Cape Town - Na-eema Samuels from Macassar is the biological mother of two boys. But since turning her home into House of Grace she is affectionately known as "mamma/mommy" to several other children that she fosters through child welfare and privately.
After cutting her teeth as a volunteer at her local Child Welfare office and through their various training programmes, Samuels is now a qualified social auxiliary worker.
Bearing witness to the difficulties social workers encountered while trying to place vulnerable
children from all over the Boland region with foster parents, she decided to be the change and create a warm and loving home for children whose parents are unable to care for them at her NPO, House of Grace.
Caring for these children has become a family affair: Her husband and children have taken it upon themselves to be her support, as using volunteers became a complicated matter. She said that some started out enthusiastically, but soon had expectations which could not be met - especially not at the expense of the children.
Some of those in her care have disabilities, potentially life-threatening conditions and behavioural problems at school. And yet she tackles each of these obstacles with positivity and determination.
One of the children who have found a home with Samuels is "Blom", who was a baby when police found her in a drain eight years ago. The little girl has been in Samuels' care ever since.
Samuels also shares proud moments: One eager pupil received three certificates of achievement and a medal at school, and Samuels even managed to send one of her "daughters" to her matric ball dressed to the nines.
Samuels does not have a lot of resources at her disposal and although she is not keen on asking for help she reaches out to her network of contacts and friends if one of her wards are in need.
Samuel maintains an open-door policy. If anyone in the neighbourhood needs a sandwich, a plate of food, a shoulder to lean on, she is their go-to person.
On Women's Day, this phenomenal woman is hosting an event at a community hall to celebrate women from the local soup kitchen. She managed to collect toiletries and groceries which she will gift the ladies.
Making sure that the children in her care are fed, clothed and at school places a huge financial strain on Samuels and her family. If you would like to make a donation please email her at [email protected]