BOPHELO /LIFE Child and Youth Care Centre
Our Aim is to promote, protect and preserve life is the Gospel truth which the Catholic Church has embraced fully. Our Mission and Charism as Franciscan Sisters is the education of the Youth, to serve and identify with the poor, marginalized and destitute. For us as Franciscans children come first and when there are situations of harm and disadvantage of Children our Constitution require us to act. We felt that if there is such a need we could offer the Centre to help. This came at the Child Protection week and we felt concern about these children. The best interest principles of our Charism and that of a child go together. The best interest principles of a child are found in section 9 of the Child’s Act which says “The Child’s best interest are of paramount importance” in all matters concerning care, protection and wellbeing of a child.
Bophelo Life Child and Youth Care Centre is the Children’s which was established by the Province after realizing that many children around our areas are orphaned, neglected abandoned. The Sisters officially started this project in 2019. They applied for the NPO Certificate to register as Non Profit Organization. The old Maternity home was renovated so that it can accommodate these Children.
On 1 June 2020, 6 children were brought from Bloemfontein to our Children’s Home. These children were raised and cared for by their 11 year old sister and their sick grandmother.
This came after President Ramaphosa pleaded with Communities to safe children from abuse, rape and neglect. It was the beginning of the Children’s week here in South Africa. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the process of applications for Subsidy (Funds) from the Government has been a slow and nightmare process for the running of the project. We currently have 12 Children from Bloemfontein, Bothaville, and Ladybrand. We can only have more take in of Children when we get the Social Development Registration Certificate and the subsidy so that we can care for them.
Tshepo ya Bophelo Child and Youth Care Centre, (TBCYCC) is based in Marseilles near Ladybrand, South Africa and is situated in Assisi Mission premises the place was established as a maternity hospital. The hospital was closed due to some issues between the sisters and the government later on the building was used for children sodality retreats and workshop and was called Bophelong, until in 2019 when there was a need to take care of children that are neglected, orphans and vulnerable.
The Franciscan sisters, through the help of social development started the process of registering the place as a non-profit Organization (NPO) and it is now a Public Benefit Organisation with the name Tshepo ya Bophelo Child and Youth Care Centre and started functioning in 2020.
The inauguration of the 2 projects Tshepo Bophelo (Hope of Life) child and youth Care Centre and Assisi Bakery took place In April 09. 2021 and was blessed by the Archbishop Zolile Peter Mpambane, the Archbishop of Bloemfontein Diocese.
Tshepo ya Bophelo Child and Youth Care Centre is an Orphanage of the Franciscan Sisters which rose from the desperate situation which the sisters found themselves in when they do pastoral work in the nearby area of Assisi Mission, Bothaville, Bloemfontein and other other places.
The two projects came up during the time whereby, among other things, poverty, unemployment and Corvid 19 have really devastated the lives of many people.
Our main focuses are on proper meals for Children, security and formal education.
Our heart is in the future of the children and our goal is to inspire people to have hope and faith that their lives and communities can be changed. We are aiming at changing the lives of children and their families by impacting them physically, spiritually and emotionally.
In turn, we would like the people we have helped to take the skills, resources, and knowledge they have gained and use them to help other people in future. No child should have to suffer fear and pain at the hands of those who are supposed to love and protect them.