It takes a village to raise a child
There’s an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child and this is exactly what TLC is committed to through their various initiatives, aimed at supporting young mothers, children who need care, women in the community, and young people ageing out of the care system.
Located in Walkerville, the TLC village includes a baby nursery, toddler house, therapy room, volunteer cottages, staff accommodation, offices, playground, and a playschool. At any given time, TLC has at least 35 babies in its care. Since 1993, TLC has helped over 900 babies find forever homes.
But this non-profit organisation is not just about caring for little ones. TLC takes a much wider view. You could say that they believe it takes a village to raise a child to become an adult with hope and the ability to sustain themselves and lead a meaningful life.
Aware of the circumstances which often force young mothers to give up their babies, not because they want to, but because they feel they have no other option, TLC launched A Mother’s Hope program. A Mother’s Hope is a program designed to provide financial, medical, and psychological support to a mother with an unplanned pregnancy who does not have the resources she needs. It commits to supporting the mother for 1,000 days, the critical period from conception that impacts so much on a child’s future well-being.
Strive to Thrive is another important program forming part of TLC’s commitment to long-term goals of sustainability and reducing inequalities. Children who age out of the childcare system often need guidance, assistance, and support to tackle the ‘grown-up’ world and become independent. TLC assists through further education, training, or access to employment.
TLC envisions creating a vibrant ‘Village’ where each beneficiary receives the support they need, for the time that they need it, while also developing the skills and strengths unique to them that will help them move into the wider world as participating community builders themselves.
To this end, Container Conversions has provided a 12m x 3 m parkhome consisting of a bedroom on either side with a shared bathroom in the middle. This will be used to encourage independent living whilst still forming part of the TLC Village concept.
Expanding on the support that TLC offers its residents and the community, AWIA (African Women in Agriculture) is another initiative aimed at developing female farmers in agribusiness. TLC trains women from the surrounding community in order to develop self-sufficiency and impart agricultural skills and knowledge.
The ladies attending the TLC program run an organic farm, as well as an organic hydroponics unit. Container Conversions has erected a parkhome here consisting of a large storage area and an ablution area. This modular unit will be used as a packhouse. The AWIA program sells its produce through ‘local farmer initiatives’ in bigger chain stores and at specialist organic markets. However, the produce needs to be appropriately packaged for transport and sale. The parkhome packhouse allows for the storage and use of the packing materials, tools and equipment to make the provision of a high-quality end product possible.
And, finally, a story of a mother’s journey that shows what can be done when someone believes in you, and you have the determination to make a better life.
Ellen came to TLC as a very young mother with little education. Through the TLC programs, Ellen was able to complete her schooling, earn a diploma in Montessori education, and raise her daughter, who completed matric last year.
Now Ellen runs the onsite Montessori ECD at TLC and lives independently of the organisation. She also continues to further her skills as a mindful educator.
Her daughter is about to go overseas for a one-year Au Pair experience before studying further.
It’s a story of hope, of courage and commitment, and these are the outcomes TLC strives to attain for all of its people.
If you want to know more about the TLC Village, please click here.