A safe home for children in need

2019-08-27 06:01
Faldelia CasperPHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

Faldelia CasperPHOTO: siphesihle notwabaza

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Faldelia Casper, owner and manager of Hanover Park Place of Safety, says it is her love for children and her wish to keep her mother’s legacy alive which motivated her to open her home and heart to children from troubled families.

Hanover Park Place of Safety has harboured children for the past 32 years.

Casper, who grew up with five siblings, says it was her mother, Fatima Adonis, who instilled her with the desire to help others. Adonis was the one who first decided to open her home to those in need all those years ago after a neighbour knocked on her door, asking for a place to sleep.

“Our neighbour had been abused by her boyfriend and she was looking for a safe place to stay. That planted the seed for my mom,” explains Casper.

When Adonis passed away nine years ago, Casper, with her husband Igshaan, decided to keep their home open for the children.

According to her, the two-bedroom house with two additional rooms in the back, has not been registered as a safe house yet. But she is currently working with the police and social workers to get it done.

Looking after children comes naturally to Casper. She loves having people in the house because that’s how it’s always been.

“I do not like to see children suffer. These children come from different backgrounds. Some still have parents but their parents are on drugs or are alcoholics,” she explains.

Because there is such a great demand for her service, Casper wishes she could have a bigger space to accommodate more children.

The children in her care range in age from three to 19. When they turn 19, their grant money is discontinued and she is expected to let them go. But, she says, she doesn’t have the heart to chase them away. If they feel they have nowhere to go, she finds a way to let them stay or she tries to help them find jobs.

“I cannot chase them away; they love me; I love them. A lot of them actually got married while they were still living here. I organised their weddings and it was a happy moment,” she says.

According to Casper, it is not always easy to deal with children who have difficult backgrounds. Hence, she instils in them a sense of independence.

“I always encourage them to respect their parents even if they are druggies.

“I also tell them it is important to finish school. I want them to become somebody and to make something of themselves,” she adds.

Casper’s daughter, Farieda (19), is the stylist in the house. She does her “siblings” hair and gives them ideas on what to wear whenever they have to attend a function.

Farieda admits that, at first, she was not comfortable with the idea of having strangers in the house. However, as she grew older, she realised that her mother had a calling. “She is an inspiration to me,” she says.

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