Bring Christmas cheer to children’s homes

2015-12-09 06:00

While families are looking forward to quality time with parents, children and grandchildren over the festive period, there are many children who will be spending Christmas in children’s homes.

At the MTR Smit Children’s Home, which cares for 100 children, 19 will be staying there for the holidays. The needier of children who are going to their families will receive food parcels.

“The children who will stay here are taking part in a holiday programme, which includes excursions. On Christmas Day they will enjoy a special Christmas dinner and presents,” the home’s director, Dr Crystal Watson, said.

It will not be possible for members of the public to accommodate children at this stage seeing that the external social workers have first to approve the people and these organisations’ workers have already started going on leave.

“Our biggest need regarding the holidays at the moment is finding companies or members of the public who can invite our children on outings or who can sponsor outings. The outings which we have already planned are limited to single days because of financial reasons,” Watson said.

At the Oosterland children’s home in Despatch, with its 106 residents, children have already been placed since Monday with their parents, family or weekend parents for the holidays.

Riaan Marais, director of Oosterland, said the home did everything in its power to make the children feel special during the festive season and to create lovely memories for them. “We have a programme of excursions; we put up Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and the children also have a special dinner on Christmas Day.”

At the EP Children’s and Youth Centre in Parsons Hill in Port Elizabeth, 17 children will be staying in over the festive season and will also not miss the spoiling and the fun.

“We have a fantastic holiday programme for them and it is thanks to many members of the public who have given money and other articles and also volunteered to organise activities for the children,” residential programme manager Travis Marshall said.

”We try to keep our children busy with a combination of relaxing and stimulating activities over the festive season.

“I am sure that the children who stay in will have a wonderful holiday thanks to the generosity of the community,” he said.

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