Bidvest generosity impacts many children
So says Gert Jonker, CEO of Bethany House, a child protection organisation in the West Rand offering 16 programmes focusing on welfare and health; education; and youth and sport development.
“The aim of Bethany House is to break the cycle of abuse in a child’s life and facilitate healing and re-integration into the community,” says Gert. “The physical, educational, emotional and spiritual needs of children are met. To date more than 500 000 children have been served through this project,” he says.
Bethany House is also engaged in lobbying and policy formulation issues with Gert serving on a number of regional, provincial and national welfare structures.
When Bethany House received an abandoned baby boy named Ronnie, who was born with Downs Syndrome and a hole in his heart and R100 000 was needed to operate on his heart, Bidvest and Brian Joffe stepped in.
Netcare covered the full cost of the operation and top heart surgeon Dr Susan Vosloo performed the surgery, also at no cost. Sadly baby Ronnie passed away but Bidvest agreed to use the funds donated to start a baby sanctuary.
“The house accommodates 18 babies, from newborn to a couple of years old. We work on reuniting the babies with their parents or helping to find adoptive parents.
“Bidvest has purchased an additional two properties for The Bethany Trust. One is a residential care centre for 14 schoolgirls. The other houses 16 toddlers. The Bidvest donation has also built a kitchen and dining room which is run like a campus cafeteria, where the children watch TV and have fun evenings.
“Bidvest also makes a substantial monthly contribution to our running costs. Bidvest subsidiaries such as Crown National assist with donations every year and the company recently raised R14 000 at its golf day.
“The generosity of the Bidvest Group has made a huge impact on the children and we are very thankful for this.”