LITTLE EDEN JOINS THE COUNTRY IN COMMEMORATING NATIONAL CHILD PROTECTION WEEK (#CPW)
LITTLE EDEN Society is one of the institutions in South Africa who provide 24 hours care to the most vulnerable members of our country. Currently, the youngest resident at the Society is 2 years old and the oldest is 69 years old. The average mental age of our residents is one year and below. This means, due to their functioning level, our Angels remain childlike for the rest of their lives.
The majority of our residents rely on wheelchairs for mobility and some are unable to communicate verbally nor have the ability to feed themselves. 218 of our Angels are in nappies.
In spite of all their disabilities, we strive daily to ensure that through our Values of Respect Sanctity of Life and Love & Care (read more https://www.littleeden.org.za/about/#vision), our Angels are treated as perfect human beings worthy of love, respect and to be treated with dignity.
As part of LITTLE EDEN policy, all staff member and volunteer have to submit a police clearance report and sign Personal Commitment: Resident Protection policy pledging that they will carry out and ensure the protection of the Angels they serve. This is in line with the Bill of Rights of Constitution of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996).
The Bill of Rights states in Section 28 that “every child has the right to basic nutrition, shelter, health care and social services, as well as the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.”
It further prohibits “unfair discrimination of people with mental or other disabilities and states that everyone has the right to life and has inherent dignity including the right to have their dignity respected and protected.”
The LITTLE EDEN Values and our urge to protect our residents to the best of our ability is based on the belief of our founder, Domitilla Rota Hyams, who identified the value of our residents long before the South African Constitution was made into law. She wrote in her diary on 4 April 1967:
These little ones with an empty, vague stare, due to their abnormality,
their souls are more beautiful than bright sunshine,
pure as the snow, shining like diamonds in the rays of the sun.
They are angels, they are the most beautiful,
they are our lightning conductors,
and we must protect them with veneration because these beautiful souls are our angels.
God creator could have created them normal;
there must be a reason that we cannot see,
and we accept this as a sign of predilection.
Human suffering teaches us to be charitable, not egoistic,
and to dedicate ourselves to relieve suffering,
our spirits are raised and at the end of the day we can say to ourselves:
Today I have achieved a noble, beautiful deed.
(Page 26 in LITTLE EDEN 50 Years of Love & Care(1967 to 2017) by Luigi Slaviero