About Us

More about how Children in Distress supports vulnerable children and elderly people through a long-term holistic programme of intervention.

Children in Distress is a community-based NPO. We have been taking care of vulnerable children and the elderly in the greater White River area since 1989. What started as a weekly soup kitchen over 25 years ago is now a major player taking care of the community’s most vulnerable members and ensuring they have a future to look forward to.


We are currently supporting around 3000 children and their 250 carers, using as bases our nine Family Care Centres in the following areas:Mganduzweni, Jerusalem, Cho chocho, Mcogbaneni, Chweni, Kabokweni, Dayzenzai, Phelandaba and Rocky Drift.

Each Family Care Centre provides meals, maintains vegetable gardens and is a base at which children may learn computer skills, sports and art. The centres are managed by salaried staff as well as field workers and local and international volunteers.

Trained staff, known as point leaders, are employed to look after children in outlying areas. They have personal contact with each child on a weekly basis, ensuring that they attend school, receive their food and remain healthy. They also provide emotional support and assist the children in the many challenges they face.

We are committed to the long-term development of the children we support, remaining in a supportive role to them until they become self-sufficient.


  • The point leader works with the community to find vulnerable children
  • Following home visits, they ascertain whether the children are orphananed, the extent to which they are vulnerable and whether or not grants are being received.
  • Necessary documentation, such as death certificates, is acquired where applicable.


The point leader does the following:

  • Personally checks on children’s welfare
  • Gives them emotional support when necessary
  • Makes sure they are clothed, have received their food, blankets, clothing etc.
  • Makes sure they are attending the feeding centres and school
  • Follows up on any queries from the main office
  • Fill out an attendance register at each lunch time


  • All data is processed at our main office and stored in a computer programme designed to keep track of our children and their caregivers.
  • Office staff do daily spot checks at our nine Family Care Centres, providing support, guidance and training to the staff at each centre.
  • Trained employees go out three times a week to work with our Caregivers, teaching them on different topics, encouraging them and giving them counsel when necessary.

Who are ‘vulnerable children’?

Children who come from very poor, broken homes, whose parents – if they have any – are unemployed and for whatever reason, unable to take proper care of them.

Did you know?

  • A third of Mpumalanga homes do not have electricity
  • More than 1 in 10 have no access to tap water
  • We provide over 24 000 meals per month