Little Saints of Bethany: a place called home

07 November 2013 | Opinion

Little Saints of Bethany (Bethany) was founded in 1989 to rehabilitate abused women and reintegrate them into society.

Bethany is the umbrella body for Bethany Home and Little Saints Pre-school. Bethany Home is a shelter for abused women and their children in Bertrams, Johannesburg. Little Saints is a pre-school in Bezuidenhout Valley for the children of the women at Bethany House, and other children from the area.

Bethany House accommodates up to 54 women and children. Each woman is assessed upon admission, and an individualised rehabilitation programme is developed for her. Women may stay between six and 12 months, and sometimes longer if necessary.

Services offered to the women at Bethany House include: intensive weekly counselling, skills assessments and training, placement of children in local schools or pre-schools, and assistance in applications for missing documents such as such as birth certificates and identification documents.

Arts and crafts activities (e.g. beading, sewing, and jewellery-making), primarily serve as a therapeutic activity; the women create quality products that are sold to raise pocket money for themselves. This assistance has subsequently ensured that the women at the shelter become economically self-reliant, and do not return to abusive partners.

The Anglo American Chairman’s Fund has supported Bethany with funding since 2006, providing grants totalling R620 000.

The ApexHi Charitable Trust made a donation of R100 000 for the home in 2010. In 2011, the 1st for Women Trust awarded a grant of R100 000 towards the operational costs of Bethany Home.