The children at the Bethesda Life Centre come from many different backgrounds – some are orphans, others are children of HIV/AIDS parents but are themselves negative, some are children of sex workers and children of parents with incurable diseases, others are children whose parents simply cannot afford to support them.

Child Focus:
Rose, 17 years.

Rose is the eldest girl in the home. From about 6 years old she had been at work in other people’s homes, cooking, cleaning, washing and feeding and dressing children older than herself; all for very little money.

When her parents died, the people she was working for did not even pay her anymore as there was no-one to demand the money. She frequently ran away to find another home to work in. At her final home, she was badly beaten and managed to run away, but the woman she was working for reported her to the Police saying she had stolen from the family. Unfortunately her case is continuing. Martin took a big risk by offering her refuge, had she run away, he would have been responsible. Rose’s brother and sister were already living at the Bethesda Life Centre and she was able to join them.

Rose no longer goes to school but is receiving training in dress-making and baking at the centre. She is a mother-figure to many of the children as she cooks, cares and cleans for them. With the love, care and attention emitting from the home, Rose has blossomed into a beautiful young woman.