The Children’s Haven originated during the Great Flu of 1918, when a substantial number of parents died and children were orphaned. This lead to the establishment of an orphanage at Ugie in the North-Eastern Cape, as a community based and community driven, non-subsidized welfare organisation. The Children’s Haven was officially established in 1922, when the government admitted the first children to the orphanage.
M.T.R. Smit Children’s Haven, named after its founder, relocated to Port Elizabeth in 1987, in an effort to improve its capacity to render services to the community. This materialised after lengthy discussion between the government, community leaders, church denominations, and the Department of Education.
The Children’s Haven is a multi-racial institution, currently provides accommodation for 100 statutory children between the ages of 3-18 years. The Haven also aims at providing accommodation for the mentally disabled children who have been removed from parental care in terms of the Child Care Act.
Goals and Objectives
- The Haven ensures that conditions are created for the optimum development of all children in order to constitute a social investment in a healthy and able nation.
- The Haven aims at meeting the special needs of children that would ensure the development of children physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.
- The Haven aims to provide quality services and excellence, transparency, and accountability. The programmes presented at the Children’s Haven promote non-discrimination, tolerance, mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion of all groups of society.
- The Children’s Haven aims at re-establishing relations between the children and their natural parents by encouraging the maintaining of contact.
- As the family is regarded as the basic unit of society, our goal is to facilitate the provision of appropriate services to both the child and the family system.
- Regardless of the length of stay or the statutory reasons for admission, each child is afforded an appropriate programme of care and therapeutic development. Each child is also afforded personal privacy and is given the opportunity to participate in sport, cultural and recreational activities.