Christmas comes early for Christine Revell Children’s Home in Athlone

The Christine Revell Children’s Home in Athlone. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency/ANA

The Christine Revell Children’s Home in Athlone. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency/ANA

Published Dec 4, 2023


Cap Town - Christmas came early for the youngsters of Christine Revell Children’s Home in Athlone.

The children enjoyed a beautiful Carols by Candle Light event on Saturday evening and then treated to a night of festivities with the Wynberg Progress band playing some of their favourite Christmas jingles.

Santa Claus also made an early appearance to hear their wishes and hand out presents, donated by those in attendance.

The home, in existence for over 60 years, held the event to get donations for the children’s basic needs.

General manager Annelene Scholtz said the annual event was different this year because the home had been struggling financially.

“We host the Carols by Candlelight every year, close to Christmas time. It’s usually to collect gifts to give to the kids on Christmas Day or to send them with the gifts to their holiday families.

“This year we also included our own needs’ wish list to help us with our day-to-day running.

“When I talk about basic needs, it’s things like nappies, lactogen milk, wet wipes, aqua creams, non-perishable foods, Christmas clothes, anything that could help because it really makes a major difference,” she said.

Scholtz added that the event was also more than just donations.

“This gave the children the opportunity to experience what it’s like during the jolly season.

“Some of them have been here since birth, some do not have family, they do not have a sense of belonging, they don’t even know about the joy of putting on a Christmas tree, so seeing their reaction is worth every bit of struggle,” she said.

One of the attendees, and host parent Amanda Williams, said her heart melted watching the children’s faces light up.

“We take all of these things for granted, while there are children who are this grateful just for a visit, or even an hour of play time,” she said.

Scholtz encouraged more people to visit the children and hopefully become host parents.

“We do not just let anyone take the kids, you need to be involved with the home for over a year, you need to have a police clearance, and liaise with a social worker, an external social worker will also visit your home to make sure that everything is okay.

“Our main aim here is that by the age of five when the child is expected to be moved, that he or she gets adopted by a family, and not be put back into the system where they will be moved to another home,” she said.

Anyone who would still like to contribute to the home and children can call the home on 0216971748 or email [email protected].