South Africa has in recent years engaged in major legislative reform and boasts a progressive Constitution that safeguards basic human rights of which the right to health, safety and education form a part. Consequently, although laws have been enacted to enable South Africans to live their lives in dignity, safety and care, this right seem to have been flouted by many people, causing anguish to many children and the elderly. This is due largely to a lack of respect for the law by some and harsh socioeconomic conditions. These grave conditions are seen in Lavender Hill (nicknamed “KILL ME QUICK”) on the Cape Flats where communities are poor and approximately 70% of the population is unemployed making it a breeding ground for gangsterism, violence and drug abuse.
It is against this backdrop that the Village Care Centre does its work. We seek to address the urgent needs of victims of broken families, vulnerable and abused children, HIV positive and affected community members, the unemployed and frail and ageing elders helping them to realise and enjoy their rights as enshrined in the Constitution.
The Village Care Centre was established as a shelter in 1979, in the community of St. Montague Village which forms a part of Lavender Hill, by The City Mission. In 1999 the shelter was terminated and the focus changed to a centre for children, youth at risk and school dropouts. The Village Care Centre officially registered in 2007 with the Department of Social Development’s NPO Directorate as a Non-Profit Organisation under the NPO Act 71 of 1997.
In January 2008, the Village Care Centre was officially given the full rights to manage the local Aged Centre, which in the past belonged to one of the most reputable NGO’s in our community. The Aged Centre is a residential home that caters for 24 less advantaged elderly persons and is a place where the elderly can replenish and rejuvenate from the day to day struggles of life and daily politics within families. The Village Care Centre sees it as an honour to have been given this exciting yet challenging project to care for the aged as it resonates well in our mission.
Caring for both youth and elders has made the Village Care Centre richer and more able to understand and meet the diverse needs of those who need care and love. It is through our sense of being there for others and our values that we can share in our common purpose.
We envision an empowered and caring society where everybody lives in harmony free of poverty, drugs and diseases.
Our mission is to provide care, support and skills to children, youth and families allowing them to be resilient and self sustaining.
We do this through therapeutic and developmental strategies and capacity building programmes that have a lasting impact.
We achieve this by:
•Providing a safe haven to children and youth in dire need.
•Equipping children and youth with mastering and coping skills.
•Providing the aged with affordable, dignified and safe housing with guaranteed frail and end of life care.
•Providing health care support to people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and other psycho-social ills in the community.
•Equipping men and women with skills to enable them to become self reliant and self sustaining.
•Advancing and preserving the concept of family units.