Welcome to Shepherd's Keep
Click to download latest Newsletter

Go to our FB web page

LEGAL INFORMATION
Registered Name of Organisation: 
Shepherd’s Keep

Registration Numbers: 
Section 21 Company
Reg. no. 2001/001302/08
Section 18(A)
Reg. no. 18/11/13/856
Non-Profit Organisation
Reg. no. 005-405 NPO

ORGANISATION INFORMATION
Click here

DIRECTORS
C.J.Pratley
C.A.Pratley
R.Snell

1195 Bluff Road
Marlborough Park, Bluff
Durban 4052
SOUTH AFRICA
Tel/Fax: +2731 466 6106
www.shepherdskeep.org.za

FOUNDERS
Colin Pratley
Cheryl Pratley

Colin and Cheryl with babies

Cheryl and baby

 

Donate now to finish the new building of Shepherd's Keep

Most Dynamisante Woman Award 2006

South Africa's 24-hour baby haven of love

Flowers from Terry, Chantel and Ken and bits for Sarah’s EasterIt was 'a calling' as a young nurse that inspired Cheryl Pratley to open Shepherd's Keep, a 24-hour place of safety for abandoned babies that is now a loving temporary home for 60 toddlers. Having witnessed too many fragile babies die in her arms, Cheryl, in her sixties, retired to dedicate her life to the many HIV-positive babies neglected by overwhelmed mothers. Shepherd's Keep, the first shelter of its kind, opened in KwaZulu-Natal in 1998. For her admirable work, dedication and selfless spirit, Cheryl Pratley was announced as the winner of the Clarins/Fairlady Most Dynamisante Woman for 2006 and received R150 000 prize money at a gala event at Vodaworld Midrand on Tuesday evening, 31 January 2006.

The annual Clarins/Fairlady Most Dynamisante Woman Award draws nominations from across South Africa. Over the past five years, R1 million has been awarded to four other equally dynamic women. The money has been used to improve living conditions, provide education and skills training, to buy food and essential medication and medical equipment.

"It is inspiring to read the motivations for the Award and to acknowledge how many remarkable women are making a difference to the lives of children across the country. From the smallest Karoo 'dorp' to a bustling township and even in the heart of a crowded city, women are dedicating themselves to helping children in need, often under the most difficult circumstances and with very little support. This country needs to reward and applaud these remarkable women," says Debbie Wolfendale, MD of Clarins South Africa.

Flowers from Terry, Chantel and Ken and bits for Sarah’s EasterMost of the babies in Cheryl's care at Shepherd's Keep are HIV-positive and have been deserted by overwhelmed mothers. Cheryl nurtures them to health and even when she cannot save them there is a sense that at least they had peace in their short lives. Situated on the Bluff in Durban, Shepherd's Keep has expanded to care for 60 babies and is equipped with the proper equipment needed for their care. When the babies are well enough they are placed with suitable adoptive parents. The Point Police Station in Durban only has praise for Cheryl's dedication, knowing her door is open 24 hours a day and an abandoned baby found in the dead of night is guaranteed a loving home.

Fairlady editor Suzy Brokensha and Clarins South Africa MD Debbie Wolfendale visited Cheryl at Shepherd's Keep in early January 2006 and were humbled by what Cheryl has achieved.

"It is incredibly moving to witness strong women, regardless of age, colour or creed, doing remarkable work and uplifting children's lives in this country. Through the pages of Fairlady we hope to encourage our readers to support these women, enabling them to continue their work in the knowledge that their country notices and cares," says Fairlady editor Suzy Brokensha.

 

BESKERMENGEL

Flowers from Terry, Chantel and Ken and bits for Sarah’s EasterOm jou lewe, soos ’n Moeder Theresa, aan die koestering en versorging van babas te wy wat deur hul ma’s in die steek gelaat is, sit nie in elke vrou se rok nie. Veral nie as jou eie vier kinders uiteindelik die nes verlaat het en van jou hande af is nie.

Maar vir Cheryl Pratley van Durban was die keuse maklik: toe sy eendag as verpleegster met die ongewenste, sterwende baba van ’n 13-jarige meisie in haar arms staan, het sy eenvoudig geweet sy móés iets doen.

God het saadjie om babas in nood te help geplant toe ek as verpleegster in die pediatriese saal gewerk het. Met dié baba het hy dit onthou en my daaraan herinner. Dit het geweldige empatie en liefde in my ontketen,” vertel sy, op die punt om na Johannesburg te vertrek waar sy as die kosmetiekhuis Clarins en die vrouetydskrif Fairlady se Most Dynamisante Woman vir 2005 bekroon is.

Sy het besluit om as ‘krisisma’ te help, eers net met een baba. Baie gou het meer gevolg, en Cheryl se man, Colin, het besluit om sy werk te laat vaar om haar voltyds by te staan.
“Ons het alles verkoop en Shepherd’s Keep, wat in ’n visie aan my geopenbaar is, in 1998 op die Bluff in Durban laat oprig. Ek kan eintlik nie verduidelik hoe dit gebeur het nie, want ons het hopeloos te min geld gehad en dit sou R3,5 miljoen kos. Maar God het geweet ons het ’n groter plek nodig gehad en Hy gehelp dat dit met bydraes van heinde en ver ’n werklikheid geword het.”

Shepherd’s Keep is altyd vol en sy deure staan altyd oop. Dít weet die polisie by Punt-polisiestasie alte goed, wat dikwels in die middel van die nag of vroeë oggendure ’n bondeltjie daar kom aflaai. Vir hulle is Cheryl Pratley ’n ware beskermengel en vir haar onbaatsugtige naastediens het hulle net die grootste lof.

“Ons versorg deurgaans sowat 20 babas van pasgeborenes tot 6 maande oues waarna hulle aangeneem en by pleegouers geplaas word. Ons ideaal is dat nie een van hulle ooit in ’n inrigting hoef te bly nie, maar altyd in ’n liefdevolle gesin opgeneem word.”

Flowers from Terry, Chantel and Ken and bits for Sarah’s EasterAs ’n besonder emosionele mens met ’n ruim en warm hart, raak sy baie gou geheg aan die babas en is dit moeilik om elke keer weer afstand van een van hulle te doen. “Maar wanneer ons hulle aan hul nuwe ouers oorgee, bid ons hulle God se seën toe in hulle nuwe lewe,” vertel Cheryl.

In baie gevalle word dié nóú band nooit verbreek nie, voeg sy by en lag. “Net gister het die ma van een van ons kinders wat 11 jaar gelede hier aangekom het, ’n koerantberig oor Shepherd’s Keep gesien en die seun ’n foto van my gewys. Hy het my dadelik herken en gevra dat hy na sy ‘ouma’ geneem word. By hulle aankoms hier het hy reguit na my toe gehardloop, letterlik in my arms gevlieg en hom teen my vasgedruk.” Danksy die samewerking en bemiddeling van sommige van die kinders se ouers, kry sy en Colin ook gereeld e-posboodskappe van kinders wat jare gelede in die tehuis se sorg was.

“Die feit dat jy ’n impak maak en help dat baie jong lewens gered word, maak dit voorwaar die moeite werd,” beklemtoon Cheryl, wat dit as haar lewenstaak vorentoe beskou, al wink 60. “Ek sal dit doen totdat ek my kop die dag neerlê,” sê sy beslis.

Bykans al die babas is by hulle aankoms MIV-positief, maar, omdat hulle vir ’n kort rukkie blootgestel was aan hul ma’s se teenliggame, raak hulle weer negatief en ontwikkel hulle in gesonde, pragtige babas.

Flowers from Terry, Chantel and Ken and bits for Sarah’s EasterCheryl is verheug oor die feit dat net een baba die afgelope ses maande dood is. Die dag daarna het Fairlady gebel met die nuus dat sy die gesogte toekenning gewen het. “Daar het dus tog iets goed van gekom…”

Die lys van ouers wat dié babas wil aanneem, is ellelank. “Ons probeer ons bes om dié wat reeds lank wag, te help.” Sy en Colin het self ook een van die babas aangeneem en op 8 jaar is klein Sarah Jane die lig in hulle lewe”.
Daarbenewens is een van haar dogters, Michelle, ‘tweede-in-bevel’ by Shepherd’s Keep, en sy sorg nougeset dat die wiele deurgaans geolie bly.

Die R150 000 prysgeld gaan baie handig te pas kom om nog vensters in te sit en ’n melkkombuis met ’n bottelwasser aan te bring. “Die hoësorgbabakamer moet gestruktureerd ingeklee word, enersyds vir die gerief van die helpers wat baie ure daar deurbring, en andersyds sodat die babas veilig en tuis kan voel,” verduidelik Cheryl.

Maar nog is dit nie die einde van Cheryl se planne nie. Volgende op die program is ’n huis met ’n pragtige tuin vir kinders met spesiale behoeftes, onder meer kinders met Down-sindroom of serebrale gestremdheid.
Hoewel Shepherd’s Keep haar bedags en dikwels ook snags besig hou, sorg Cheryl dat sy haar mediese kennis deurgaans uitbrei deur wyd te lees. “As toegewyde Christen lees en bid ek ook baie – daarsonder sou ek nie hiertoe in staat gewees het nie.”

 

Together we can do a beautiful thing for God

Some would gather money along the path of life.
Some would gather roses and rest from worldly strife, but I would gather children. From among the thorns of sin I would seek a curl and a gorgeous toothless grin.

For money cannot enter in the land of endless day.
And roses that are gathered soon will wilt along the way.
But, oh, laughing children, as I cross the endless sea
And gates swing wide in heaven
I can take them in with me.

Anonomous

 

3 babies are abandoned every 48 hours in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa.

In 2001, 874 babies were abandoned—that figure trebled in 2002 when 2186 babies were abandoned in KZN.

2003 had 200 abandoned babies per month go through the welfare society of Durban.

Most babies are abandoned in municipal toilets, latrines and refuse bags.

This is mainly due to AIDS, poverty, unemployment.

34% of the KZN population is infected with AIDS. KZN have the most welfare agencies in the country and yet cannot cope. Most of these babies die, as a place of safety cannot be found in time to save them.

The situation is so critical that the newspapers have likened the dustbins in Durban to the GRAVEYARDS OF NEWBORN BABIES AND FOETUSES

The only folk willing to help are too poor to look after any added family and the government grants of R140-00 per month can be applied for, but take many many months to access.

Carte Blanche 6th July 2003
www.carteblanche.co.za

WHAT SHEPHERD'S KEEP HAS DONE and HOW YOU CAN HELP

A home for 60 babies has been built.

Ongoing funds are needed to run Shepherd's Keep and to provide for all the babies accessories. More...

We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4: 19
TOP
Click here to contact us
Fill in the form along side and press send
your email address