House MadalitshoZehandi Missions South Africa started a baby house that provides temporary residence and place of safety to seven or eight babies/children from birth until about of 10yrs of age, who have been given up for adoption, abandoned or neglected. The house, House Madalitso , is a place where babies/children can be cared for while they await the next stage of their life.


According to South African law, a mother is given 60 days after giving the child up for adoption to change her mind and ask for her child back, or 60 days in order to track parents. It is only after that grace period has expired, that the legal process of the baby’s adoption or child foster care options can officially begin. The legal process regarding the adoption/ foster care of the baby/children then takes several months to complete. Therefore the baby house serves as a halfway-house while the baby remains in the “in between” stage of leaving their birth mother/ circumstances and joining their adoptive parents.

Like in all cases in different parts of life, when dealing with children, there is a very complicated law system. So we abide by these rules by working in close contact with social worker organizations. In our case our social work organization is ABBA adoption, Wadisa and Kleinmond childcare. By doing this we know we are always above approach and the children’s best interest is met.

Like most baby houses, House Madalitso has house parents who take care of the house. At present the house is run by Project Manager and House Mother: Pastor Marie Matthee. However, House Madalitso are set apart from the other baby houses already in existence by the operating methods we use: its principles and its volunteers.

House Madalitso is founded and operated on Christian morals and principles. The volunteers love and will be loved in return. House Madalitso does not just involve temporary volunteers to take care of the workload associated with the babies, but House Madalitso also involve the elderly people within the community as an essential part of the house. Because many elderly people in the community have the ideal amount of time to give and the capacity to love the babies, they are ideal for caring for the babies on a daily basis. This type of win-win partnership within communities can also help re-establish retired people’s sense of value and self-worth.

We have been open since August 2013, we have had 23 children in our care so far, of which 5 has been successfully adopted in 2014. Currently their ages ranges from 6 weeks to 16 years.

These kids arrive in horrible conditions, with an orphan spirit, neglected, hungry and dirty, and somehow, they have lost their ability to play. We are first-hand witnesses of the dramatic change that these kids go through after spending one or two weeks in our care. They begin to relax, to trust, to eat and to play. They start to mingle with our own 3children and slowly become part of a family system. In order to establish routine and exposure to all cultures, we enrol them at a local pre-school. There they also experience stability and mingle with other kids in the community and therefor do not get branded as “the throw-away kids”.

© Zehandi 2023

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