Vrede Child and Youth Care Centre
Reverend Kotie Marais from Vrede-West Dutch Reformed Church and his wife were house parents at the Memorial Children’s Home in Ladybrand. When the process of decentralisation and the transformation of the big children’s homes started, he felt called upon to lead the process in Vrede because of his experience.
A visit to the community was realised on 8 March 2002 and the first Management Committee Meeting was held on 9 April 2002. Rev. Kotie Marais was chosen as Chairperson and Mr. Piet Steyn as Vice-chairperson.
The residence at 100 Kühn Street was bought from Mr. MJ Lourens and was transformed into a child and youth care centre (children's home).
The centre opened during June 2002 and is registered for 12 boys and girls.
SERVICES RENDERED TO THE RESIDENTS AND CHILDREN FROM THE COMMUNITY
It is not only the physical and medical care of the residents that is a high priority, but also the developmental and therapeutic services to each child. When there is a need for occupational therapy or therapy by a psychologist, the centre make use of private therapists.
The centre provides temporary safe care to children from the community who have been removed from their families in a time of crisis.
The centre also provides children from the community who are in need, with clothes.
INTEGRATION WITH SCHOOL AND CHURCH
Most of the children attend the services and activities of the Vrede-West Dutch Reformed Church.
All the children attend the Vrede High School, which accommodates high and primary school learners.
INTERESTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE RESIDENTS
The children take part in a variety of sports at school, like athletics, rugby, netball, hockey, tennis, cross-country and swimming. The children also get the opportunity to attend sport tours, courses and outings with the other children from the school.
The bigger children like to take part in the melodrama, which is presented at school.
INVOLVEMENT OF THE COMMUNITY
People got aware of the needs of the children and a lot of people offered their help, for example, evening dresses for the Valentine’s Ball and matric farewell, hairdressing and make-up. Volunteers help the children with math’s extra classes, needlework and art and crafts.
Donations, like food, meat, vegetables, magazines and sports equipment are received on a regular basis from the community. The children are invited on outings, barbeques, etc.
Each child has a “birthday-lady” from the Dutch Reformed Church who buys him/her a present and spoils him/her on his/her birthday.
There is a volunteer who visits the children every week to talk to them and shows interest in what they do.
- The centre always needs people who show interest in the children.
- Help with schoolwork, extra classes, etc.
- In kind donations, like linen, food, clothes, toiletries, etc.
P O Box 9
100 Kühn Street
Telephone: 072 608 5482
Social Worker: Ms. Jacqueline Pienaar, Telephone: 082 453 6423
COMPOSITION OF THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Chairperson: Tiaan Bekker
Vice-chairperson: Bets de Waal
Secretary: Mrs. A Peusshers
Chairperson of Financial Committee: Mr Tiaan Bekker
Chairperson of Child Care Committee: Mrs. Bets de Waal
The child care worker is Alta van Zyl-Kruger and the assistant Maria Masakala. Ms. Jacqueline Pienaar is rendering the social work services at the centre.
Application for funding is also done by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF). This relieves a lot of financial pressure.