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Facility teaches girls in Ekurhuleni to take their lives back

With a staff complement of just six, every team member at the home plays an integral part in the lives of the girls placed at the facility.

Uitkoms Home for Girls aims to give vulnerable young girls a chance to live a better life.

With a staff complement of just six, every team member at the home plays an integral part in the lives of the girls placed at the facility.

The home-based facility in Observatory takes in and cares for girls and young women removed from their circumstances.
The home can accommodate 26 girls at any given time.

Currently, 15 girls aged between 12 and 18 call Uitkoms home.

Relief social worker for the home, Talent Marange, said the home does not accommodate walk-ins as girls have been placed by courts and outside social workers.

“We offer alternative care with the help of the Department of Social Services and others.”

While some of the girls that arrive at Uitkoms are pregnant, others have endured abuse, rape and neglect.

“Those who need help come here. The girls have endured massive life trauma and we are a haven for them. We help the girls to get back on their feet and empower them to be educated and qualified,” Marange said.

She added that as part of the services offered at the home, girls are enrolled in nearby schools and with the support of the department they attend university.

“What we offer does not end at the gate. We walk the extra mile with the girls to give them the best chance at a new life,” said Marange.

“Many of the girls who come here really want more than what they’ve had and they work hard to achieve their goals,” said Uitkoms administration officer, Yolanda Erasmus.

Uitkoms administration officer, Yolanda Erasmus.

 

“We give the girls their lives back,” she added.

Marange said girls are taught to be independent to enable them to live their lives on their own.

Maria Zuma is the house mother and makes sure to engage the girls with activities such as netball and hiking and looks after them while they are at the home.

“We have a multidisciplinary approach and the teamwork ensures that everyone plays a role in the lives of the girls,” said Zuma.

“We want to build strong women.”

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the home has seen an increase in teenage pregnancies.

Although the home does not allow babies, it does provide young pregnant mothers with enlightened options for their future.

“For young mothers who wish to keep their children, we team up with Maria Kloppers Children’s Home.

“Through the partnership, mothers still have the chance to bond with their babies and see them every day and when they return to the home they can focus on their education and future,” said Marange.

“When they are ready, mom and baby leave together.”

Young moms who wish to place their children up for adoption are helped through the process too.
The home needs clothes and toiletries for the girls.

“Pre-loved clothes and shoes are always welcome as well as baby clothes, toys and products to support moms and their babies once they leave the homes and Maria Kloppers. We want to set the moms up to help them,” said Erasmus.

“Most importantly community members who wish to help can do so by offering up their time,” said Marange.

She encouraged community members to visit the home to spend time with the girls.

“We need community members to share their skills with the girls.”

Over the holidays the home also looks for hosting families who can show the girls a caring family environment.

Marange said when the girls spend time with families outside the home they are exposed to new experiences.

“Host families offer the girls a safe place with a family to show them what it’s like to be in a family that loves and cares for them,” she said.

The home needs a school that will allow the girls to practice on its netball courts.

For more information contact Uitkoms Home for Girls on 011 487 0357.

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