Letsemeng Child and Youth Care Centre
During 2002 a survey found that there were 52 children from the Xhariep district that were taken care of in children’s homes in Bloemfontein, Winburg and Bethlehem. It was then decided to investigate the possibility to establish a centre in Koffiefontein. The town has different schools and the necessary infra structure. During March 2002 three meetings were held with the community and different role players like De Beers Central Mines, the Dutch Reformed Church, Letsemeng Municipality and the local schools. On 9 September 2002 De Beers Koffiefontein diamond mine donated a house on a stand named “The Park”, to be converted into a youth care centre. The property was previously inhabited by the manager of the mine. The first 2 children where accepted on 24 December 2002. During 2007 the mine, that was take over by Petra Blue Diamond Mines, handed over the single quarters that previously housed the single mine workers to the child and yout care centre for use. The building was rent as housing for the children while The Park was renovated and enlarged. This was done with funds received from the National Lotery Distribution Trust fund. Many people in town lost their jobs due to the partly closing down of the mine. Many people moved to other towns. This had a large impact on the child and youth care centre. More children needed care, but less support and donations were received. The first management of the centre consisted out of the following members:
Mr. Tjaard Willemse (De Beers Mine)
Rev. Corrie Greeff (Dutch Reformed Church)
Mr. Hannes Brand (De Beers Mine)
Ms. Tineke van der Merwe (Librarian)
Mr. Abé Booysen (Teacher)
Mr. Pikkie Kotze (KMD)
Number of children in need of care in the youth care centre:
The child and youth care centre is registered to accommodate 24 children at any present time. The children are represented by the coloured and black communities. They attend different schools in the community, namely Diamanthoogte School, Leretlhabetse School and Rekailetsi High School. The children attend the Uniting Reformed Church.
Services rendered by the child and 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 at least every quarter.
When a child is admitted to the centre, a multi therapeutic team meeting is held to draw up an Individual Developmental Plan and Permanency 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 workers 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 counsellors.
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 reaches out to the under privileged children in the community by giving food to the street children. During holidays the youth care centre provide the inhabitants with a food parcel, because most of the children’s parents are very poor and even workless.
Outstanding trademarks of the centre:
The children help working in a vegetable garden and plant their own vegetables. They live in a beautiflully renovated house on a plot at the side of the town. There is lots of space to play and enjoy the open air. The boys love to go fishing in the nearby Modderriver.
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 the children can amuse themselves with.
- 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.
- Sponsor a child’s school necessities and toiletries.
- Any in kind donations are welcome, especially meat.
- 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 at the committee.
- Hosting of children for weekends and holidays.
- 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:
Letsemeng Child and Youth Care Centre needs funds and involvement of volunteers. Many families in the community struggle financially. We hope that surrounding communities, people of the Free State and strangers will help and pray for us.
Child and Youth Care Workers: Lisa Tlhakalo and Sanna Nyembe
Relief Care: Liesbel Louw
General Assistant: Doreen
Social Worker: Mrs. Lynette Botha (cell: 076 4877 665)
Letsemeng Youth Care Centre
P. O. Box 314
Telephone number: 076 4877 665
Fax number: 053-2050314 (social worker)
Mr. Richard Sasman (Chair person)
Mrs. Thamara Erasmus Mrs. Janine Lourens