I got the distinct impression that it was more effort on their behalf to ensure that we were accommodated, and that we met some of the residents. In spite of the effort, they greeted us with open arms and smiles! It seems they are hungry for visits, and the children loved the attention!
Woodside Sanctuary caters to the following needs:
"Primarily dedicated to meeting the needs of people with severe to profound mental and physical disabilities, Woodside provides a high standard of holistic care within a stimulating and homely environment. Originally founded in 1955, the home has been extended over the years to provide accommodation for up to 120 permanent residents. Most of the residents are sleeping in wards, a few are accommodated in single bedrooms and one section is functioning as a home-unit where they share double rooms. Several areas exit within the home where residents attend different stimulation programmes. All clients who are referred to the home are assessed prior to being admitted as a resident. A gradual introduction period to the home is normally recommended asa trial period so the home can assure itself, the residents and the family that the placement is
appropriate." - Woodside Sanctuary
It was an eye-opener to most of us.
I asked for some feedback from the people visiting:
The visit at Woodside Sanctuary was a very emotional visit.
The children were so happy and laughing within their circumstances.
I think Woodside Sanctuary’s personnel are doing a great job with passion.
Cate (Team Leader: CSI Team):
We had remarkable experiences and had good lessons to learn. We were united in spirit! Let us work together and make those children’s world as comfortable as possible.
It was a very emotional experience because she has a small child and she thought about how it would have affected her if it was one of her own children there. It was very difficult to have seen them!
Markus had a previous experience at Woodside because he had the flu on Monday and did not want to risk infecting one of the children. He realized that when God blesses you with normal children, you don’t realize there are more needy children. We need to look beyond ourselves! He is also involved with other orphanages, but he has never seen anything like what we saw at Woodside. It is neediness to the highest degree! They deal with delicate children who need expert care!
She met Henry for a second time on Monday. She is part of the CSI Team. Henry is blind, but he knits very well. It was very emotional. They were talking to him, but he did not respond. But when we were leaving, he started to kiss her hands, and held her, not wanting her to leave…
David grabbed my heart... previously an engineering student, for whom it is an achievement now to distinguish left from right. They say he sometimes remembers his clever days, and it frustrates him a lot. The day got me thinking... yes, my situation is not hot chocolate and marshmallows at all, but put in perspective of the bigger picture, I have such a lot to be thankful for. - The merry ways of Retha Buys
We had such an eye-opening experience.
We realized we have so much to be thankful for!
The SABC Media Libraries are going to try and contribute towards smaller items, such as toiletries and slippers, and we are taking their plight to sponsors as well. It is a large operation to keep running smoothly for the sake of the children.
Woodside Bank details:
Standard Bank Melville
Branch Code: 006105
Account Number: 201 098 784
The rest of the photos of our visit can be viewed on our website ast SABC Media Libraries CSI
Blog post by Karen du Toit, SABC Radio Archives.