The Vineyard Houses manages a total of four homes. Two Foster Care houses are located in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch and two Foster Care houses are located in Cloetesville, Stellenbosch.
Kayamandi & Cloetesville
Kayamandi, which means “Sweet or Nice Home” in isiXhosa, was established in 1941, making it the second oldest township in the Western Province, South Africa, next to Langa, which was established in 1927. It was founded around 1918 to house farm laborers who worked in Stellenbosch. Today it is a densely populated home to over 35,000 people in a 1.5 km2 radius. The majority of inhabitants are isiXhosa speaking Black South Africans. There is severe overcrowding occurring with 65% of dwellings classified as “shacks” with an average of 8 people calling each shack home.
Cloetesville is a community located just 4kms outside Stellenbosch. Development began here in 1964 and it was included in the municipality in 1967. The majority of inhabitants come from the rich Cape Malay heritage, and would be known as Afrikaans speaking Coloured South Africans. Within this community there is a large and very visible income disparity with some middle class families able to live in a fair amount of comfort while many impoverished families struggle in overcrowded informal housing.
Both of these communities are profoundly affected by poverty. The HIV prevalence rate is triple the provincial rate and many residents fall prey to drug and alcohol abuse. There is a high rate of crime, gangsterism, domestic violence, child abuse & neglect, and rape. With a very high rate of unemployment, households often need to get by on the minimum wage of one earner, which can be as low as R2,000 ($200) per month.
Vineyard Houses in Kayamandi
Our roots first took hold here in response to the local need for community based foster care. In 2008 we opened our first house in Kayamandi. We are blessed to have wonderful foster moms settled in each of our two houses which are named Zanokhanyo (Bringer of Light) and Zanovuyo (House of Love). The houses are located conveniently next door to each other.
Ntombikhaya is our house mother in Zanokhanyo. Her house is filled with 5 children and brimming with the rowdy energy of 2 boys and 3 girls who keep her very busy. One of her boys started high school Swellendam this year, made possible by sponsors organized through Home from Home.
Ntombikhaya is a wonderful leader who demonstrates initiative, a positive attitude and calm focus as she ensures her children THRIVE.
Thamara is our house mother in Zanovuyo. Her house has 3 children at the moment. One of her children was reunified with his parents some time ago. Her eldest child left the house when she turned 18. Her youngest child was moved into another foster care to be closer to his biological Mother. Thamara leads by example and has exemplary patience.
Vineyard Houses in Cloetesville
Once again responding to demonstrated community need, The Vineyard Houses partnered with local community organizations and opened up our first home in Cloetesville in 2010. In 2014 the second home opened in the area, also conveniently located next door to our first home.
Charmaine is our foster mother in our first Cloetesville home. At this stage she has 5 children in her house. The eldest girl just turned 18 and the youngest is a boy who is 13 years old. Her passion is infectious and her big heart is inspiring.
Joleen who used to be the Assistant for our second house in Cloetesville, took over as Foster Mother in February 2019. She is full of energy and maintains a great relationship with her children. She also has 5 children with the eldest girl being 17 and the youngest boy being 8. Two of the girls are in a high school in Stellenbosch, residing in the hostel. That was made possible by sponsors through Invia Church.
*Due to the value we place on family reunification whenever possible, we celebrate biological families finding each other and being restored, even when it’s hard to say goodbye to children who have carved places in our hearts during their time with us. Occasionally our houses will have an opening, but policy is to keep our houses full and operating with 6 children being cared for in long-term placements.