Emerald Hill Children’s Home is a home for orphaned and vulnerable children, located at the summit of Emerald Hill in Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare. Since 1914, the Roman-Catholic Dominican Sisters have provided shelter for children in need. Today, the home cares for the physical and spiritual well-being of about 90 children aged 3 to 20. The children come from a variety of difficult backgrounds, many of them having been abandoned by their parents or having gone through traumatic experiences of neglect, emotional and physical abuse, including sexual abuse.Apart from providing food and shelter, Emerald Hill actively focuses on the emotional healing of its children through Christian spirituality in daily life, the engagement of social workers and counsellors, and a number of other creative offers.
After completing their primary education, the boys move to St. Joseph’s House for Boys, Belvedere, Harare, while the girls stay until they finish their education; furthermore, they are assisted with job training to become self-sufficient.
FUNDING & SUPPORT
Run by the Dominican Sisters, Emerald Hill is a private home that relies on donations for the upkeep and support of the children, including medical care, school tuition, clothing, food and shelter. The home is registered as a charity in Zimbabwe (number W.O. 58/67) and operates as a non-governmental organization.
The Mission of Emerald Hill Children’s Home is to serve and protect children in need of care through Christian-based values of love, care, acceptance, hope and faith in God; and restoring dignity, overcoming hurt and rejection, and strengthening sense of belonging and community.
In pursuing our Mission, we recognize the importance of creating opportunities for each child to grow and live a life worthy of their calling and destiny as they break the destructive cycle of emotional difficulties – rejection, abuse, pain and shame.
Translating our Mission Statement
Offer comprehensive child care, security and meet the basic needs of children through acceptance and love
Build and nurture self-confidence in the children
Create educational and empowering opportunities for the children
Promote health and well-being of the children, and provide health care services
Meet the spiritual needs of children through awakened understanding of the compassion and mercy of God
Prepare children for reintegration in society and their families
Nurture quality child care and welfare services through motivated, caring Emerald Hill Children’s Home staff
We apply Christian faith principles in our effort to serve and protect children in need of care, and advance their spiritual well-being
We nurture endurance in children based on our conviction of a future with possibilities and a promise
We nurture children’s healthy relationship among themselves, with Emerald Hill Children’s Home staff, families, community and others, through love, trust and respect
We excellently serve others with love, care and compassion
We focus our energies in creating and nurturing sustainable opportunities for children in our care to grow and develop intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and socially [i.e., spirit, soul and body] ominican Sisters, Emerald Hill is a private home that relies on donations for the upkeep and support of the children, including medical care, school tuition, clothing, food and shelter. The home is registered as a charity in Zimbabwe (number W.O. 58/67) and operates as a non-governmental organization.
It’s always a wonder for people who hear about the home or just visit the home what really goes on in this system. In the next few articles we will try to demystify the Home.
Children are referred to us by the Department of Social Welfare. Emerald Hill Children’s Home is officially registered with the Department and our welfare number is 58/67.
The Home is registered to care for children between the ages of 3 and 18yrs. Boys leave the Home after Grade 7 and move to stay at St Joseph’s House for boys as we do not have the capacity to take care of the older boys. We take in children at different ages, you will find that though some come to us at the age 3, others come in at age 10 or 11 and in some cases 15yrs of age.
In summary we would say it’s due to the breakdown of society and the breakdown of its values. Different forms of abuse are occurring in our society and these make the authorities commit children into Homes like ours so that they are protected. The different types of abuse rampant in our society today include; physical, emotional and sexual. Other reasons why children end up in our care is the death of a parent, neglect, being abandoned and in some cases rejection.
They are received by the caregivers and are given a warm welcome to their new home. The other children are very good at taking them around and showing them the ropes. Psycho social support is given from the 1st day of arrival. The Home team together with Social Welfare collaborate in challenging cases to ensure the child settles into the Home well. The child starts attending the Home school where they are assessed to see what level they are at. After the assessment, efforts are then made to try and bring the child to an educational level of their age. It is always a challenge working with a 10yr old for example, who has never attended school, but it is the Home’s responsibility to ensure the child fast tracks their progress. Even though the child has come at an older age into the Home, the Department expects them to be ready for discharge by age 18 and it is a constant battle to try and ensure they complete at least their O’ levels before the actual discharge is done. For those who come at age 3, they are enrolled into ECDA at one of the local primary schools and they progress with others of their age.