About us

LITTLE EDEN is a registered non-profit organisation [001-827 NPO] and PBO [No.930/0000/03] providing life-long care to 300 children and adults with profound intellectual disability in two custom designed residential facilities – Domitilla and Danny Hyams Home in Edenvale, and Elvira Rota Village, in Bapsfontein.

We believe that no matter how profoundly disabled a person may be, he or she is still a whole complete being, with a body; a mind; a spirit and a soul.

Our special children may not experience the world in the same way that we do, but they have so much to teach us! From them we learn about the power of the human spirit, the joy to be found in simple achievements, the satisfaction of caring for those who are weaker than ourselves, love that seeks no reward.

Although the average age of our residents is 26 years, the average intellectual age is that of a one-year-old. Some function at new-born level and have to be fed, carried, changed and bathed. Others are able to manage tasks like feeding themselves, brushing their teeth, dressing and using the toilet.

The children are grouped according to their abilities and behaviour. Many of our residents also suffer from mental illness, disturbed behaviour and multiple physical disabilities. They are cared for in specific groups where they feel comfortable and safe.

Our Mission

To care for, develop and enhance the quality of life,
with love and understanding from a dedicated staff,
persons with intellectual disability of all races and creeds entrusted to us,
by providing with trust in Divine Providence
and in co-operation with the parents, the community and the State
the necessary spiritual, nursing, therapy and stimulation services
in as efficient and economic a manner as possible.

Core values

Our core values are encapsulated in a series of symbols that guide the way the staff and volunteers at LITTLE EDEN respond to children and adults with intellectual disability; to each other as staff; to the environment; and to the larger community.

Just because a person has an intellectual disability does not make them less worthy of respect and consideration. We value each person in our care and celebrate their uniqueness.

Sanctity of Life

We believe in the sanctity of life – these special people are precious in the eyes of God and they have a right to be here and to be helped to reach their full potential despite their limitations.

Love and care

We offer our residents love and care … provide for their needs, and protect them from harm.

Who is eligible?

LITTLE EDEN caters for people with profound intellectual disability – those who are classified as uneducable – of all races and creeds. Priority is given to those who have been abandoned or abused, or who come from severely disadvantaged backgrounds. Once accepted into the LITTLE EDEN family, they remain with us for life.

How much does it cost?

The full cost of caring per resident is R12 700 per month. This includes 24-hour nursing and medical care, specialised therapy, food and clothing. Any contribution towards this cost is greatly appreciated!

Make a donation



cared for since 1967

1 038

every day

2 500

for one resident per month

R12 700

in operation


Meet the Board

Rev Doug Boake
Rev Doug Boake
Mr Maurizio Galimberti
Mr Maurizio Galimberti
Vice Chairman
Ms Sedzani  Mudau
Ms Sedzani Mudau
Rev Antony Bishop
Rev Antony Bishop
Mr Luigi Slaviero
Mr Luigi Slaviero
Mrs Rosetta Xaba
Mrs Rosetta Xaba
Mrs Thato  Nkosi
Mrs Thato Nkosi
Ms Maleshini Naidoo
Ms Maleshini Naidoo

With a workforce of 256, LITTLE EDEN is fortunate to have a staff to resident ratio of almost one to one.

It is inspiring to witness the commitment and dedication of each and every employee in fulfilling their role and responsibility in caring for our residents with intellectual disability.

We provide specialised training and team building functions to encourage staff to build strong connections with one another. We also have a Caring for the Carers programme which takes place on a weekly basis at both DDHH and ERV. All staff are invited to participate in 45 minutes of “time-out” to recharge and renew.

Mrs Xelda Rohrbeck, CEO of LITTLE EDEN, pictured with ERV resident, Jaco, with whom she shares a special bond.

Message from the CEO

Exciting and action packed! That’s the only way I can describe the past seven months, since I assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer, following the retirement of Lucy Slaviero.

Strategic Business Review

From a management perspective, the whole team has been involved in a high level strategic planning session. We assessed the foundations on which LITTLE EDEN is built, clarified key areas of growth, and identified new challenges and opportunities – all of which is aimed at taking our organisation into the future.

Financial stability and sustainability remain a top priority, especially in light of the continuing economic challenges and the impact of these on non-profit organisations. LITTLE EDEN is fortunate to be a well established organisation and we are confident that it will continue to grow from strength to strength!

Donor and partners

I’m fully aware that the strength of our organisation is due in no small part to the passionate support of our many donors, volunteers and partners, who truly believe in the work we do. Your past and continued support is the foundation of our success – and I want to personally extend my sincere thanks to each and every person who makes a contribution, be it financial, in kind, pro bono services, time or prayers. Thank you!


The reach and impact of the work carried out at LITTLE EDEN stretches beyond the boundaries of our two Homes. Recently, five volunteers spent time with us, gaining experience in preparation for a new home planned for Damesfontein. We continue to welcome collaboration with other organisations involved in the care of people with intellectual disability – to ensure that these marginalised members of society enjoy the best possible quality of life, despite their limitations.

Cross border

LITTLE EDEN continues to enjoy beneficial relationships with other partners both within and outside the country. For example, research and programmes developed by the University of Bergamo in Italy are available to our residents through the Associazione Domitilla Rota Hyams (ADRH) ONLUS. Nuns from The Sisters of the Imitation of Christ in India serve in our Homes, participating directly in the care and stimulation programmes provided for our residents. We thank them for their commitment and belief.

We also thank Fidesco, based in France, for encouraging international volunteers to spend between one and two years helping in our Homes.

Renovations, upgrades and maintenance

Suitable facilities in a good state of repair are critical to our mission of providing the best possible care to children and adults with intellectual disability. We are grateful to an anonymous international funder for covering the cost of upgrading Boitumelo Wing at Domitilla and Danny Hyams Home.

Beatification of the late Founders

An incredibly special and sacred development is the initiation of the Cause towards beatification (sainthood) of the late Domitilla and Danny Hyams. We pray for the progress of this process which will cement their legacy and example of life both within and beyond the borders of LITTLE EDEN.

Caring for our special angels

Last, but not least, we thank our residents who, on a daily basis, bring great joy and pride to our organisation. It is a blessing to spend time in their company, seeing their smiles, development and contentment in being at LITTLE EDEN.

It is a privilege to care for these special angels; they give us so much in return and leave us with a sense of inner reflection and gratitude. We fondly remember those who have passed on – may their souls rest in peace.

Above all, LITTLE EDEN continues to be a voice for the rights of people with profound intellectual disability. Thank you to all our supporters and friends for adding your voice to ours.

What People Say…

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The LITTLE EDEN Foundation was established on 21 July 2010 and registered with SARS on 29 October 2010 as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO number 930 034 635).

Its prime purpose is to safeguard (ring-fence) all properties and investments of the LITTLE EDEN Society, in order to manage and grow assets for the benefit of the Society, whilst at the same time to reduce its operational risk.

The LITTLE EDEN Foundation operates under its own Constitution, is subject to the applicable statutory financial audits and controls, and is managed by a Board of Management (BoM) made up of members independent of the LITTLE EDEN Society.

Interested individuals and institutions are invited to partner with us to build a secure future for our organisation and those it serves – adults and children with profound intellectual disability. Donations to the LITTLE EDEN Foundation are used exclusively for capital development such as alterations or additions to the Land and Buildings, and are tax deductible in terms of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act.

Should you have any questions regarding the Foundation, please email foundation@littleeden.org.za.