Home from Home: Raising orphans in loving community homes

first_imgCentral to the Home from Home model of care is the special bond between foster parent and child. (Image: Home from Home)It all started 11 years ago with one house and six children. Today it is a network of community-based foster homes that give orphaned and neglected kids a chance at a real childhood, outside institutions, in a loving home. This is the innovative model of South Africa’s Home from Home fostering network.“Home from Home isn’t an institution. We’re not a children’s home,” says co-founder and managing trustee Pippa Shaper. “We are a group – a cluster – of small community-based family homes. Our homes look like any other home on the street. They integrate into the local community.”Recognising that children respond better in small community foster homes than in institutional care, Home from Home was founded in 2005, and has grown rapidly from one house in Khayelitsha to many homes around the country.Over the past 11 years, about 300 children have been raised by the Home from Home network. Today, it cares for 198 children in 33 homes, in 15 different communities, all over the Western Cape.“When we decide to work in a new community, we come from a couple of angles,” says Shaper. “Either we will discover, through working with the Department of Social Development, that there is a tremendous need to have a new home in the area. Other times, a church or community organisation will come to us and say, ‘We’ve got a need in our area.’ But they don’t have the resources, they don’t have the model, they don’t have the idea to do it.“That’s when Home from Home comes along. We’ve got the model of care set up. We have the experience. We’ve got the professional skills. So we can come in and partner with a local community group or church to help them – and empower them, really – to look after their own orphans.”Central to the Home from Home model of care is the special bond between foster parent and child.“To work with children – this is the thing I like most in my life,” says Hellen Ntshikila, a foster mother living in Khayelitsha. “I used to look after my sisters at home. It’s in my veins, to look after children.”Selecting the right person for the role of foster mother is paramount. A small, loving family unit, where siblings are kept together, is the recipe for the children’s ongoing development.This creates a place where they can be brought up as part of a community, speaking their first language, and gaining a sense of their own identity.“Selecting the home mother, the foster mother, is the most difficult part of all our work. They are the most important people in the whole organisation,” says Jayne Payne, social worker and co-founder of Home from Home. “We need to get someone who is really going to love and cherish the children, and look after them as if they are their own children. It has to be someone who really wants to care for children.“And we’ve been very, very lucky. We’ve got wonderful foster mothers – so dedicated. Because it’s a hard job to care for children who aren’t your own.“We see the foster mothers every few days. We are very involved with them.”Many of the children under the care of Home from Home are HIV-positive. But with proper care and medication, they can go on to live full and meaningful lives.A safe, stable, loving family is what every child needs and deserves. Children in foster care have often come from a place of great sadness – of abuse, neglect, poverty, ill health and loss. Home from Home aims to redress this by providing children with security from harm or any form of abuse, in secure families where they can settle and not be fearful of being uprooted. It also provides children with the food, health care, education and psychological support they need.By loving the children and accepting them as they are, Home from Home aims to raise its foster kids to become well-adjusted adults who will contribute to society.The network creates opportunities for them to become valuable members of society through every means possible – individual treatment plans, therapeutic assistance, extra help with educational needs, excellent health care, the chance to expand their world vision through experiences they would otherwise not get.HOW TO VOLUNTEEROne of the most rewarding ways to get involved with Home from Home is by becoming a volunteer. They accept both local and international volunteers, and there are many tasks they need help with. Everything, from taking children on outings to helping get children and foster parents to clinics, the NGO needs assistance from taking children on outings to providing a lift to a foster mother and child to the local clinic for an appointment.“We would also love to have volunteers with special skills – for example, counselling, physiotherapy and occupational therapy amongst others – which we could incorporate into our programme,” says Shaper.To find out more, visit the Home from Home website.last_img read more

Announcing the September ‘Featured Geocacher of the Month’

first_img SharePrint RelatedAnnouncing the October ‘Featured Geocacher of the Month’October 25, 2011In “Community”Announcing the September Featured Geocacher of the MonthOctober 3, 2012In “Community”Announcing the First ‘Geocacher of the Month’August 20, 2011In “Community” Congratulations to all the Featured Geocacher of the Month nominees for September. The geocaching community is comprised of inspirational individuals – who go above and beyond in geocaching innovation, creativity, respect for the environment and helpfulness. Each nominee should be congratulated as an exceptional geocacher and individual. We are proud that each of the cachers is part of our worldwide community.SuperGoober, Featured Geocacher of the MonthThe choice for the September Featured Geocacher of the Month was difficult. A panel of Lackeys, relying on voting and community comments, could ultimately choose only one.SuperGoober is the September Featured Geocacher of the Month. Dozens of geocachers wrote in to share stories about SuperGoober’s humble dedication to geocaching, geocachers and his local community. He has hosted and attended numerous events, led many geocachers on their first outings, and is involved in local geocaching organizations. According to one nominee, “Jeff is a model geocacher who all of us in the area and beyond can be proud of. He is always willing to lend advice/help to any cacher that approaches him or contacts him.”SuperGoober will receive a collectors Geocacher of the Month geocoin, along with a Geocacher of the Month hat and certificate acknowledging their contributions signed by the founders of Geocaching.com: Jeremy Irish, Bryan Roth and Elias Alvord.If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for Geocacher of the Month, send an email to [email protected] Every nomination must meet the following requirements: Please include your name, the name of your nominee, their username, at least one picture of the nominee and description (in 500 or fewer words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Geocacher of the Month. Please inform your nominee that you’ve submitted them for the award. Nominations for the October Geocacher of the Month must be received by October 3rd.Once we have received all of the nominations, we will choose the top candidates and post them on the Latitude 47 blog. You will then get a chance to champion your favorite. Our goal is to involve the entire geocaching community in this process so we might learn from each other.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

‘I slipped up’ – Allardyce backtracks on Dier-Busquets comparison

first_imgSam Allardyce has backtracked on comments he made insisting that Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets is “no better than Eric Dier”.The former England manager made the claim after England defeated La Roja 3-2 in Seville in a UEFA Nations League encounter.Dier grabbed headlines for a crunching tackle on Sergio Ramos but defended superbly throughout as the Three Lions claimed a famous win. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! His performance led Allardyce to say: “The praise about Busquets must be stopped, it was never evident last night, he looked out of sorts.“He’s no better or worse then Eric Dier, for me.”But he has now attempted to rescind that comment, claiming that he was merely talking up Dier after widespread criticism of the midfielder’s performances for Tottenham.”I slipped up a little bit, but on the night he was better than him,” he told Sky Sports.”In career terms, he’s not. But what I was doing was sticking up for Dier, after the amount of stick he’s been getting.”People saying he’s not good enough for England, people saying he shouldn’t be playing. There’s been a lot of negative comments in the press.”Nevertheless, Allardyce believes Dier was one of England’s key men on the night and lauded his challenge on Real Madrid defender Ramos. “He plays it simple and sits in the right positions,” he added.”He made a great tackle [on Ramos]. That set a great standard for England on the night.”In all fairness, you’re not allowed to take the ball and the man anymore, but it was a good challenge to get everyone in the right frame of mind, like a good pass, a good header or a good shot. It put England on the front foot.”last_img read more