Care for Kids

Care for Kids is a long-term programme of The Warehouse a Non-profit Organization which seeks to support the Church in its response to poverty. Care for Kids also works in conjunction with Fikelela, an AIDS initiative of the Anglican Diocese of Cape Town meaning, “reach out”.  Within the community development focus of The Warehouse, Care for Kids specifically targets the problem of orphans in the Cape Town Metropol.

Our vision

To see orphans and vulnerable children accepted and cared for by the Body of Christ.

Our mission

To mobilise and equip local churches to meet the needs of orphans and vulnerable children within their communities.

What do we do?

Care for Kids empowers local churches to develop programmes that are:

  • Community based - run by people of the local community, not imported 'experts',
  • Sustainable - no short-lived projects that collapse when funding runs out, and
  • Centred on the needs of the child.

Our approach is holistic, dealing with all aspects of care for children - including, for example, education, food, hygiene, role models and how to manage finances.

What 'kids' do we care for?

Care for Kids defines an orphan as a child under 18 (or 20 if still at school) whose primary carer has died or disappeared. A vulnerable child is a child living in a household that takes in orphaned children or where the primary carer is terminally ill.

Why work through churches?

The Bible and the example of Jesus make it clear that we, as the Body of Christ, are to take care of those in need. The World Bank has acknowledged that churches are in the best position to care for vulnerable children because, "religious communities offer the most extensive, viable and best organised network of institutions at both local and national levels". This point was also affirmed by former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The size of the task

Even in the Western Cape, which has one of the lowest infection rates, some communities are now recording infection rates as high as 19% (Heidelberg and Stellenbosch), 27% (Khayelitsha) and 28% (Nyanga and Gugulethu). The trends indicate that by 2010 we will have 44 000 orphans in this province.

Click here to see the extent of the challenge facing us

Our response

Clearly, extended families cannot cope with the added burden of orphans, nor can we 'hide the problem' in orphanages. In the face of the almost overwhelming need, Care for Kids has developed a three-phase process to guide local churches in their response:

  • Preparation Phase - involves building a relationship with the church and formalising the partnership.
  • Foundation Phase [Phase 1] - focuses on providing physical relief and is run by an OAT.
  • Building Phase [Phase 2] - focuses on psychosocial support and is run by a Management Committee and implemented by the OAT.
  • Withdrawal Phase, Care for Kids together with the church agrees on the strategy for growth towards independence.
  • Extension Phase [Phase 3] focuses on moving the project towards independence, where the church establish a network with other orphan programmes.

Since each church community is unique, Care for Kids does not try to impose or push a process. Instead, we support and enable each local church to develop its programme at its own pace, and as far as it is ready to go.