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Elizabeth Maans, or Lizzy to those who know her, answered the call to become a foster parent in 2017 when she took her cousin's four and a half year old daughter in her care because she didn't want her to grow up without a mother. This article is published as part of a content sharing partnership between Kerkbode and Badisa. Photos: Supplied.

Badisa | Lizzy’s Place of Safety is a beacon of hope in Fisantekraal


“It wasn’t my dream at all to become a foster parent. But, what I did know was that I wanted to work with children. Children are my life. The Lord has managed it in such a way that I can become a foster parent to take care of, love and protect children. Today I do not regret being a foster parent. I am thankful that I get to love all these children and that they love me in return.”

Elizabeth Maans, or Lizzy to those who know her, answered the call to become a foster parent in 2017 when her cousin’s four and a half year old daughter was abused by her stepfather. Says Lizzy, “I gave my cousin’s aunts and grandmother preference to take her into their care, because she needed a place to go. No one wanted to take a chance, and I decided to keep her in my care. I grew up without a mother, and I didn’t want her to follow the same path.”

“I am a native of Ceres and in my heart I’ll always be a “Karoo girl”. Twenty-eight years ago I moved to the small community of Fisantekraal outside Durbanville in the Western Cape after my wendy house burned to the ground. I lost all my belongings. After working as an au pair and a supervisor, I started Lizzy’s Daycare. When things didn’t quite work out as I had planned, I decided to become a foster parent.”

Lizzy credits the social workers at Badisa, a non-profit organisation (NGO) dedicated to helping the most vulnerable people in South Africa, for their support and helping her to get the necessary paperwork and training done to be able to register Lizzy’s Place of Safety. 

Some of the challenges facing the community of Fisantekraal include gangsterism, drug and alcohol abuse and regular house break-ins. Lizzy explains how this affects the children in the area: “Children are affected as they cannot freely participate in community activities without the risk of harm. Even when they try to play sports, their safety is compromised. There have been instances where gang violence has erupted on the field, endangering innocent children while they engage in sports. This constant threat deprives them of the carefree childhood they deserve and exposes them to the harsh realities of violence.”

“I have an incredible love for children, especially babies, and it is a great blessing to be able to care for them. In our community, there are many parents who are unable to look after their children, and my heart aches for them.”

“So far, I have had over 40 children placed in my care. Each time one child leaves, the Lord sends another who needs love and attention. The first few days with a new child are always challenging. It’s a big adjustment for both of us, and the child often struggles because they miss their parents. Building a bond with a new caregiver takes time and patience.”

“My advice to new foster parents is, don’t give up. In the end, you will reap the rewards. Although the journey is tough, there are many beautiful memories to be made along the way. One of my favourite moments was when two of the girls in my care asked if they could call me ‘Mommy.’ From that day forward, I became their mom.”

To learn more about becoming a foster or safety parent in your area, contact Badisa at 076 980 4465 or email info@badisa.org.za

SOURCE: This article is from Badisa’s June newsletter


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