Gedenk Child and Youth Care Centre
After the Anglo Boer war, Rev. Marquard became aware of the great number of children who were left orphaned in the Ladybrand community. An orphanage was erected in Ladybrand in remembrance of the women and children who died during the war, from there the name “Gedenk”. The date the orphanage was established was 1904. A matron took care of groups of about 25 children at a time. The children were from the same age and gender. In total there were 155 children in the orphanage.
The second phase of the development of facilities for children during the sixty’s were the establishment of children’s homes. With time the residents were no longer orphans but children who were in need of care because their parents could not provide in their needs. Most of the occupants were not from Ladybrand. Many of the children were from the Rand. Less than ten children were from the community.
During a meeting held on 12 June 2001 the management of Gedenk Youth Care Centre took the following decisions:
- The services as rendered up to date must discontinue as soon as possible.
- The residents and child and youth care workers are to be transferred to other decentralised child and youth care centres.
- Children from the immediate community, and in their last school year or year before last, will not be transferred.
During 2002 the centre was downsized to three housing units. From 2003 it was downsized further to one housing unit, where 12 to 16 children were taken care of.
The children’s home were to be sold and the funds were to be put in a communal fund for the continual of the services and to assist in the process of decentralisation.
The management abdicated.
The main reason was to continue the services on a more cost effective manner and within the reach of more children and communities. The services of one of the child and youth care workers, Mrs. Annatjie Stahmer were retained for the decentralised youth care centre. One of the housing units of the old children’s home was upgraded as a decentralised youth care centre. It was decided to keep the name “Gedenk”. A new committee were elected from the local community. Especially one committee member, the chairperson of the financial committee, Mr. Rassie van der Westhuizen, was involved on a continual basis. He has dedicated his time, effort, knowledge and funds towards the youth care centre.
The new decentralised centre was registered as a children’s home on 31 March 2003 according to sec. 30 of the Child Care Act.
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. The children are represented by the coloured, black and white race. They attend different schools within the community. It differs from mainstream education to special needs education.
Services rendered by the 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.
When a child is being admitted to the centre a multi therapeutic team meeting is held to draw up an Individual Developmental Plan 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 youth care centre to the children of the community
The youth care centre reaches out to the under privileged children in the community by giving food to the street children. They also donate food and clothing to the needy local schools.
Outstanding trademarks of the centre
The youth care centre houses both girls and boys. The centre is situated on the premises of the old Gedenk Children’s Home. The entrance is from Kriek Street. The centre is situated at the foot of the mountain. The child and youth care worker is a competent staff member and has been working as a child and youth care worker for twenty four years. She received the award for child and youth care worker of the year during January 2007.
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.
- Apparatus like swings, sand-pit, trampoline etc.
- 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 with 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. 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!
A volunteer provides karate classes free of charge to the boys of the centre. During 2010 2 boys represented South Africa in Brittain on national level. From time to time the centre provides school leaders as well.
Gedenk Youth Care Centre
P. O. Box 104
Telephone number: 051-9240646
Fax number: 051-9240877
Particulars of staff members:
Child and Youth Care Worker: Mrs. Christine Botha is the child care worker.
General Assistant: Mrs. Maria Moeti is the general assistant and ms. Violet Thaise is helping her. Both of them are loyal and trustworthy and are willing to do more than expected from them.
Relief Child and Youth Care Worker: Mrs. Mapulane Wessels
Reverend Danie Kleynhans, 083 305 2058
Rev. G. Lamprecht, 051 924 2302