Beth Hatlaim aims to provide a permanent home for children who have been abandoned or orphaned, with no known relatives. We provide care for children who have been infected or affected by HIV/Aids. The Aids epidemic has drastically increased the number of orphaned children in our province. Beth Hatlaim is committed to providing a home for the children as long as is necessary. They receive well balanced food, health care, education, clothing, transportation, spiritual nurturing and many recreational outings and activities.
The ethnic grouping of the child does not influence admission; neither does the religion of the child. However, Beth Hatlaim does follow strong Christian principles. Our admission policy does show preference to children under the age of three, our commitment is to raise these children to adulthood in a family environment. Children admitted to Beth Hatlaim are usually completely abandoned without a trace of living relatives. Exceptions are considered on approval of the Management board of the Home.
At present we have five cottages, each cottage houses six children and a housemother. We emulate the family unit as closely as possible and try to limit the amount of change in the children’s lives, especially where staffing is concerned. We have found this system to be very effective. The children seem secure and happy and there is continual growth in character, confidence and individuality. Christian principles are used in the running of each home and the staff members are all committed believers.
Interaction with the local community is encouraged in order to prevent isolation or exclusion. Housemothers are employed from the local community and cultural identity is encouraged. Children are encouraged to communicate in their mother tongue and English. Menus are planned to include traditional foods. Children are taught about their culture and traditions from their housemothers.
We receive support from the local community and the assistance of volunteers. We have a minister available to provide spiritual guidance and counsel to both the children and the staff. The children facing academic challenges attend TUTOR which provides extra lessons in various subjects. An occupational therapist and speech therapist visit the Home and assist various children. The children also receive sports coaching, weekend activities (such as camping out, visits to the Wimpy, fishing etc). Beth Hatlaim also works closely with all the schools that the children attend.
Beth Hatlaim receives a subsidy from the Social Welfare Department for each child admitted, which assists greatly financially, providing about 30% of our running costs. The Lord is always faithful to provide the outstanding amount each month.
The finances of the Home are managed by the Administrator; the treasurer ensures finances are managed correctly. A monthly cash book is run and available to the Management Board. Finances are audited by Myburgh Mustard Knoesen and financial statements are submitted to the Welfare Department. All cash and donations received are deposited into the Beth Hatlaim Children’s Home account. All funds received are receipted. The Management board makes decisions about the use of incomes.
It is such a privilege for us to help look after God’s children here on earth. Each face is a precious character to be enjoyed and a potential to be developed. We really enjoy our meaningful jobs!