Creating awareness on House Airfield child and youth care centre

House Airfield held an open day on September 29 to make the community aware of the work the home does. Seen here is Wilma Pretorius (left, house mother), Sonja van der Berg (social worker), Willem Swart (project leader and treasure), Alida Swart (committee member) and Pastor Sybil Bezuidenhout (Woordenlewe Benoni Kampus).

Providing warmth, love and protection are what the Umephi Child and Youth Care Centre, House Airfield, wants to give to children who have been abandoned owing to different circumstances.

The home, based in Blenheim Avenue, hosted an open day on September 29 to create awareness about the work the home does and how one can benefit by getting involved.

The house serves the community as a satellite home for children who have been abandoned by their parents and children who are removed from their parents’ care because of abuse or drug addiction.

This home is managed by the Executive Welfare Council of Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa and they fall under the uMephi Child and Youth Care Centres.

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The Word and Life Foundation, in association with the uMephi Project, is also the pilot for the children’s home.

House Airfield was founded in 2005. The house caters for children aged between two to 18.

Sonja van der Berg, social worker at House Airfield, said the house has nine children who were taken from four families due to various circumstances.

Some of the residents who came to support the open day.

“The children are allowed to stay even after the age of 18 as some of them are still furthering their studies,” said van der Berg.

“We encourage businesses and community members to help to make a difference in these homes and the children’s lives.”

Van der Berg said the house mother, Wilma Pretorius, is only able to be off once a week in a month and they would appreciate if the community can volunteer to be holiday parents.

“Or they can volunteer during the weekends or donate groceries (non-perishable items), stationery, toiletries, and rugby and cricket gear for the children, paint, bedding, curtains and gutters.”

Bredell residents Hennie and Chantel Engelbrecht come to lend a helping hand at the House Airfield open day.

The house mother, Wilma Pretorius, said their biggest need is a 10-seater kombi as theirs was recently stolen in April at Bokkie Park in Boksburg when they went for an outing with the children.

“With the Kombi it was easier for me to drop off the children at school in one trip but now I have to use a smaller vehicle and it’s a bit costly for us to make so many drop-offs,” said Pretorius.

To lend a helping hand or for more information contact, Sonja van der Berg on 084 517 4242 or Wilma Pretorius on 074 927 7418.

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  AUTHOR
Penelope Masilela

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