Jo-Anne Schermeier on July 9, 2020

Donations from our Wish List are instrumental in helping us to care for our little ones. These are some of the things that are most urgently needed. Please circulate to anyone who you think would be interested in donating or sponsoring any of the items on the list. THANK YOU!

Mandela Day 2020 Wish List


Jo-Anne Schermeier on July 9, 2020

We are so sad that we can’t welcome volunteers on 18 July :( The week surrounding Mandela Day is usually full of buzz, goodwill and people making a difference. But 2020 is what it is.

We would still love you to honour the day, even if it is in a socially-distanced way. Here is one suggested way to get involved, while keeping safe :

Honest Yoga x Princess Alice

Join us on 18 July for 30 minutes of Kids Yoga and Meditation hosted by Bendy Bodies Yoga & Mindfulness! All proceeds go to Princess Alice Adoption Home, caring for abandoned babies, toddlers and young children.

Bookings are open -

Mandela Day Online Kiddies Yoga and Meditation - here’s what it’s about:

In honour of Nelson Mandela’s birthday, celebrate with kids and donate to Princess Alice Adoption Home at the same time. The super hero themed class is open to children between the ages of 3- 12 with something for everyone. Parents and adult caregivers, family or friends are welcome to join in on the fun too! If you like to dress up, grab a cape as well as a mat. SEE YOU ON THE 18TH!


Jo-Anne Schermeier on February 11, 2020

Project Rose Room Lucky Draw 1


Please support our Lucky Draw this month to raise the shortfall in funds for our proposed “Rose Room”. Tickets are R50 each.


The Rose Room will be the conversion of a former Birth Mom’s bedroom into a new, separate, more protected and more peaceful nursery room for the youngest babies in our care.

We care for 30 babies and young children. Their ages ranges from newborn up to three years old.

Recently, we’ve adapted to the needs of our older children , an age group that we have not traditionally provided for. Now we are focused on a creating a new space that will best serve the vulnerable younger babies.

We have the quotes. We have raised a substantial amount of funds for the project. But we have a shortfall.

To raise funds, The Four Seasons The Westcliff Hotel have kindly partnered with us to sponsor a Saturday Brunch for two at their Flames Restaurant. You can view more about the beautiful setting of the hotel here

Entries can be paid for in cash, by EFT or via Snapscan.

Project Rose Room 2

Project Rose Room 3












Jo-Anne Schermeier on February 6, 2020


Footprints masthead cropped

The first issue of our Footprints Newsletter for 2020 has been circulated.

If you didn’t receive it, but would like to browse through what has been happening in the past three months, the pdf version can be downloaded here:

Footprints January 2020


Jo-Anne Schermeier on December 20, 2019

Christmas and the Holidays are almost here and another year is in the bag. In 2020, Princess Alice Adoption Home will turn 90 years old. WOW!

Christmas is love in action

Thank you for sticking with us through 2019. As always, it has been a year filled with happy highs and challenging lows. But we’ve made it!

Since 1 April (which is the start of our financial year and reporting period), we have cared for 44 babies and toddlers. 7 of the children have been adopted, 2 were reunited with their birth moms and 3 were placed in non-related foster care.

Perhaps the biggest challenge that we have had to continually re-adjust to in the past couple of years, is that the adoption processes are slower than before (not the rate of adoption but the pace). Young children spend longer in our care and more often age out of our traditional programme.

 On the bright side, our Granny Programme, (which is now funded by Spence-Chapin and has been expanded to 15 Gogos), makes a huge difference in the babies’ and toddlers’ lives. Each child has their own Gogo to bond with and as a result they have frequent stimulation. This improved foundation will carry them well into their future lives.

Under the banner of the Granny Programme, we introduced an in-house ECD programme for the children over the age of 2-and-a-half years old. It has been a big success and we are very grateful to Gogo Thina for getting it off the ground.

At the moment, we have 31 children in our Nursery family, so it’s safe to say that we have our hands full. We would not survive a single day without the help that we get from our volunteers and donors. THANK YOU!

 We look forward to celebrating our milestone anniversary in 2020. The first event planned will be a HIGH TEA at THE FOUR SEASONS WESTCLIFF HOTEL in March. This event was originally planned for October 2019 but we made the decision to postpone it. We look forward to seeing some of you there.


Please remember how heavily we rely on donations to keep our doors open. Donations can be made via Snapscan (see above); online at or by EFT:

 Princess Alice Adoption Home

Standard Bank

Library Gardens

Account Number: 000788910.

Our WISHLIST can be viewed at

 Have a very safe and happy holiday season!

Jo-Anne Schermeier on June 19, 2019

JCW Fundraising Ball

Jo-Anne Schermeier on December 7, 2018


Poster for web

Jo-Anne Schermeier on October 15, 2018

Advert for Snow White

Have you made plans for a year-end function yet?

Why not join us for an evening of good fun and guaranteed belly laughs, while raising funds for Joburg’s vulnerable children at the same time?

The annual pantomime’s at Joburg Theatre never fail to entertain and are always a fun way to round off the year, whatever your age. This year, the proceeds from the show on 6 December 2018 will go to Joburg Child Welfare (including Princess Alice Adoption Home).

It’s been a tough year and all support of this event will help us to keep going forward in 2019.

General tickets = R250 each.

VIP tickets = R350 each (This is ideal for a corporate group as there are 22 seats in a private seating area with a bar, and the opportunity to meet the cast!).

Please email enquiries to Maria on or Jo-Anne on

Thank you for your support!


Jo-Anne Schermeier on February 21, 2018
"A baby is born with a need to be loved - and never outgrows it." - Frank A. Clark

“A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it.” – Frank A. Clark

Our “Granny Programme” has been running for just over two years. It has filled a critical gap that existed between the care being provided by our Child Care Workers and the added stimulation of our volunteer programme.

PAAH was the second South African Children’s Home to implement a formal Granny Programme and some inevitable tweaks were made to adapt it to our unique environment. Happily, this could be done.

The pilot phase of the Programme was implemented in partnership with The Ububele Educational and Psychotherapy Trust and has been funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) which provided stability during the start-up period. The grant will soon come to an end and we are seeking alternative sources of funding to keep the programme running uninterrupted.

But, what is the Granny Programme?

The Granny Programme concept (which was originally the brainchild of Spence-Chapin in the USA) is a simple but highly effective one.

In a nutshell, mature women (“Grannies” or Gogos as we know them) from the local community are paid a small monthly stipend. Each Granny is allocated two young children and spends two hours per day with each child five days a week. They follow an organised routine during their time with them.

The Grannies have become trusted, primary caregiver figures to our little people, giving them a real opportunity to bond and form firm emotional attachments which can then be transferred to their future parents or caregivers. During their time with the babies and toddlers, the Grannies also offer the type of individual stimulation that is important for their healthy overall development.

Handpainting with my Gogo

Handpainting with my Gogo

The consistent stimulation and attention from a loved caregiver is hugely significant  because, all too often, children in institutional care (like PAAH) do not have this type of experience and that, in turn, has a lifelong, detrimental impact on all areas of their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.

We celebrate the fact that most of our babies now demonstrate age-appropriate developmental behaviour, and this is usually after quite a short period of being matched with their own Granny.

The Grannies have all been trained to ensure a good understanding of how children develop (as well as the central roles played by attachment/bonding and stimulation in Early Childhood Development). They are also able to record the progress of their babies on a regular basis (following the guidelines of the Early Learning Accomplishment Profile or E-LAP). These records of early development are passed onto their adoptive parents.

No man (woman or child) is an island

The Granny Programme doesn’t stand alone in a vacuum. Research in the field of human development has influenced the national and international policies that drive the implementation of Early Childhood Development (ECD) practices. Most notable is the growing emphasis on the findings that a nation’s future development depends on its success in unlocking the potential within its youngest population! [1]

This includes evidence that the key to unlocking human capital lies in the quality of the environment in which the foetus, infant and young child develops, especially during what is commonly referred to as ‘The First 1000 Days” of life (which includes in utero and the first two years after birth).[2]

I trust you to hold my hands Gogo

I trust you to hold my hands Gogo

Isn’t it a bit mind-blowing to realise that if, in the very earliest days of life, the foundational development of the brain and skills is hampered, ALL future development will in turn be limited?

The First 1000 Days has thus become recognised as a unique and invaluable window of opportunity to secure the optimal development of the child[3].

In fact  this is the exact time period that children are typically in our care and therefore the time during which the Grannies can make a world of difference.

In addition to the benefits to our babies and their future adoptive families, the Programme also ensures that the benefits of training given to the Grannies reaches back into the communities where they all active in raising other children either in the own family groups or through civic organisations.

Future Plans

PAAH and Joburg Child Welfare are absolutely committed to continuing our Granny Programme and sustaining the value that it adds to our children’s lives, not just for now but throughout their growth.  Achieving this, however, does depend on our ability to secure new funding and we are therefore embarking on an energetic campaign to raise the support that is needed.

The path ahead will be challenging but oh so worth it.


[1]Republic of South Africa. 2015. National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy. Pretoria: Government Printers

[2]Republic of South Africa. 2015. National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy. Pretoria: Government Printers

[3]Republic of South Africa. 2015. National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy. Pretoria: Government Printers

Jo-Anne Schermeier on July 31, 2017

“Mandela Month 2017” has come to a close and we’d like to thank the angels –  both individual and corporate  - who have shared their time and resources with us over the course of the past few weeks. They have peeled, chopped, scrubbed, donated and painted. And yes, there was just a touch of playtime with the little people as well.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your generosity, compassion and for continuing to live out Madiba’s legacy.  These are just a few of the pics of the activities that took place and some of the people who visited.


Mandela Day Collage


Companies who spent their 67 minutes with us and/or who donated to the Home included:

  • Carte Blanche Make a Difference Team
  • Century 21st
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • Transaction Capital
  • Broadreach
  • NBC
  • Hello Conversations
  • Clyde & Co
  • Provantage
  • Sternlaser
  • Barker Insurance
  • Stonehenge Fleming
  • Parkview Police Victim Support Unit + Parktown North & Craighall Community Forum
  • Lemon Pebble Design