If you saw this tall gangly young man with the wide smile and helpful attitude at Abraham Kriel Childcare, you would not recognize him from the aggressive and destructive young boy that arrived here in March 2009. Because of your contributions and your support he had a safe place where he could heal and recover from very unhappy circumstances.
*Ben (not his real name) had a very traumatic past. Financially, his family was struggling and it is alleged that he was exposed to sexual and physical abuse. It was under these circumstances that Ben’s destructive behaviour reared its head. He often broke and stole things from the house. At his parent’s request he and his sister were placed at our specialised care campus in Langlaagte. This refuge exists because of caring people who continue to support the organisation, because they believe children should be loved and supported.
Ben’s behavioural problems continued after he was admitted to the campus. He swore, stole, broke things and acted aggressively towards his new environment. Once again donors came to the rescue and provided funding that allowed him to undergo intensive therapy. He was able to work through the trauma he had been exposed to. Ben was also diagnosed with epilepsy and an intellectual impairment. His emotional maturity compares to that of an eight or nine year old. As a special needs child, he was placed in the Hamlet school. Ben’s personality changed a lot when he began therapy. He became a gentle giant on campus and would help wherever he could. He was always the peace keeper between the other boys in the house. He was adored at his school too. “Ben’s faith was something that touched everyone. He sang in the choir and joined the youth group”, says his social worker, Margot Muller.
When Ben turned 18, the plan was to move him to a centre that cared for adults with disabilities but a conversation between himself and his social worker about his family revealed the young man’s desire to go home. The family member responsible for the abuse had passed and the young man’s reunification was now possible. Ben’s mother burst into tears when she heard that her son will be coming home. “She’s always wanted to have her children back. Ben has met his step-father and they have a beautiful and healthy bond. When we broke the news to him that he will be going home he was ecstatic. He kept telling me that this was something he had prayed and asked Jesus for”, says Margot.
Through the continued support of our funders it is possible to do just that little bit more to ensure a happy ending. Margot has regular contact with Ben and his mother. “He is enjoying being with his family and we also hear that he is involved with a church and does volunteer work with them. Ben receives a monthly social grant which helps him contribute to the family financially”, concludes Margot.
*His sister is still with us and will also be reunified with her mother and brother once she is 18 years old.