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Carpe Diem

The ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church of Universitas-West took initiative to start a youth care centre. Reverend Petrus Kühne and Reverend Stefan Stassen met with Mrs. Magda van Niekerk for the first interview to discuss this possibility on 22 May 2003.

During the same month a section of “Ons Kinderhuis” had to be sold necessitating the accommodation of twelve children. The house of Mr. Das van Deventer at 52 De Bruin Street, Universitas-West was hired for this purpose.

On 9 October 2003 an action committee was elected to establish a youth care centre. The chair person was Reverend Petrus Kühne. Mrs. Wilma Henning played a valuable role. The house of Mr. van Deventer was bought. It was decided to name the youth care centre “Carpe Diem” which means “Seize the day”.


Number of children in need of care in the youth care centre

The youth care centre is registered to accommodate 12 children at any present time. There is also a crisis room where a child can be accommodated when necessary. The children are represented by children from the white, coloured and black communities. The children attend different schools in the community. Some children attend a school for mainstream education like Jim Fouché Primary and High School, Martie du Plessis School. Other children attend a school for children who are mentally challenged like Böhmer Special School and Lettie Fouché School.


Services rendered by the youth care centre to the children of the youth care centre

The youth care centre make use of the services of a social worker. She has two therapeutic sessions with each child every quarter, as well as group therapy sessions.

When a child is being admitted to the centre a multi therapeutic team meeting is held to draw up an Individual Developmental and Care Plan for each child. This plan helps the persons involved with the child to know who will render which services to the child concerned. It also helps to co-ordinate the services.

The social worker and the child and youth care worker often have discussions about the child – in this way they work together as a team.

Annually a multi therapeutic team meeting is held to evaluate the achievements and to plan ahead.

The social worker co-ordinates the services and makes the necessary arrangements for the child to receive specialised therapy - for instance psychological, occupational, psychiatric, medical, neurological and spiritual.

The social workers also arranges for weekend and holiday leave to the child’s parents or host families.

The management and the child and youth care worker ensures that the child’s basic needs are met by making sure he/she has a safe house, food, clothes and education.


Services rendered by the centre to the children within the community

The youth care centre reach out to the children in the community by giving the products they can not use to a crèche. Food parcels are sent with the children to enable them to visit home for the holiday.


Outstanding trademarks of the centre

In the youth care centre there are several children that excel in sport. Shawn is studying Education.

Our centre is privileged that Striata Retirement Village is near by. The residents of the village are very fond of our children. They provide toiletries and special treats for the centre.

Possible ways how the community can get involved and help the centre

Your assistance will be greatly appreciated. You can contribute in one of the following methods:

  • Donations of clothes for the children.
  • Literacy material like old books, magazines.
  • Games like puzzles, board games – anything with which the children can amuse themselves.
  • There is a great need for activities and funds to be utilised during holiday times since a growing number of children stay in the youth care centre for holidays.
  • Cash donations are also welcome. This money will be used to enhance the budget and to buy necessary goods.
  • Sponsor a child’s school necessities and toiletries.
  • Sponsor a child’s therapy at a professional therapist.
  • Sponsor a child to study at a technical college.
  • Sponsor a child that needs specialised medical attention like orthodontics and spectacles.
  • Any in kind donations are welcome.
  • Assistance with the upgrade of the youth care centre by your knowledge, financial or physical help.

Professional persons can also get involved at the youth care centre by donating their time to the youth care centre. They can get involved in the following manner:

  • Involvement in the committee.
  • Hosting of children for weekends and holidays – the persons must first be screened by a minister of a church and a social worker.
  • To be a relieve child and youth care worker when the child and youth care worker attends educational courses.
  • To render free medical and dental services, or occupational- or emotional therapy.


Motivation of the community to get involved

If you choose to get involved at the youth care centre you will experience the blessings of thankful and happy children faces. You will have the opportunity to experience the practical difference you have made in the quality of the children's lives. Often people report that they initially got involved at the youth care centre in order to mean something to a child. In the process they were the persons being blessed by experiencing the child’s meaning of being able to give to somebody, and how fortunate it is to be able to give. Many people say that there is more meaning in being able to give than being able to receive. In which ever way you choose to be involved in the youth care centre it is certain that you will be touched by it!

Postal address:

Carpe Diem House
P. O. Box 11995

Street address:

52 De Bruin Street

Telephone number: 051 - 5226578
Fax number: 051-5222508 at the Principle Social Worker

Particulars of staff members:

Child and youth care workers: Mrs. Jean Loots and her husband Mr. Albie Loots. Both are social workers. Jean works as a child and youth care worker for the past twenty years.

General assistant: Ntombi Nuyleka 
Social worker: Mrs. Karin Rossouw – contact number: 051-522 6914
Mrs. Rossouw has several years of experience working with children in a children’s home.

Management committee:
Mr. Mauritz Roodt
Mrs. Wilma Henning
Mrs. Diana Pienaar
Rev. Carel van der Merwe