My Journey with GCF – Larensia Rabe

Remembering the beginning….

My first knowledge of this organisation was in late 1990 when, as the head of the Welfare Planning division in the Department of Social Development, Pietermaritzburg Region, we took over the Ugu District from the Durban Region. We received all the files from Durban of registered institutions in the Ugu District. Among them was one for a Place of Safety called The Place of Restoration (PoR).

To get to know our new region, we visited all the organisations and so, went to PoR. Love at first sight; lovely, neat premises, sturdy buildings, such friendly, helpful people, good administration, well-looked-after children, and a great vision. Their Christian ethos and faith found such resonation in my heart.

I sometimes gave Basil a lift to Ulundi for a Provincial meeting with the Department there. On the way, we would discuss, debate, and thrash out the Childcare policies of the country and the department. I heard the heart of Basil and Monica and was so impressed by their sincere care and love for children. They really walked the talk.

Larensia Rabe

Durban registered PoR as a place of safety. When we looked at the section of the Child Care Act 83 they used, we realised that it was incorrect and a whole debate between Durban and us ensued involving even the Head of the Department! In the end, we reregistered PoR as a Child and Youth Care Centre – TemPoRary Safe Care. In my opinion, one of the best in the country. Inspecting and visiting PoR was always a pleasure and staff looked forward to it. A rare thing, because most institutions were so defensive and anti-government that we had to take the flack.

So, I saw the organisation grow and go from strength to strength. I experienced the evolvement from PoR to Give a Child a Family, indicating a higher calling. Only when I retired from the Department and had the honour of becoming a Trustee, did I really realise what a gem it was. We had the most amazing strategic planning sessions, exposed to new technology and innovation. It was an organisation that understood the best interest of the child, the value of the family, and the developmental stages and requirements of the child so well. Yet they always were so humble and willing to learn. They developed and valued their staff and got dedication in return.

I am so proud to have been associated with this organisation and keep on praying for them.

Larensia Rabe

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