When life becomes intolerable to children they create chaos in their families and their community. They
cause problems, throw tantrums, fail in school, lie, steal, and manipulate. They do alcohol and drugs, get
involved in crime, and display sexually inappropriate behaviour. Finally, they run away to live on the street.
The child who goes to the street is giving, loud and clear, a signal of alarm. Something is going wrong, in
the family, in school, in society. Most children return to their homes. The child who stays away believes his
cry for love may never be heard.
As a child his basic needs were not met- survival becomes his goal. The adults in his world have failed him-
he no longer trusts. He was neglected instead of protected- he has no sense of belonging. He does not
feel loved and wanted- he is unattached. He had no good role models- he does not know right from wrong.
He learns to survive by any means, and society rejects him.
Do we walk past him because he is unlovely? Do we blame him for all the crime in town? Are we afraid of
him? Do we not see his pain? Do we even see him? Have we forgotten the call to kindness and mercy? The
most vulnerable child has the rights of any other child.
Many children have made Kids Haven their home over the past 20 years. We see their pain, they are our
children. Here they have a chance to start over, to find their purpose in life. The road to healing is not
easy. Some have inner strength and resilience that enables them to accept the help that is offered to them.
They become the beautiful butterflies they were born to be. Others are so hurt they will never be able to
make the right choices. Some children have died, and it is very painful to know that they had never really
lived; never had a chance or truly felt loved. Their genetic history and life experiences were simply too
Kids Haven tries to provide a safe and nurturing environment with structure and rules and lots of positive
input in the hope that lost children are able to turn their lives around, and many do. Being able to make a
difference in the lives of children is a privilege. Seeing children blossom and grow is our reward.
Kids Haven believes that children are not accidents or mistakes, every child is born for a reason, and there
is a divine purpose for their life. Helping the child to find their purpose in life gives them a reason to live.
Working with lost children takes much more than knowledge and experience, it is a calling that requires
passion and commitment. You have to care, to feel their pain, or you will not reach them or make a
difference in their lives.
“It is in your hands to make the world a better place; it is in your hands to make a difference.
There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children. We owe our
children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”
Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa.
Foreword written by Moira Simpson – Founder and Managing Director of Kids Haven