Expanding Mindz would like to introduce you to : The House Group, a shelter for girls aged between 12-18 years of age, located in the heart of Johannesburg, 62 Olivia Street, Berea.
The House Group is a 100% BEE accredited NGO, PBO, CYCC registered program serving vulnerable girl children on the streets of Johannesburg.
The House Group was founded in 1990 in response to the lack of legislation to allow outreach or care services to destitute girl children. While there were well developed residential care and outreach services for homeless and destitute boys, little girls were forced to fend for themselves on the streets of the city. Inevitably these abandoned or run-away girls (the Human Services and Resources Council estimated their numbers to be in the region of 50,000 country-wide at the time) ended up at the mercy of pimps and brothels where they became drug addicted with no resources from family, state, society, or care organizations. That is when Jean and Adele du Plessis stepped in and rallied for international pressure to change legislation.
It is our vision to create an environment of safety for children in trouble where they may receive the necessary care and guidance to change their destiny to one of fulfillment and contribution whether or not they are reunited with their families.
Our mission is to rescue and care for abandoned, destitute and neglected girl children where they receive intervention, therapy, developmental services and reintegration into normal life. We provide stability, balance and safety, nutrition and medical care and educate the child mentally, emotionally, spiritually and socially. It is our mission to empower these children to make broader decisions to create a fulfilling life of contribution, personal excellence and success.
How we accomplish our mission:
We have created a sustainable working model of stabilizing, rehabilitating and reintegrating the vulnerable child in a loving home environment, by providing:-
- Safe residential care in a loving home environment
- Enrolling the girls in schools according to their educational needs
- Counselling, the services of a social worker who render therapeutic services to the girls in our care
- Over and above the psycho social support services provided, the girls are also referred to specialized services to ensure holistic service is provided
- Life skills programs
- Rendering family reunification services
- Render after care services to children who exit their program
Riana Gaspar now manages the shelter on a full time basis with assistance from her wonderful team, including the Houses’ friendly Youth Care Manager, Sibongile, who is Riana’s right hand lady. The House is the ONLY registered shelter and Girl Youth Care Centre in Hillbrow, compliant on every level, according to the law. All the girls are youth ambassadors and run their own ‘Outreach’ programs, where they give back to society. Having spent the day listening to the journey that Riana has been through and her passion for assisting these girls in becoming all they can, I am reminded of the words by Mother Teresa, “The Most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.”
Riana and her team certainly go out of their way to give these young ladies all the love and care that every child should receive. Riana and her team face many challenges on a daily basis and as she so aptly states, “We live on miracles…If you have lost your faith, come here.” It took Riana a little over 2 years to get the Shelter to it’s current state and staff into a viable program suitable for all. Each child is given an Individual Development Program and the mission of the shelter is to get the girls functional, keep them alive and get them through matric.
Riana shared many success stories of girls being re-united with their families and going on to further education etc., the House really is a “House of Miracles”.
“Listen to your dreams, you will never be lead astray.” – Riana Gaspar
The funding that is received from the government currently aids in taking care of 50% of the cost per child on a monthly basis, and the Shelter is reliant on assistance from Corporate Companies and private individuals. The House welcomes all aid, including food and clothing. If you are in a position to assist, below are the contact details for the House.
Riana Gaspar – the House Manager
Banking Details : Standard Bank Ellis Park Branch 004605 Acc. No. 002580055
NPO No. 037-622
Fundraising No. 01 1009 00 3. Exempt from Income Tax and Estate Duty
Tel : 011-027-9190