The staff team at Vuyani Child and Youth Care Centre consists of a manager, social worker, PR & marketing officer, two remedial foundation phase teachers, and a secondary phase teacher. However, they cannot fulfil their responsibilities without the support of five qualified Child and Youth Care Workers, three caregiving/cleaning/cooking staff, and a driver/factotum. Under the leadership of the dedicated Board of Vuyani, they aim to take the children’s home to the next level for the 35 – 37 children currently in their care.

Manager: Hildegarde Brummer

Vuyani is fortunate to have Hildegarde as manager, bringing over 20 years of experience in the NPO field. She previously served as Vuyani’s social worker from 2012 to 2017 before assuming her current role. Hildegarde’s commitment to professional development led to her achieving a Post Graduate qualification in Addiction cum Laude from Stellenbosch University in 2017. She also mentored 5 staff members during their training in Child and Youth Care Work NQF 4, an online SETA accredited program offered by CEFA.

In her capacity as manager, Hildegarde serves as the liaison between the board and Vuyani staff. She also liaises with the Department of Social Development, ensuring compliance with regulations and reporting requirements. Hildegarde oversees the overall running of both homes, coordinates the residential care program, and develops operational strategies. Her leadership prioritizes the well-being of staff and children, ensuring that Vuyani operates in accordance with relevant Acts such as the Children’s Act, Labour Act, and NPO Act.

A younger Hildegarde starting as social worker at Vuyani in 2012.

Social Worker: Chandrè Rhoode

Chandrè, a social work graduate from NMU, brings a wealth of experience to Vuyani. She previously worked at Child Welfare (Graaff-Reinet) and ACVV (George). Chandre is responsible for all statutory requirements and provides comprehensive and specialized social work services to the children in our care, tailored to each child’s Individual Development Plan.

Since joining Vuyani in 2018, Chandrè has received extensive training in the psycho-social needs of traumatized children, which she incorporates daily into her interactions with our children through individual and group therapy sessions.

Chandrè values informal chats with the children, creating a relaxed environment where they can be themselves. She prioritizes each child’s well-being, striving to address their individual needs holistically. Her decisions regarding a child’s future are guided by the best interests of the child.

PR & Marketing: Riana v.d. Ahee

Riana joined Vuyani in 2010 and transitioned to the role of PR Marketing and Fundraising in 2015. Her responsibilities include managing funding applications, liaising with funders, writing articles for the Advertiser and newsletters, and coordinating overseas volunteer groups visiting Vuyani. She also oversees programs involving the Vuyani children.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Riana played a crucial role in securing 1,300 food bags for distribution in the Graaff-Reinet and Nieu-Bethesda communities through the Add Hope Fund.

Some of her other successful initiatives include securing funding from the National Lotteries Commission in 2020 to purchase a house for our older children. In 2021, five of Vuyani’s caregivers received SETA accredited training as Child and Youth Care Workers from the DGM Trust. In 2023, funding from the Rupert Foundation was received to cover all our children’s Developmental Needs not covered by the subsidy from the Department of Social Development.

Remedial teacher and assistant

The teaching staff at Vuyani’s Learning Centre play a crucial role in the holistic development of the children in our care. As part of our Children’s Home, the Learning Centre provides a nurturing environment where education is seen as a key to unlocking each child’s potential.

Bettie Swartz and Hettie Pienaar started Vuyani’s Learning Centre in April 2018. Bettie has been involved with Vuyani’s Aftercare in the afternoons, assisting children with their homework and assignments since 2015. She and Hettie have worked together for many years in other schools in the community and form a strong team to teach our children the basics of numeracy and literacy.

Regina Bosman, a secondary phase teacher, has been assisting the older children with homework and assignments for the past four years. Her role has become invaluable in supporting our children’s academic progress.

Driver, maintenance and gardens

Wilson Krismis joined the staff in 2014 and played a vital role as a father figure, being the only male staff member. He was a huge support, especially to the boys in our care. As the designated driver of our bus, he took all the children to their different schools daily and also tended to the gardens. Due to health reasons, Krismis took an early retirement.

Our new driver/factotum, Andries Heugh, has big shoes to fill. However, we can already see the positive impact he is having on our children’s lives through his daily interactions while fulfilling all his duties.

Vuyani’s Caregivers

Vuyani’s caregivers at our children’s home are the heart of our organization. We have 8 sleep-in staff with the specific role of being a mother to our children while on shift. Without these dedicated women, we wouldn’t be able to provide the care and support needed by the vulnerable and traumatized children placed in our care.

Five of Vuyani’s caregivers have completed their training as Child and Youth Care Workers through CEFA, thanks to the funding received from the DG Murray Trust. This training has equipped them with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide high-quality care to our children.

Our caregivers receive regular in-service training to support behaviour and trauma management. They are also supported by regular psychosocial assistance from a registered trauma counsellor. This ensures that our caregivers are well-equipped to handle the complex needs of the children in our care and provide them with the nurturing environment they need to thrive.