Exposed to alcohol abuse in the womb, young adults at Home of Hope are gaining independence and purpose through sheltered employment on its working farm.
South Africa has the highest rate of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FASD) in the world, where almost 70 000 children are born each year with the condition. Suffering from permanent brain damage after prenatal exposure to alcohol, most children end up in foster care or children’s homes.
Home of Hope is one such non-profit organisation — providing vital care for abandoned, abused and neglected children in South Africa, with a special focus on FASD.
Founded in August 2005 by Eleanor Brook (who adopted children of her own and experienced life in a children’s home herself), Home of Hope provides permanent, round-the-clock residential care services to 19 children.
In 2010, Home of Hope opened Amathemba Special Needs School to address the educational needs of children with FASD) who, as a result of cognitive, behavioural and emotional difficulties, cannot cope within the mainstream educational system.
Children at its child and youth care centre have become part of the Home of Hope family either as babies, toddlers or very young children. Once they grow up to become young adults, they still have disabilities and remain unable to function independently. At the same time, the law states they can’t live within the child and youth care centre any longer.
Thankfully, these young people are receiving the ongoing support they need. Through its Living Life project, Home of Hope helps equip young adults with FASD and special needs with the skills they need to live their lives as independently as possible. Given the opportunity to get involved in sheltered employment on a working farm, these young adults gain valuable skills and a daily purpose through employment.