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Foster mothers paint the town red on special day out

  • 14 May 2018 | Libby Peacock

They spend every day of their lives providing loving homes to children who have come into their care after being orphaned, neglected, abandoned and abused, many with special needs.

But on a beautiful late-autumn day this week, 30 strong, compassionate women from the non-profit Home from Home foster scheme were treated to a special early Mother’s Day outing on the City Sightseeing red bus.

On a beautiful late-autumn day this week, 30 strong, compassionate women from the non-profit Home from Home foster scheme were treated to a special early Mother’s Day outing. (Image: City Sightseeing)

Home from Home provides a network of 34 small family homes to more than 200 of the Western Cape’s most vulnerable children, many needing therapeutic, medical and educational interventions and some living with HIV or foetal alcohol syndrome.

The families are made up of a foster mother and, in some cases, a father, with no more than six children.

“This is a Mother’s Day gesture of appreciation for our foster mothers, who specifically requested the bus trip when we asked for their input,” says Megan Pringle, Home from Home fundraising and communications manager.

Home from Home provides a network of 34 small family homes to more than 200 of the Western Cape’s most vulnerable children, many needing therapeutic, medical and educational interventions and some living with HIV or foetal alcohol syndrome. (Image: City Sightseeing)

“Many of the mothers have been living in Cape Town their whole lives and have not only never been on the red bus, but have never had the opportunity to explore their own city due to lack of transport, finances or living in impoverished communities far from the city.”

City Sightseeing presented the the women – from areas such as Ocean View, Khayelitsha, Goodwood, Mowbray, Ruyterwacht, Observatory, Zonnebloem and as far as Kayamandi and Cloetesville in Stellenbosch – with one-day passes for its Cape Town Mini-Peninsula Tour via Kirstenbosch, Constantia and Camps Bay. They stopped off in Hout Bay for lunch.

Nomnikelo Kemele from Khayelitsha, who worked as a social auxiliary worker and counsellor before becoming a foster mother 13 years ago, says she was inspired to care for abandoned and neglected children by her own mother, who had grown up without knowing a loving home as a child.

Nomnikelo’s biological children are now young adults, but at Home from Home she cares for a 14-year-old, three 16-year-olds and two 17-year olds. “Fostering is a calling,” she says. ‘I love it, and I’ve got children who say ‘mama’ to me.”

Nolisa Diba of Goodwood, who fosters five siblings and a sixth child between the ages of six and 16, was excited to be on the red bus for the first time. Fellow mom Emily Sondani acknowledged that it was challenging to juggle a foster family with the needs of her own family, but that it was all worth it – and being treated to a special Mother’s Day out was a chance to “forget about all our cares” amid the beautiful scenery of Cape Town.

Click here for more information about Home from Home and the work they do.

Making a day out on the red bus more affordable for all

City Sightseeing's 3-for-1 Kids’ Special makes an outing more affordable for families by allowing two children under 18 to hop on for free with each adult Classic red bus ticket bought. The offer – valid on weekends, school holidays and public holidays – runs until 8 October.

Save an extra R20 and buy your ticket here