THE BRIDGE AT ELUKHUSELWENI
The Homestead Children’s Home, called The Bridge
Placement at the Ch, is where the children lead a more ordered life and have usually settled into a school routine. It is located in Khayelitsha – a community from which many of the children originate – and offers a longer-term bridge between the streets and community life.
Here, they begin to put the hurt of the past behind them, and we can concern ourselves with their futureildren’s Home is the last resort for those children who cannot return home or to their communities for a multitude of complex reasons. Often the situation at home has not changed and the difficulties that drove the boy to the streets are still there. In these circumstance, the Children’s Court orders placement in alternative care.
. The school curriculum may or may not be appropriate for them. Those who are young enough to start again, to get into the education mainstream, are helped with this. Others may never do well at school and have to learn other routes to mastery and self-reliance. The experience of settled community living, with a strong emphasis on learning, makes up the programme at The Bridge.
Each child has a Group Leader who spends quality time with him, taking a special interest in his progress, building on his strengths, and helping him to deal with the challenges of his daily life at school and in the children’s home. This Child Care Worker also does Home Visits with the boy to get to know his situation and help him resolve some of the pain of the past.
We carry on working with the boys at building up t
heir fragile connections with their families and relatives. Many spend weekends and holidays with their relatives – food parcels are a help to this process. They are often now confident enough to go home for trial periods secure in the knowledge that a “safety net” is there for them as they venture back into the disrupted and dysfunctional story of their lives.
We like to think that in our care they can rediscover roots and find wings!