Our residential projects are the homes where our children live, where they are cared for in a safe and secure environment, where we help them rebuild their shattered lives.
A Children’s Village comprises a cluster of ten or twelve small family bungalows, each home to a mixed group of boys and girls between 5 and 11 years of age.
Family life is replicated as far as possible, and each group of seven or eight children lives with a foster mother. They eat, sleep, play, and do household chores together – just like at home. Whatever misfortune has befallen their lives, anything from parental death, disablement or abandonment, through to sheer and abject poverty, here they find a world and solace they never dreamed existed.
The children attend school regularly and receive help with their homework. They maintain strong links with the rest of their family, wherever possible returning home during holidays and for family and village festivals. Our aim is to give them back their childhood, while nurturing and developing the whole child.
When the children start secondary school, they move from the children’s villages into the Girls or Boys Towns which are for youngsters between 12 and 18 years of age. Here they live in family groups under the care of a project director, who is their guiding mother/father figure.
The children learn to care for themselves and their surroundings as they develop into responsible young adults. In addition to providing safe accommodation and a proper education, being in a girls/boys town means these youngsters will receive routine medical checks, be well fed, and enjoy a varied range of activities and hobbies, such as dance, bird watching, stamp collecting, chess, football, or cricket.
As well as accepting youngsters who have previously been in the children’s villages, these homes also offer direct entry to children who, due to family poverty or other distressing circumstances, have lost the opportunity to continue their education beyond primary school. A major objective of these homes is to develop each individual to reach his or her full potential.
At the end of their schooling, the youngsters will receive vocational counselling and many go on to tertiary education or qualified apprenticeships before returning to their family and community.