Elim Home (pictures can be disturbing for some people)

“The Elim Home was founded in 1963 to help especially those children with disabilities for whom there were no institutions to support them during the time of apartheid. Unlike for “white” children, there were no care facilities for “colored” children with mental disabilities at that time. There are still very few such institutions in South Africa, so that children with disabilities come to the Elim Home from a radius of 700 kilometers. Today, the home accommodates 50 children and young people, and more than 20 are on a waiting list. The goal of the facility is not only to care for the children, but also to provide them with targeted support. Thus, the residents at the Elim Home learn basic skills in order to gain more independence in simple everyday activities. The children and young people receive intensive mental and physical support through modern therapeutic approaches such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and art therapy.

The facility is located in the old mission station Elim, about 220 kilometers east of Cape Town. In addition, there is now a day care center in each of the towns of Gansbaai and Bredasdorp, where children are supported from Monday to Friday by therapists and also by specially trained parents. This new program allows more children to be reached. It also allows them to remain integrated in their family and social structures.  

The Elim Home is an esteemed institution for the promotion of children and young people with intellectual disabilities in South Africa. A long waiting list testifies to the high reputation of the Elim Home. In recent years, the facility has been carefully renovated. The buildings, which are over 50 years old, and their sanitary facilities have been brought up to a standard that allows all residents to live in dignity. The decentralization of the work is also remarkable. In addition to the 24-hour care in Elim, two other locations were opened in Gansbaai and Bredasdorp, where children are supported during the day but otherwise live with their families.  

Almost without exception, the children and young people come from poor families who are unable to make substantial contributions to care and therapies. The majority of the costs are financed by donations. In order to be more independent of these fluctuating donations, the Elim Home has set up an agricultural project, the income from which can be used to additionally finance the work of the facility. There is now an olive grove with around 100 olive trees, from which oil is extracted. In addition, nine greenhouses are now in operation, in which tomatoes can now be produced all year round thanks to a heating system. In addition to the income from sales, the tomato and olive projects have a gratifying side effect. The children and young people can be supplied with fresh vegetables on a daily basis. Some of them are integrated into the agricultural work and help to cultivate and harvest the tomatoes and olives.”

(copied from this website: https://www.mission-21.org/en/projekte/elim-home-a-home-for-children-and-youth-with-disabilities/?fbclid=IwAR3uBIHDSBX7kY4C0hsoH5i9DORkHo3DF_ESjJgbdZJN3_ehKszIolizSv0

Author: Herman van Bon Photography

" I like to explore the possibilities and limits of digital art, I just let it flow to see where it can go, sometimes the end result appears quickly, sometimes the creative process takes months and other times  the creation dies in its own beauty". 

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