela Day with the kids on 28th July. The main sponsor of the event was Spar Graskop, contributing a big Mandela cake, soft drinks, snacks and sweets. The activities of the day included planting seedlings in the vegetable garden, painting murals inside some of the rooms and reading short stories, amongst other activities.
The keynote address was delivered by Board member, Carla Gibson. She mentioned that Emmanuel’s Home tries its best to make a difference in the lives of each child that is accommodated. According to Gibson, the home was registered with the Department of Social Development as a Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) in 2014, thus qualifying to receive a quarterly subsidy from the government.
“The Emmanuel’s Home is the vision of the late Pastor Ron Gull and established together with the Emmanuel Assembly in 2007. I would like to emphasise that this is not an orphanage; it’s a home of shelter. Since its opening, approximately 60 children have been cared for. Some for short periods, while others for a number of years. The children are placed in our home by social workers after investigating the child’s circumstances. The social workers obtain a court order to place the kids in our care. They are cared for in every way until such time that their family situation improves and they can be reunited with them, or be placed with other family members,” said Gibson.
In addition, Gibson said that the home survived financially with only a small social grant for each child for the first five years, also from individual donations.
“We currently have thirteen children with us, ranging from 3-18 years. We have restructured the Board and Management, with donations we established the Education Centre and added a TV room for the older boys. The trampoline, jungle gym and netball hoop help us with outdoor activities. By devoting 67 minutes, we commemorate Mandela’s legacy and try to live our lives each day to make the world a better place.” said Gibson.
Pastor Ken Scrimenger, Emmanuel Assembly, said that the home has improved immensely throughout the years.
“This is the first event of its kind to celebrate Mandela Day. I thank all the stakeholders for their support and sponsors (local and abroad), without them we wouldn’t get this far. I also would like to thank the ladies that take care of the kids, covering every sphere of their lives. It’s not an easy job to take care of the kids, but the ladies manage. The Department of Social Development also plays a big role in assisting us. We also thank the volunteers for taking their time and effort to assist at the home,” said Pastor Ken Scrimenger.