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, a farm 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 cooperation with the parents, the community and the State the necessary spiritual, nursing, therapy and stimulation services in as an efficient and economic 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 500 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

1 000

every day

2 500

for one resident per month

R12 500

in operation


Meet the Board

Rev Douge Boake
Rev Douge 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 272, 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

I am proud and excited to have been entrusted with the opportunity to take over the reins from our former CEO, Lucy Slaviero. Lucy has been an inspiration to me over the years and I have learned much from her, both as a person and as someone committed to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of society – children and adults with profound intellectual disability.

I know I have some very big shoes to fill – but I am inspired and comforted by the knowledge that LITTLE EDEN has such strong support structures in place, from our board members and management team to the staff. Knowing that Lucy will continue to be involved with the organisation for some time to come is reassuring.

An honour and a blessing

It is an honour to be a part of LTTLE EDEN and a blessing to have known the Founders Domitilla and Danny Hyams. I met my husband Michael, who is Domitilla’s fifth grandchild, when I was in Matric. All the grandchildren were involved in LITTLE EDEN. I remember coming here on weekends to help Michael count the coins from the tin drives, and later on I manned the reception desk on weekends while I was studying.

On meeting Domitilla for the first time, I remember thinking that she was the true reflection of a mother figure. Family was very important to her; she loved spending time with her children and grandchildren, and she treated the

LITTLE EDEN residents as a part of her family – greeting every one of them by name and always making sure they were comfortable and had everything they needed.

Although I spent five years in the tourism industry after completing my B Com and an Honours degree in Strategic Management, I returned to LITTLE EDEN in 2008 to take up a position in the administrative office and immediately realised that this was where my future lay.


What inspires me most about working here is that it gives one opportunities for self-reflection. Every day I walk along the corridors and am reminded how blessed I am. I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude, knowing that I can make a difference.

This is never clearer than when I visit Elvira Rota Village and see Jaco waiting excitedly to greet me. Jaco was abused and neglected as a child. It is a joy to see his face light up when he sees me. He calls me ‘the tall one’ and is always one of the first to hug me.

Exciting plans

People have asked me if I have any exciting plans for LITTLE EDEN; whilst I hope we will continue to move with the times with regards to the treatments and therapies we provide in caring for people with intellectual disability, I am committed first and foremost to maintaining the ‘golden thread’ of values that have been woven into the fabric of LITTLE EDEN, and which make it the very special place that it is.

I will strive to do my utmost to be worthy of the trust that the Board and management team have placed in me, and hope I can continue to count on LITTLE EDEN’s many friends and supporters in the years ahead.

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.