Blessed Gérard's children's home has grown enormously in the past year. It currently provides a loving home for 28 children. Mrs Sandy Porter is our new director. We are very happy that we could win her and through her a fresh wind is now blowing in the daily life of our children and caregivers. Mrs Porter has started to build up a small library and video library at the suggestion of the project coordinator Mrs Clare Kalkwarf. She has set up a homework room for the children who go to school. She encourages the caregivers to take on more responsibility and helps them use all their talents. The children are given opportunities to develop self-confidence and their individual personalities and are assigned small tasks within the home. The increased number of children made it necessary to hire more caregivers. One of them was transferred to the housekeeping area of the children's home and another caregiver was hired.
We have also had many more children come to us who are suffering from AIDS. It is a great privilege for us to be able to love and care for them.
In the Blessed Gérard's Care Centre building, Blessed Gérard's Children's Home and Blessed Gérard's Hospice are housed on different floors. Although the two projects are independent of each other, they complement each other very well. For example, when a child falls ill, he or she is transferred to the hospice on the ground floor. Then, when he is better, he is transferred back to the children's home on the second floor. No matter what health problems they have, we ensure that the children can live a normal life as much as possible.
Three of our children went to the local primary school and five to the local kindergarten this year. The other young children received mental stimulation through a play programme so that integration into a public school will be an easy transition for them when they are old enough.
The children's home received a minibus as a wonderful gift. The Udo Jürgens Foundation donated the money to buy the vehicle through the German Malteser International Service. His Eminence, Wilfrid Cardinal Napier blessed the bus on 18 September 2004.