SA Children’s Home turns 214

The home celebrated its birthday last Thursday.

The South African Children’s Home (SACH) celebrated its 214th birthday last week, making it the country’s oldest charity.

The SACH Gardens building accommodates 44 children ranging in age from pre-school to teenagers, who are cared for by 17 staff members and 32 volunteers.

As part of their birthday celebrations, SACH collaborated with another NGO, Beyond Feeding, to make and distribute soup to families living in 18 informal settlements in Philippi.

Besides making the soup, the children donated a portion of their pocket money to a fund to help pay for the soup ingredients. The fresh produce used in the soup came from the vegetable gardens overseen by Beyond Feeding.

“There’s been huge excitement anticipating this birthday and saving up some of their pocket money every two weeks has been a countdown of sorts for the children,” said Jalize Uys, SACH’s chairperson of the Board.

“Getting involved in a soup drive like this shows them not just that there are other people in need, but also that they have the power to help out others. This helps to destigmatise their experiences, roll up their sleeves and cheerfully give back.”

Despite their charitable celebration, SACH requires funds to support the children and maintain the building, among other expenses.

“Not many people think about the huge costs involved in supporting a family with 44 children, especially during these tough economic times. SACH strives constantly to give our children the best start in life, facilitating schooling, providing nutritious meals, decent clothing and toiletries, healthcare and psycho-social support as well as those important small treats in life, like pocket money, which other children may take for granted, but is a symbol of normalcy and stability for our children,” Ms Uys said.

“Every month we face the high costs of food, clothing, laundry, transporting 44 children to 18 schools every day, and we have a significant liability when it comes to electricity and water,” she said.

SACH has a budget of over R6 million per year, of which only 35% is government-funded. The majority of the organisation’s operating costs are covered by the generosity of its donors and supporters.

As part of its 214th birthday fund-raising campaign, SACH is looking for businesses and individuals to contribute to critical costs such as:

•R25 000 a month for electricity

•R12 000 a month for diesel

•R135 000 a month for food and cleaning

•R 27 924 a year for pocket money

Visit or contact for more information.