South Africa

Spotlight on project – Safe Houses

Spotlight on project – Safe Houses
The Safe Houses, a ministry through Emmanuel International South Africa (EISA), act as a foster home for children in need; however, their purpose goes much deeper than that.

This ministry began out of a need that was observed through the HIV pandemic. EISA observed a never-ending cycle of promiscuity, infections, and despair that needed to be addressed. These issues however would not be solved through institutions, clinics, or even on a social level; it needed to begin in the home. There is very little household structure, accountability, and family role models in South Africa, leading to youth involvement in destructive activities.

EISA wanted to address these issues in a non-institutional way and to create an atmosphere that was much more intimate. This way, they would be able to develop relationships with the children, changing their hearts, and better preparing them for the future.

There are currently three Safe Houses with 5-6 children in each house. The children are often abandoned, abused, or orphaned and are then referred to the Safe House ministry by the Department of Social Development through the government of South Africa. Each house has a mother who runs the house and has a strong passion for the LORD. The house mother raises the children in Christ and helps them to find success in life through a loving and constructive upbringing. The houses provide a true familial bond with the children seeing and referring to the house mother as their own mother, and vice versa. The kids feel safe and find a sense of belonging within the family.

When the children turn 18, their relationship with EISA and the Safe Houses does not end. They continue to be supported either through the development of an exit plan to help them get started on their own, or by allowing the children to stay in the house as long as they are in school or have a job. Through the Safe House they are given a family, and this family will always exist and be there for the children just as a regular family would.