Genevieve - the matriarch of Miracle Kids Centre

“THIS is not just a daycare facility. Here we believe in developing the full potential of each child that is our care.”

Genevieve Hendricks started Miracle Kids stimulation centre, which is a daycare facility for physically and mentally challenged children, 10 years ago.

“It hasn’t been easy because I had to make do without state funding, but was fortunate to receive some very generous donations of food and blankets. My aim with Miracle Kids was never to make money. It was to do what God put me on the path to do.”

The facility was based in Bethelsdorp but due to being the constant target of vandalism, it recently moved to the premises of the Chatty Clinic. “Here we are right next door to the Chatty Clinic, should one of the children need medical attention.

“We are also a stone’s throw from the Chatty library, which is ideal for the reading programmes we do with our kids.”

Miracle Kids caters for all children, from babies up to 17 years.

“The first thing we do when a child gets enrolled here, is to potty-train them. Not only is not having to buy nappies a huge relief on the parents financially, but not wearing a nappy gives the child enormous confidence.”

The next step is to get them to walk. “I have had children come in here who were unable to walk and speak. With some rehabilitation they are now running around and are able to communicate.

“Sometimes parents do not have the knowledge or do not know who they can ask about the condition of the child. In most cases they do not know what that child is capable of.

“That is why we are here. I believe that every child should be given a chance to reach his or her potential. They should be able to get more out of life – just like other children.”

Miracle Kids offers the mothers of these children the opportunity to receive training in how to care for her child.

“The moms are allowed to enrol in an accredited course on primary caregiving. What she learns here, she can then take with her into her community and go and help others. She will be able to do everything we do here.”

Hendricks has high praise for her team. “You need a certain passion for this work.

“Our team is small but I would much rather have these six Florence Nightingales than 20 people that are not passionate about these special kids. They receive a small stipend and they are here because they love these kids and the kids love them. There is a very special bond between them.”

She is very proud of the fact that some of the kids have been integrated into mainstream schools.

“I am also constantly trying to get our kids into special schools when there is space available. It is very important to me that the children of Miracle Kids leave here with hope of a future. Our special children also deserve a place in the sun – just like everyone else.”