Firstly, a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your donations, support and encouragement throughout the past six months. It means so much to my team and I to know that our children continue to occupy a special place in your heart – especially with the past year having been so difficult for everyone.

Some have lost loved ones or been ill themselves. Some have had their work disrupted, or had to make do on less income. All of us have missed being able to hug our loved ones – or even see them face to face.

Like everyone else, the children have felt bored and trapped – unable to visit their friends, go to the shops or other normal activities. Some are really missing school and the predictable routine.

But the strength, courage and resilience of my team here at The Johannesburg Children’s Home has been nothing short of inspirational. As essential services, our child care workers don’t have the option of working from home. They simply have to get up every day and keep going. I have been so impressed by the way they have dealt with every setback and adapted the way they work to make sure that, firstly, the children don’t fall behind in their schoolwork. They’ve also been successful in challenging the kids to make the best of the situation, and find new ways of keeping themselves occupied. I hope you enjoy reading all about their creative activities and achievements on our website.

Many support services closed during lockdown, but this didn’t deter the team. Under the leadership of Sandra Perry, our Head of Social Enterprises, they developed a skills programme to ensure that youth in their last year at JCH are well equipped to face the big world out there.

Our child care workers are the unsung heroes of this pandemic. In addition to caring for children placed in our Home by the courts, we’ve also opened a beautiful new Early Childhood Development Centre for 2-4 year olds in the neighbourhood. We eagerly await the roll-out of the vaccine programme and hope to get back to normal as soon as possible.

Thanks for continuing this wonderful journey with us.