Tag Archive: orphans


One person who gives me hope in SA is: Nicky Kemele

Nicky is one of our 33 amazing foster mothers at Home from Home – an
organisation which sets up and runs supported and supervised community
based foster homes for vulnerable children in the Western Cape. Nicky was
our very first foster mother when we started Home from Home ten years ago
in 2005. Nicky, who was working as a nanny for a family in Fish Hoek,
started volunteering at a children’s home in Khayelitsha where she lives,
in 2003. That¹s where she first found out about becoming a foster mom with
Home from Home.

Nicky says that she was inspired to foster by her own mother back in the Eastern Cape. Her mom had been orphaned at the age of two, and was bought up by other people,
often under very cruel circumstances, and at one stage ended up living outside eating
with the dogs as no one was caring for her properly.

Believing that no child should have to grow up as her mother did, Nicky
wanted to make a difference in the lives not just of children who needed a
loving home, but also to make a difference in her own and her mom’s life.
And she has done just that. Five children who came into her care in 2005
are still with her today, together with another girl who joined their
family in 2010. Nicky loves her foster children just as much as she loves
her own grown up children. Two years ago, Nicky’s mom died, but she was so
proud of what her daughter had achieved; creating a loving family home for
children who have no families of their own.

Though Nicky’s story is a one-off, our other 32 foster mothers all have
their own reasons for taking on this most precious of challenges – caring
for children who are not their own by birth. Sadly, there are many
children in South Africa who need foster care and a place to call home.
Nicky and her sisterhood of foster mothers give us all hope in this
incredible country of ours.

[as shared by Pippa Shaper]

You can learn more about Home from Home by visiting their site over here.

[To read another story of hope involving James Fernie and community development, click here]

Who is someone that YOU think is doing something positive in South Africa that gives you hope. Drop me a line at brettfish@hotmail.com and let’s talk about how you can get their story up here…

a few years ago i visited new york with a good buddy of mine, justin paton, and one of the touristy things we came across was the Charging Bull, a 3,200-kg (7,100 lb) bronze sculpture by Arturo Di Modica that stands Wall Street in Manhattan.

being a touristy symbol, we had to wait a fair amount of time to get a picture with it and so naturally when we did i had to be a little different and took some ‘grabbing the bull by the balls’ shots [a cousin to the ‘when life gives you lemons’ metaphor]

why? because you only live once and so why have the same picture everyone else has? [as Garfield would say, ‘why be Nermal?’]

life has got to be seized by the… um, opportunities as you only get one shot at it [on this side of heaven, anyways] and so how is it possible that so many people give in to living mediocrely [i was going to say “choose” but i don’t honestly believe anyone chooses to be mediocre, i just think people tend to give in, or get tired, or settle and suddenly there it is] but not me! this guy chooses to live. and to live well. LIFE TO THE FULL!

it helps that one of the central ideas of the religious faith i hold to is this same idea, where in John 10.10 Jesus says to His followers, ‘the thief [enemy] comes to steal and kill and destroy, but i have come that you may have life, and have it to the full!’

it is pretty much a command from the God i follow that we must live life well here [not just in preparation for what might come later as many have sadly made it] – but right here, right now.

and living to the full, according to Jesus, includes such diverse (and exciting) elements as… loving your enemies, offering forgiveness to anyone who has hurt you, finding a way to connect with and enrich the lives of those considered as ‘the least of these’ [with a special emphasis on widows and orphans] and teaching others the things that Jesus has taught you.

this thing is not going to be boring, and if it is, we have somehow missed the point.

so next time you find yourself standing near to a touristy attraction and someone with a camera is standing by, think out of the box and let your creativity loose and who knows how it will affect the rest of your life…

this series of blog posts has been on my heart and mind for well over a year and i am excited to finally be at the point of getting started on it.

there are a number of incredibly important, life-transforming, heart-breaking life events that happen to huge numbers of people that no-one, or very few people, ever seem to talk publically about – and so for the most part there are hundreds or thousands of people living quietly and alone with their pain or confusion, struggling along as if they are the only ones that have gone through that thing and as if help or advice or at the very least understanding is not freely available.

my hope with ‘Taboo Topics’ is to be able to deal with one of those topics at a time by finding people who have experienced the very thing in question and are brave enough to share their stories and hopefully also offer some insight and advice as to how they managed to get up again, dust themselves off and keep going…

the next topic i am wanting to look at is that of ADOPTION which i know different people have had vastly different experiences with – for some it has been an incredible life-giving experience [either as the adopting parents or as the person who has been adopted] while for others it has been a confusing, frustrating or difficult experience [especially for a lot of people who find out they were adopted and struggle with the emotions that can come into play in terms of the why and with the experience of being able to meet, or not, their birth parents – and also for women who have had to give up their child for adoption for various reasons or else adoptive parents who struggle with their child’s desire to find their birth parents] and so this can be a completely different experience for all those involved.

i have found some people who have been brave enough to share a glimpse into their story and trust that as this series starts more people will come forward to share their stories as most of the stories i have received have been positive celebrationary ones [which is great!] but i know there are people who have really struggled with this issue [both as parents or those who have been adopted] and i would love to be able to share some of those stories with others who may be struggling along in silence.

thank you to everyone who contributes to this and i trust by giving a rarely spoken of topic [although a lot more these days which is great cos with the crisis of orphans we have in many areas of the world it is definitely a solution which should be well considered, especially by the church as God seems to be very fond of orphans]

Meet Philippa and Emiel [waiting to adopt]

Meet Jackie Barker [adopted]

We meet up with Jackie Barker again [and this time she and her husband Tim have adopted]

Read the story of Jane and Mike Hampton [in the process of adopting]

We meet up with Jane and Mike Hampton two years later [Successfully adopted] 

Read the story of James Bradford [adopted]

Meet Tyron and Caraleigh [have adopted]

Meet Mariska de Beer [single mom has adopted]

Meet Corina Spinazzola [Adopted at age 15]


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