In 1967, the late Domitilla and Danny Hyams, founders of LITTLE EDEN Society in South Africa had a vision to provide a loving Home for children and adults with profound intellectual disability.
Today, LITTLE EDEN cares for 300 residents. The majority of the residents at LITTLE EDEN were abandoned and some come from indigent families.
Associazione Domitilla Rota Hyams (ADRH) was established in 2012 in Italy. The aim of this organisation is to promote and support LITTLE EDEN Society in continuing to ensure that the residents of LITTLE EDEN receive the love and care they deserve. Taking care of 300 residents is indeed a mammoth task for the Home and, therefore, volunteers play an important role within the organisation by assisting the staff of LITTLE EDEN with the daily activities and strong dedication towards the residents.
Volunteers come from both local and overseas and from different walks of life but with just one desire, to make a positive impact in the lives of the residents. After a day spent on giving smiles, care and attentions, one never feels poorer inside but rather richer. Being a volunteer is a life-long experience because it does not affect only the receiver but may impact the volunteer’s life forever. LITTLE EDEN is continuously looking for volunteers who are willing to give their time towards the work of the organisation. At the beginning the environment at LITTLE EDEN may be challenging and overwhelming and requires passion and perseverance. LITTLE EDEN’s residents have profound intellectual disability; many of them have physically disabilities, behaviour challenges and some are sickly. The majority of the residents are on wheelchairs, cannot talk, feed themselves and many have difficulties with swallowing.
However, you will soon realise that the residents have a lot of unconditional love to give, so much so that at the end you might find it difficult to leave them! Overseas volunteers must be at least 20 years old, be able to speak English and, above all, be willing to work with people with profound intellectual disabilities. They will be assigned with different tasks, depending on the length of time at LITTLE EDEN, appropriate skills and the organisation’s needs. If it is your first voluntary experience abroad, you are advised not to come alone but with a like-minded companion or friend, as you need to be mature enough to face new unusual situations, to adapt and cope with challenges such as cultural differences, climate, food and lifestyle of South Africa.
If you are interested in volunteering at LITTLE EDEN and you would like to receive more information, please contact us! For further information and requests, please contact Nichollette Muthige (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Download the volunteer booklet.