Epworth Children’s Village was merely one man’s vision in 1918 and now in 2018 centenary celebrations are in order for the home.
The opening event of Epworth Children’s Village centenary celebration year coincided with the closing lunch of the Methodist Church’s District Mission Week last Saturday.
In the Synod of Transvaal District, in January 1918, Rev Amos Burnette proposed that two homes in Johannesburg, one in Pretoria and one on the East Rand, be established as living memorials for each soldier belonging to the Methodist Church.
For every soldier who had given his life in war, one orphan child would be trained, educated and looked after to be better equipped for the battle of life.
“By November 2, 1918, two children were taken into a rented house in Malvern and the work of caring for children in need had begun,” said Roberta Ingrato, public relations manager for Epworth.
“We have a proud history of hope, growth, inspiration, care and resilience.”
Epworth relocated to Lambton and became a village in 1962.
“We have been a home to many over the 10 decades of our existence and have always strived to ensure a safe healing space for children from age two to 22,” said Roberta.
“Over the last 16 years the village has facilitated the return of 240 children to their families within the Epworth Therapy and Assessment Centre.
“Additionally, we have managed to return 15 children yearly, and have provided two years of aftercare services to 115 of those families.”
Psychological and educational services and support has been provided to 26 413 beneficiaries which included children and families referred by the courts or welfare organisations, learners and teachers.
More than 80 people gathered in Germiston during Mission Week and amid their centenary celebrations, the home continued their art of giving.
Dukathole in Dukathole, Buhle Park Primary School and Ekurhuleni School for the Deaf in Katlehong are some of the schools in which members of the home and church participated in activities designed to support the learners and schools.
“Elandsvallei Home for the Aged, SAVF Kinross Herberg, Methodist Homes Prim Villa and Sasonah Lodge were among homes visited by the Methodist Church’s Highveld and Swaziland District in the sharing of hope and the love of Christ during Mission Week,” Roberta added.
Over 130 families living in the Dukathole, Good Hope, Elspark and Leondale areas were given food hampers and clothes.
During these family visits time was taken to pray with and for the family.
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