Close

Our History

136 years of care 1883 – 2019

Where it all began

In 1883, during the small pox and flu epidemic, two Sunday school teachers, Elizabeth de Wet and Lizzie With (later van Bosch) became involved with children that were neglected. Starting a home for vulnerable children.

Six children were housed in a building at the corner of Keerom and Long Streets in Cape Town. This establishment was formally inaugurated on 30 October 1883 but, because of the limited space, could never accommodate more than 30 children. Due to the smallpox epidemic in the Cape and the need to house orphans, as well as the negative effects of the bustling suburbs, a larger venue had to be found. In 1887, it was decided to buy a plot in Breda Street, Cape Town.

In September 1918, management was again challenged to expand, especially the boys’ section, and a commission was appointed to investigate the viability of a plot of land in Durbanville – near the town – for this purpose. In December, “Sweet Home” plus two adjacent, smaller plots (the current site of the Children’s Home) were purchased for £4 100. The official opening took place on 2 July 1919.