Blaze rips through residence at Verulam Family Home for Girls
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DURBAN – A residence at the Girls and Boys Town SA (GBTSA) has been damaged by a fire.
GBTSA chief executive Lee Loynes said a fire broke out the Verulam Family Home for Girls, north of Durban on Friday.
Loynes said the cause of the fire was unknown at this stage.
"The girls and staff who were asleep when the fire began, awoke to the smell of smoke, followed their well-practised fire drill protocols and evacuated safely. Temporary accommodation has been arranged for the girls while plans are under way to repair their damaged home," she said.
Already overburdened by the weight of life circumstances such as physical and emotional abuse which led to their being placed in care, the girls have now had to contend with the trauma of a fire at their home, and have done so very bravely, said Loynes.
"We are very proud of them," Loynes added.
The Verulam GBTSA Family Home is a regular house in the community with a trained caring and professional team who serve as family teachers.
The Family Home model is unique in its focus on family-style, care-for-others ethos, with emphasis on personal development, social skills teaching and meaningful self-governance by youth.
GBTSA ensures youth in its care attend nearby community schools and provides learning support as part of a holistic child-centred nurture and care approach. GBTSA hopes to repair the damaged house within eight weeks so that the girls can return to the semblance of normal family life that they had become accustomed to.
"We are deeply grateful to the public who are always there for us and our children," Loynes said.
Anyone wishing to assist with funding support or donations to help repair the home can email Saloshna Ellary on [email protected] or call her on 032 943 3189.