A Need Arose
The need for a facility for family “deprived” and neglected children in the Overberg region arose in 1988. The original “Home” opened its doors to six children but had to be vacated in 1991 due to unforeseen circumstances.
In 1993 the Rotarians of Claremont Club in Cape Town donated prefabricated units aquired from the Mossgass offshore drilling site in Mossel Bay, which was used to establish a new “Home”.
Rotary House, as it was named then, became a reality in answer to many prayers when it opened doors on 1 April 1993 and the first staff members moved into the building. For over a month they had to put up with no electricity, bare floors, no hot water, nor a washing machine … but they also had no children.
The electricity came first. Then the floors were tiled. But still there were no children: the application as a Children’s Home was lost no less than three times!
On 14 June 1993, Rotary House was finally registered as a Children’s Home and the three staff members welcomed the first three children. Slowly but surely Rotary House filled up until – by December – there were 21 children, firmly establishing it as the first and still only children’s home in the Overberg region.
There were teething problems aplenty!
At that time it was only registered to accommodate boys, and they were looking forward to the day when ample funds and opportunity would allow them to accommodate needy girls as well.
Eight years later Rotary House was changed to Overstrand Child & Youth Care Centre and since then not only serves needy children between 6 and 14 years of age in the area, but also allows youngsters to remain fully integrated into their own community.
The centre has shown tenacity and also proven sustainability by being in existence for the past 21 years and in 2009 we were able to secure enough funds to build a cottage for eight girls. In 2010 our registration was amended to accommodate girls – a great need since 1993.
Child Welfare SA
The Overstrand Child & Youth Care Centre is a project of Child Welfare SA: Kleinmond, which is a registered branch office of Child Welfare SA National Office. The centre functions relatively independently of Child Welfare SA: Kleinmond and Child Welfare SA National Office. The management committee of the Centre is, however, accountable to Child Welfare SA: Kleinmond and its management committee.