Living Social Justice

A blog about responding to poverty and injustice, everyday and in all sorts of ways

Archive for the tag “Christine Revell”

Volunteer Q&A – Bedtime Reading

Full name: Christy Wheeler

Congregation: Bosch PM

Occupation: Business Manager, Graphic Design Agency

How long have you been a volunteer at Christine Revell Children’s Home? A little over 1 year

When do you go and for how long? I go on a Thursday evening for 1 hour from 6-7pm

Can you explain what you do while you’re there? We get the opportunity to read stories to the kids before they go to bed. There are about 30 kids and usually about 4-5 volunteers. So we each take the kids in pairs, choose a book and find somewhere to read to them in. We read for about 20 mins with each pair. That allows us to read to about 3 pairs in the hour. At the end we help to put the kids to bed. They all love it when we pray with them once they are all tucked in.

Can you tell us a bit about Christine Revell? CRCH is an amazing facility that is dedicated to caring for children who have been removed from their families for various reasons or abandoned. They care for the kids, feed, clothe and school them while they live in the home. There are 3 groups of kids: babies, toodlers and preschoolers. Unfortunately they don’t have the facilities to look after the kids once they go to Grade 1, so either they get reunited with their families or they get sent to another facility until they turn 18. CRCH relies on funding and volunteer help. And the kids really enjoy interacting with other people.

What are some of the challenges of volunteering with vulnerable children? These kids are hurt and broken. The symptoms of the injustices inflicted upon them range from lack of discipline and social skills to lack of empathy and attachment. Some of them don’t have long attention spans and often act out to get attention. After a year of building relationships with the kids, I find it much easier to know their unique traits and how to deal with each of them where they are at.

What do you appreciate the most about volunteering at Christine Revell? There are often days when I wish I didn’t have to go – its a long drive for me from town in the rush-hour traffic, especially when it’s raining. Most times I push through my selfish desires and go anyway and I am ALWAYS happy that I make that decision. I have so much fun with the kids and love having the opportunity to pray with them and build into their lives in some small way. Tickling them and making them laugh is the best.

I would really recommend this volunteer  opportunity to those who work during the day. I know a lot of the opportunities are during the day and this is one that only requires 1 hour of your week, after work. But beware – Once you get to know these kids, they crawl into your heart and never leave.

-If you would like to find about more about volunteering at Christine Revell, email info@commongood.org.za.

Volunteer Q&A – Bedtime Reading

Full name: Debbie Küsel

Congregation: Bosch PM

Occupation: Exhibition Manager

How long have you been a volunteer at Christine Revell Children’s Home? Just over 1 year

When do you go and for how long? Every Thursday from 6pm-7pm

Can you explain what you do while you’re there? 

Every Thursday a group of about  5-6 volunteers meet to read bedtime stories to about 30 kids who range in age from 3-5 years. During this time we not only read to the kids but also try to show them the Father’s love by encouraging them, giving them individual attention and showering them with affection. We have recently starting putting them to bed and tucking them in before we leave. Although this hasn’t always gone smoothly, it has opened up opportunities to pray with the kids and give them an extra cuddle.

Can you tell us a bit about Christine Revell?

Christine Revell is a children’s home in Athlone that looks after about 40-50 kids who range in age from newborn to 5 years. Most of the kids have been removed from their homes due to neglect or abuse. The home focuses on finding homes for the kids – through reunification, fostering or adoption.

What are some of the challenges of volunteering with vulnerable children?

I definitely battle with feelings of immense sadness and just generally feeling desperate for these kids who have done nothing wrong yet suffer the consequences of their parent’s mistakes. It becomes more difficult as you get to know the kids – because you come to love their individual personalities and can see the huge potential that each of them carry.

What do you appreciate the most about volunteering at Christine Revell?

I genuinely look forward to seeing the kids each week, and while it is often sad or frustrating to be there it is also so rewarding when they remember what you taught them the week before, they give you hugs, or they ask you to pray for them. God has definitely opened up my heart even more to His children and taught me more about the things that matter to Him.

-Bedtime reading at Christine Revell Children’s Home takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7pm. Email info@commongood.org.za if you’d like to find out more.

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