From small beginnings came big things
Molly and Neels Bam are an ordinary middle-class couple. What is extraordinary is that they have shared their home, love and care with hundreds of abused and orphaned children over the past 30 years. Many of them suffer from emotional, physical and cognitive difficulties due to foetal alcohol syndrome or because they suffer from illnesses like HIV/AIDS or TB. Whatever their background and circumstances, all of these children have been cared for.
The love and security they find here is evident in the children’s big smiles because the Bams care for every child as their own. Besides the children’s basic needs of food, clothing and a place of safety being provided, their need to be loved and to feel special is of the greatest importance.
Founding JJ Haven
In 1992, the Bams moved to Alexandria because Neels had a job offer in the area. At the time, Molly did not have a job. When they were at church one day, people prophesized that their home would become a safe place for children. Molly and Neels followed their calling and started to look after 25-30 children from other Children’s Homes during the holidays. They had a large property, with lots of farm animals. The children loved being able to explore and they had lots to do.
Only six months after the Bam’s started hosting children from other Children’s Homes, a social worker from the department of Social Development in Grahamstown dropped off three boys for them to take into foster care. These boys were raised by Molly and Neels and are now independent and successful, with their own children.
This was only the beginning: since August 1998, the Bams have fostered 5 children, adopted 10 children and provided refuge to many more. These children were brought to them by social workers, the Police and sometimes simply abandoned on their doorstep. The home has seen around 300 children come and go over the last 23 years. Only a few have struggled to adjust to adult life when they have left home. This is remarkable, given the background of abuse and neglect that many of them came from, before being cared for by the Bams. The Bams have always stood by their decision not turn a child in need away. They are sustained by their absolute faith that “Jehovah Jireh” (Hebrew for “God will provide”).
CHANGE A LIFE TODAY
Financial contributions to help us continue
our good work
Offer security by covering the living and/or school costs of a child.
Beds, teddies or tomato sauce. Little things can make a big difference
Read, play or talk.
Property maintenance and life skills