Alex children’s home a beam of light

Children living in the Jehovah Jireh Haven (JJ Haven) children’s home in Alexandria were given words of affirmation when they were visited by pastors from JJH board members, and enjoyed some special treats.

SAFE HAVEN: Pastors and board members visited the Jehovah Jireh Haven in Alexandria to offer words of encouragement and love to the children. Picture: FAITH QINGA

The home was started by Molly and Neels Bam more than 30 years ago. With no state subsidy, it is the generosity and support of the public that has kept the home running. The couple have opened their home as a place of safety to abused and orphaned children in the area. Currently, they look after 69 children between the ages of three months and 18 years. This number can increase to 75 children being taken care of during school holidays, which is only possible because of donations and help from people and organisations that generously give not only of their time but also support financially to the home.

The board that oversees the running of JJ Haven is made up of people from these organisations and also some private individuals that have come forward to give of their time to support Molly and Neels in this mammoth task. Recently, the children were introduced to some of these people so that they could see that there were people that cared about them and that they were not forgotten. The board members encouraged the children to not make bad choices in life; to go to school and to live their lives for God.

“Think about where you want to be in life one day and make friends with children who will help you make good choices. It is always better to make good choices in life so you don’t have to be constantly looking over your shoulder when you walk,” warned Sylvia Roux who helps with the fundraising for the home. “Make good decisions that will have a good impact in your life. We’re here because we want you to have a better life so we’re here to support you.”

The children were spoiled with treats brought by the board members and writing books from another donor. The children were encouraged to use them as dream books to write their goals in and picture where they want to be in life. The pastors encouraged the children and told them how much they were loved. The board also promised to organise computers and laptops and do workshops to equip the children with basic computer literacy by the end of December.

Various projects that the board want to implement at JJ Haven were also discussed with the children to make them feel included and to show them that they mattered also for them to take ownership of their own lives by being part of these projects as they are encouraged to take pride in what is accomplished.

The children were excited to hear about new projects that they will soon be able to enjoy. Gardening and a crafts centre are two. This will then see the introduction of a rewards system in the home which will encourage the children to actively participate in the projects. The vegetable garden will benefit the home, because they will be able to eat homegrown veggies that they’ve planted. The skills development centre is where JJ Haven’s girls will be taught to knit, crochet and various other crafts.

MJ and Lucinda Van Jaarsveld, the owners of Pick n Pay Port Alfred, who have always been involved in community projects, will be donating birthday goodies for the children for monthly birthday parties that will be held, beginning at the end of August.

The home does not receive any funding and relies solely on donations. Currently, they are looking for wool to teach the children how to knit and crochet and would also appreciate any type of craft materials. People can also donate clothes, blankets, toys, games or books for the home which can be dropped off at Pick n Pay in Heritage Mall.

If you would like to donate any type of materials, such as paint for maintenance or fencing for the new vegetable garden, please contact Sylvia Roux on 076 455 5144.