- Rely on God’s wisdom and guidance at all times
- Provide a safe environment in which the children can live, learn and grow
- Encourage moral development and Christian discipline in the children
- Maximize each child’s opportunities so they may reach their full potential
- Provide education for all children to Form 5 or age 18
- Foster a sense of culture, creativity and entrepreneurship among the children
- Encourage the sustainability of the home through vegetable gardening
- Ensure a high quality of care by providing ongoing training for caregivers
Currently, Pasture Valley cares for 56 children on the farm in four houses and at Ekuthuleni Mission station where the Girls care centre is situated. The children range in age from toddlers to teenagers. Each home is headed by a Make (mother) caretaker where the children live together much like a family. Each of the younger and older school-aged children attends a local school down the road in town at either a primary or secondary public school. The little ones spend their mornings learning and playing at a preschool on the farm. On Sunday mornings, the children attend church in the neighbouring town in Nhlangano or a service in the Education Centre at Pasture Valley.
A child support programme was also started for children in the community in the Shiselweni area that are vulnerable. By God’s grace, currently there are over 320 children that are being supported through this programme. The social work is being done by Princess Dlamini who delivers food parcels and supplies to all the families each month.
Everyday tasks at Pasture Valley Children’s Home are taken care of by the home’s housemothers In addition to cooking, cleaning and gardening, these women are the primary caregivers for all of the children at the home, providing assistance with homework, medical and emotional support.
How it all got started
Aware of the hundreds of neglected, orphaned and struggling children in the region, we at Pasture Valley had long felt a calling to do more than just farming. In 2002, after hearing the inspiring story of a South African farmer and evangelist who was caring for 20 orphans on his farm, we felt that we could do the same on our farm. We prayed that God would somehow confirm our shared desire to turn an abandoned house on the farm into a children’s home. That same week, the overburdened SOS Children’s Village in Nhlangano visited the farm, asking if Pasture Valley would be willing to create a residential care facility to assist in the care of orphans. It was exactly the confirmation we were waiting for and we were confident that God supported our ambitions. Immediately, we began remodeling the old house (Now David House) and figuring out how exactly to run a children’s home. By October 2003, Pasture Valley Children’s Home was open, Gogo Constance was hired as a house mother, and the children’s home was sent their first child: a 3-month-old baby girl. Today, many years later, Pasture Valley provides a stable Christian home to over 50 children referred by churches, child welfare organizations, and the Swaziland Police Department’s Child Protection Unit. Though these children represent only a small fraction of Swaziland’s orphans and vulnerable children, Pasture Valley has given these children a brighter, more certain future.