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Umndeni WaBantwa - Family for Children, is based in Ingwavuma, Northern KwaZulu-Natal and was established in 2006 by Neil and Michelle Coetzee. The Coetzee's offer Orphan and Child Care to the Ingwavuma Community, they have adopted 11 children and have 2 biological children. They have a creche on their property called Jacob's Ladder; Michelle started up an ACE School in the community called Khethani Christian School and they are the lead Elders in their church, Zonki'Zizwe.
The Coetzee's vision is to give a family to abandoned and orphaned children, to teach them about Jesus and His love for them and to prepare them for life, with them knowing that no matter where they go they have a family they can always come back too.
Our journey into working with orphaned and abandoned children started 9 years ago in 2002 when we adopted Luke who was 8 months old at the time. He had been abandoned at birth and had spent his first months of life in a large crisis care facility in Durban.
We had both felt God speaking strongly to us about taking in children and giving them a home and a family, we took our first tentative step into what God was calling us to when we adopted Luke. That took us to three children as we already had Nathan and Aidan our biological children. Over the following three years we adopted another two little girls Rebecca who came to us at 15 months old and Lisa who came to us at 4 months old.
We were by this stage living in Ingwavuma and felt God leading us with the help of sponsors and friends to go more fully into what God had placed on our hearts. So in 2006, Umndeni Wabantwana was born. Our vision being to give a family to abandoned and orphaned children, to teach them about Jesus and his love for them and to prepare them for life, with them knowing that no matter where they went they had a family they could always come back too.
With financial support from the Mosvold family in the USA and other donors we started to build our first homes in 2007 and in 2008 we adopted our first 4 children in to our new homes. All four of the children were between 15 and 18 months. Over the years since then we have built four homes, classroom, storerooms, laundry, office, a playroom and managed to purchase a neighbouring home. Our number of children has increased to 14 children ranging in age from 15 years to 2 years. We employ 4 staff to help with the care of the children. Two of the staff working as housemothers, one as our grounds man and Beatrice as a Grade RR teacher and a relief housemother when needed.
We also work with teenagers mainly boys who do not have an intact family unit and have no or very little contact with their fathers. These boys often live with us, especially over weekends and holidays. They are involved in our family activities, church activities, youth groups and we try to send them on youth camps, we also get involved in their schooling raising funds where needed and trying to help prepare them for their Grade 12 exams. Once they have finished school we try to raise funds to send them to do a year of your life at a bigger church in Durban where they can be exposed to more and make informed decisions about what they want to do for their future.
All of these things take finances which are needed for feeding, sponsoring and raising these children. Many people don’t want to know all the difficulties involved and would prefer to believe that everything is great and the child will grow up to be a successful business person, unfortunately this is often not true, especially with children who have been abandoned or lost their mother at birth, often there are remedial problems as the mother may have been an alcoholic or drug addict or even tried to have an abortion.
Operates in: Ingwavuma, KwaZulu-Natal
Established in: January 2006
Non-Profit Organisation Number: 065-892
Public Benefit Organisation Number: 930027281
Section 21 Company Number: 2007/021169/08
Contact person: Michelle Coetzee
Phone: 082 874 8248
Fax: 086 689 2739
Postal address: P O Box 294, Ingwavuma, 3968
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