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

1 064

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
Dr Matthew Street
Dr Matthew Street
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 255, 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

As we reflect on a challenging year behind us and prepare for the year ahead amidst the pandemic, it requires resilience, reflection and taking stock. At the onset of the year under review it felt like our resilience was certainly being tested. Despite being prepared for it, the shock that came with the first positive cases demanded focused attention to all details pertaining to the health, safety and livelihood of our residents and staff. Through the commitment, dedication and understanding of an astounding team, tough decisions had to be made. I acknowledge the impact these decisions have had on staff, residents, next of kin/family of residents, donors and many other stakeholders, but say with confidence that these were the best and most appropriate decisions needed during certain points in time to ensure we continue to protect our residents and staff.

Over a year later the various protocols, policies and procedures have become part of the daily life at LITTLE EDEN and I commend the team for having adapted and remaining resilient.ONE thing that has remained and continues to remain our guiding strength, filling us with hope, is the presence of a strong Ethos, underpinned by Divine Providence.

Through our core Values of Respect, Sanctity of Life and Love & Care and solid foundations instilled by the late founders, Servants of God, Domitilla and Danny Hyams, we are grateful for the blessings and protection through prayer received in overcoming these trying times. Our residents continue to be our shining light, and even though many of you have not been able to see and interact with our precious angels in person, it is pleasing that we have all been able to remain connected through online platforms. Our residents continue to inspire us, they trust us wholeheartedly and it remains a privilege to play a part in their lives. We welcomed a few new residents to our Homes; and fondly remember our departed angels.

Despite the various changes that had to be made initially with regards to working hours of non-essential staff; closing of the LITTLE EDEN Charity shop; interrupted and cancelled events and functions; adapted operating procedures and more; one aspect remained stable and unchanged … the mission of LITTLE EDEN – providing uninterrupted quality care for our residents through dedicated staff.


  • The crowd-funding campaign – Let’s unite against Covid-19 for intellectual disability – a fundraising initiative which in addition created an awareness of the impact of the pandemic within the context of a residential care centre such as LITTLE EDEN.
  • Videos and prayer messages from the residents were shared locally and internationally with the specific focus of giving hope and encouragement to all to remain resilient during these trying times.
  • The major renovations have commenced with the new 26-bed residential section – Mary’s Mill – at Elvira Rota Village. An inspiring milestone to have reached which will have a direct impact on the well being, care and focus on individualisation for the group of residents who will reside there. As part of the medium-term strategic goal, we look forward to the balance of the renovations and upgrades scheduled for the Home in Edenvale.
  • The long-term strategic goal of expanding the pecan nut orchard towards future self-sustainability is well under way.
  • The significance of the progress of the Cause for Beatification, with the Opening Session of the Inquiry for the Cause for Sainthood of the Servants of God, Domitilla and Danny Hyams is indeed an historic moment and has immense significance for LITTLE EDEN, the fruits of their labour.

These activities and celebrations are true testimony that LITTLE EDEN has proven to be an agile Organisation, able to cope, recover and learn from the adversity we had to face, underpinned by a supportive mind-set that is open to information sharing leading to the sustainability of the work undertaken.

With immense gratitude and appreciation to YOU – our funders, donors, partners, friends and supporters – as YOU stood by us every step of the way, giving us the resilience to tackle each day – one day at a time and, with hope, still look forward to the next day despite the pandemic. LITTLE EDEN closed the financial year with a surplus, again testimony to the solidarity of our LITTLE EDEN supporters, believing in the work carried out in caring for our angels.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the LITTLE EDEN Society Board of Governors and management team for being a pillar of strength; to the Sisters of the Imitation of Christ and Fidesco volunteers for the spiritual support and prayers; to the Departments of Health and Environmental Health for being a phone call away and for their immense commitment in supporting our Organisation to weather this storm; the LITTLE EDEN Foundation and the ONLUS in Italy, and to each and every one for the difference you make in the lives of our residents. We are truly blessed!

We look forward to welcoming you again to our Homes when it is safe to do so; to share with you in person the progress on the building renovations and how much the pecan nut trees have grown. Our residents dearly miss all our visitors and I can guarantee you will be welcomed with the biggest smile, open arms and love! Until then, stay safe and thank you for your continued support

What People Say…

Disabled woman

Interested in volunteering at
Please click here for more information.


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.