Senekal Child and Youth Care Centre
The Lindley Presbytery of the Dutch Reformed Churches decided in 2001 to establish a decentralised youth care centre. The Presbytery was formerly involved with the Memorial Children’s Home in Ladybrand. NG Social Services then started the process of decentralisation and transformation.
Senekal was decided on because it was considered the town with the best infra structure and the most resources in that region. The first meeting of the committee of action was held on 10 October 2001. At this meeting Rev. Otto Lessing of the Dutch Reformed Church Senekal North was elected as chairman and Rev. Michael Mackane of the Dutch Reformed Churches of Africa as vice chairman.
Different properties were considered before deciding on 34 De Villiers Street, which belonged to an attorney. The committee decided to appoint Mrs. Doreen Viljoen as the child care worker. She had formerly been an employee of the Memorial Children’s Home. She left the centre after 8 years to get married. Most of the furnishings used in the Senekal Youth Care Centre had formerly belonged to the Gedenk Children’s Home.
The centre is registered to accommodate 12 children.
The centre takes care of children irrespective of age, gender, race or culture. Most of the children are from the local community and the centre does it's utmost to involve the parents in the care and development of their children. Sometimes some of the parents help with minor tasks like reparing certain things in the centre.
Services to children in the centre:
- The children's basic needs for a safe home, food and clothing are met. Meals are prepared according to an approved balanced menu and children receive good second hand as well as new clothes.
- Children receive medical care and treatment by specialists whenever necessary.
- The children receive enough opportunities to socialize. Social events are organised at the centre and the children also attend social events of their different schools.
- All the children attend Senekal Primary School and Paul Erasmus High School and there are set study times after school hours. Children with developmental problems receive occupational therapy and extra classes. The pre-school children attend Hompie Kedompie Creche and Senekal pre-primary school.
- All the children receive therapy from a social worker who visits the centre once a week. The Therapeutic Team compiles an individual developmental plan for each child and all work together to provide in the child's needs. If necessary, arrangements are made for help from other therapists like a psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.
- Most of the children participate in school sport programs and enjoy rugby, cricket, netball and athletics.
Involvement of the congregations and the community:
Because Senekal Child and Youth Care Centre is a project of the Dutch Reformed Church of the Presbytery of Lindley, eight congregations are involved.
Each of the eight congregations take the responsibility for a month per year to supply the centre with certain necessities as well as to take special care of special needs of only certain children who are allocated to them.
The child care worker is Mr. Gert Moorcroft and his assistants are Lydia Bosiu and Jane Khasapane. There is also a relieve child care worker in the person of Mrs. Marlene Douglas and Mrs. Elizabeth Marais provides social services once a week.
- Stationary for school
- Holiday and weekend parents
Street address: 34 De Villiers Street, Senekal
Postal address: P.O. Box 504, Senekal, 9600
Telephone and fax number: 058 481 2891
The centre is managed by representatives of every one of the eight congregations in the Presbytery. The present chairman is Rev. Piet Taljaard.
Vice-chairperson: Rev. T. Oosthuyzen
Secretary: Mrs. E Marais
Chairperson of the Financial Committee: Rev. T. Oosthuyzen
Chairperson of the Child Care Committee: Mrs. L. Cilliers
How do I get involved?
- Become a holiday or weekend parent
- Become a donor (financial or in natura donations are welcome)
- Become a member of the Management of the Centre by serving on one of the committees.