Jo-Anne Schermeier on October 31, 2014

“Civilisation only begins when we feel that a neglected child is a personal reproach to each of us.”

-– HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone.

October marked the 84th anniversary since HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone officially opened Princess Alice Adoption Home in 1930.

We are very proud to continue with the service for which the Home was originally opened, and play a small but very vital role in the lives of our babies and families.

In the last post, we wrote that, in 2014 alone, we have cared for 50 babies (18 have been adopted, 1 baby placed in foster care and another 2 were re-united with their birth moms). We have also provided a place of safety for another 10 birth moms.

Thank you for all the support that makes it possible for us to continue on this journey – we look forward to celebrating 85 years in 2015.


Happy Birthday Princess Alice Alice Adoption Home

Happy Birthday Princess Alice Alice Adoption Home




Jo-Anne Schermeier on October 28, 2014

Buckle up! 2014 is flying by as we accelerate towards the year’s end. It’s been a bumpy journey with wonderful highs and some challenging lows – but we are staying on track through faith, hard work, dedication and, of course, bucket loads of help and support from our friends.

When all is said and done, PAAH is about the wellbeing, health and happiness of the babies in our care. It’s them and their future lives that bring smiles to our faces and ignite passion in us every day.

A few of our precious new arrivals

A few of our precious new arrivals

So while it’s not about the “numbers”, it is a great pleasure to be able to report on our progress and let you know that all the invested love and resources are carried with the little ones as they make the transition into family care.

Summary of Beneficiaries – January to October 2014

Babies/toddlers cared for



New babies admitted



Babies adopted


11 Local adoptions

  7 Inter-country adoptions

Babies placed in unrelated foster care



Babies reunited with birth moms/biological family



Birth moms accommodated



The good news doesn’t end here – there are another 5 adoptions (2 local and 3 inter-country), as well as 3 foster care placements (2 with biological family and 1 with an unrelated foster mommy) that are pending finalisation.

Just some of our happy farewells in 2014

Just some of our happy farewells in 2014

We’ll update these “stats” again before the end of the year to close the 2014 chapter of our ‘good story’.

Jo-Anne Schermeier on August 7, 2014

Some may call it the month of July but many South Africans now know it as Mandela Month and it was special in numerous ways – all thanks to the generous individuals, community groups and corporates who got involved with us as an organisation. Mandela Day has grown beyond the 67 minutes of giving back on 18 July, to a month of getting involved in communities that need assistance. Madiba’s legacy in the hearts of South Africans is exceptional in a way that words cannot describe.

Donations collage 2

Every moment was touching, but what could better sum up the real value of our service than having volunteers who were once adopted from Princess Alice come back to make a difference in 2014? We had more than one, they know who they are, and it is moving to meet them as mature individuals who started their lives in our nursery.

The donations in-kind were extremely generous, quite literally filling up our cupboards. We were also very fortunate to receive some of the bigger items on our “wish list” that have been beyond our budget for a while. And we are extremely grateful for the extensive maintenance done around the house and in the garden.

The babies and toddlers loved all the treats and breaks in routine. They’ve had parties, cuddles and lots of fun.  Naturally, we have needed to limit the number of people visiting at any one time, and appreciate that the corporate and community groups have been willing to spread their visits over a few weeks.

The nursery and domestic staff who were on duty on 18 July were treated by Lifeline to breakfast at the Wimpy. This act of “caring for the carer” was a wonderful acknowledgement of the contributions that they make on a daily basis.

Thank you to the following groups who were involved in our Mandela Month:-


Blackstar Group; Bowman Gillfilan; CNBC; Edcon; FirstRand; Forbes Africa; Four Seasons The Westcliff; Green Grass Design; HCI Coal; Injozi Digital Design;  JD Group; Hello Joburg Magazine; JP Morgan; Konca; Mutual and Federal; Nedbank; Oxford Landscaping; Philip Silver and Associates; Pipeline Performance Technologies; PCBS; RGL Africa; SA Rope Access; Scratch Solutions; Standard Bank Property Finance; Tracker Connect & Transaction Capital.


Lifeline; Lions Club Glenoaks/The Wilds; Moms and Tots Greenside; Music for the Children Foundation; Ryk Neethling Swimming Stars Kyalami; University of Johannesburg; University of the Witwatersrand & Wonderland Nursery School.

 Mandela Day Volunteer Collages


Jo-Anne Schermeier on July 12, 2014

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” — Graham Greene

We are holding our Masters for Minors Charity Golf Day to help raise funds for the around-the-clock care of 30 babies (aged newborn to two years old). Our little ones have been consented for adoption or abandoned, and we are committed to providing them with the best possible second chances until they leave with their forever families.

Masters 4 Minors Advert

What you need to know about the day:

 Where:                 The Wanderers Golf Club, Illovo

 When:                  1 August 2014

 4-balls:                 R3 100/R775 per player

The cost of 4-balls includes green fees, dinner, shirt, prizes and an upfront donation to PAAH.

Bookings and enquiries: 

James –     or     Kim –

Sponsorship opportunities are available and we welcome donations of prizes, raffle items and giveaways.

We look forward to seeing friends and supporters out on the greens.

Jo-Anne Schermeier on June 22, 2014

With less than four weeks to go – have you thought about what can be done to honour Tata Madiba’s call to acknowledge his birthday and memory by making a difference in the community? As much as anything else, he left us with this legacy and obligation – to do what we can do to help those who are vulnerable and less fortunate than ourselves.

Mandela Day 2014

From our side, we welcome volunteers and donations but we also understand that it’s not always possible to get directly involved. And as much as we love hosting volunteers it isn’t always possible for us to accommodate all groups of people in the nursery on 18 July.

If you would like to make a difference during July, here are some simple suggestions for doing your bit:

  • Donate 67 minutes to volunteering during the month of July.
  • Donate R67 (yes, R67 = 6 loaves of bread, 3 boxes of tissue or 6 bottles of allergex with change!)
  • Take one of our collection tins to your office/classroom/sportsclub etc and ask colleagues to fill it with their spare coins.
  • Get together with friends, colleagues or family and make a lasagne, vegetable soup or cottage pie that can feed babies or birth moms (these can also be frozen and used after 18 July).
  • Circulate our wish list (please remember that every contribution makes a difference)
  • Spring clean your cupboards and donate unused items to us. Anything that can’t be used will be passed on to other childcare centres or sold second hand to raise funds towards our monthly costs.
  • Clear your bookshelves and donate books to our book sales.
  • Have a cake sale at your work, book club, church or any community group that you are part of, and donate the money to us or buy items from our wishlist.

We were blessed to share a portion of Madiba’s life and inherit the legacy of his personal sacrifices.

In whatever way you choose to get involved this year, we wish you a fulfilling experience and the knowledge that, in the end, it is the combination of individual contributions that make the collective difference.

Jo-Anne Schermeier on May 17, 2014

On Mother’s Day we celebrate our moms and all that they mean to us. And on Mother’s Day, mom wants her whole family to be safe and happy, even while she is being pampered. Princess Alice Adoption Home was very honoured to be selected as the charity beneficiary of the Celebrity Cherubs Mother’s Day Garden Party, which provided just that – family fun for mom. The event was the brainchild of chief cherub, Carmel Fisher.

Celebrity Cherub Carmel Fisher

Celebrity Cherub Carmel Fisher

A lot of hard work went on behind the scenes in build-up to the event. It was an absolute pleasure to work with such dedicated, good-hearted partners – Celebrity Cherubs, La Vie En Rose, Nickerbockerdoodlebugs, Face 2 Face and Platinum Ice.

Collage 1

The lovely restaurant, La Vie en Rose in Illovo, provided the perfect venue to accommodate food, fashion, pampering, kiddies’ entertainment and even a man cave.

Venue collage

Moms and VIP guests were treated to pamper sessions provided by therapists from Face 2 Face. The massage table in the rose garden was a big hit, and sweet tones from the roaming violinist just added to the sheer luxury of an outdoor backrub in the warm autumn sunshine.

Therapy collage

Celebrity guest speakers, VIP guests and a good media presence added to the glamour of the day. Speakers included Jonathan Boynton-Lee (Top Billing presenter, Cosmo’s Sexiest Man 2014 & former Princess Alice baby); Sureshnie Rider (5FM presenter); Pearl Thusi (Radio presenter & actress), Jerri Mokgofe (Celebrity Blogger & Fashion Stylist); Matthew Mansoor (Tresemmè/Motions Celeb stylist) and Suzy Mukendi (PEOPLE Mag Fashion Editor).

Celeb collage

The kiddies’ entertainment area was a sea of colour and fun. Nickerbockerdoodlebugs did an amazing job in organising a wonderland for the younger family members. Soft play, jumping castles, face painting, cookie baking, pampering for the tweens and teens, slush, popcorn, yummy snacks and a stilt walker provided hours of entertainment.

Kids Collage

Time spent with family, a kid’s talent show, fashion shows, beauty stalls and makeovers, fashion designer showcases and great weather completed a very memorable Mother’s Day Garden Party.

 Random Collage

Thank you for the wonderful support. We’ll soon let you know how much was raised for the care of babies at Princess Alice Adoption Home.

Jo-Anne Schermeier on April 27, 2014

Two weeks to go and the official invitation for the Mother’s Day Garden Party is being circulated.

Arranged by Celebrity Cherubs in aid of Princess Alice Adoption Home, the event has attracted a number of celebrities and sponsors who have come on board to support a great cause – the care of our babies.

Join us for a fun-filled family day with special pampering for moms in the lovely garden of La Vie en Rose Restaurant in Illovo.

There will be something for everyone in the family – delicious food (breakfast, lunch and teas), beauty treats for moms (manicures/pedicures/neck and shoulder massages etc), kiddies corner with child minders, celebrity guest speakers, fashion shows with top designers, a ‘man cave’ for the men, stalls to browse through and more.

The day will be MC’d by Jonathan Boynton-Lee (Top Billing presenter & Cosmopolitan’s Sexiest Man 2014) and hosted by Carmel Fisher (actress & founder of Celebrity Cherubs Charity-aid).

Bookings and more info about the sponsors and partners:

MDGP Flyer

Jo-Anne Schermeier on April 27, 2014

Happy Freedom Day to all South Africans: old or young, living locally or abroad.


As a nation we are celebrating 20 years of democracy – achievements, opportunities, failures, lessons learned and new goals; and also the fears, joys, disappointments, responsibilities, hopes and dreams that go hand-in-hand with freedom for all.

It’s easy to focus on negative issues, to look at what is going wrong, to concentrate on what has not been accomplished or successful. It doesn’t take much to point fingers and attribute blame or believe that the grass is always greener on the other side. After all, life is tough, life is a challenge and life in South Africa definitely is not a smooth ride.

But at heart, we are a wonderful, vibrant, resilient nation with an unassailable sense of humour and energy, capable of producing global leaders and pioneering positive change against all odds – so let’s celebrate all that is going right. And let’s face it, so much IS going right.

Let’s celebrate our babies at Princess Alice; the wonderful families that have been formed in the past 20 years and that continue to be created; the primary health care that our babies have rightful access to; the Child Protection policies that are in place for all our children; our dedicated staff; the donors and volunteers who believe in our babies and give time, money and other resources to ensure that they can grow into healthy, happy and loved young people.

Let’s celebrate our Princess Alice babies, full stop. Wherever they are now in the world, let’s celebrate them.

Let’s celebrate ourselves, why not?


Jo-Anne Schermeier on April 14, 2014

Sam for web

I love this picture of one of our “big kids” enjoying a picnic outing. For me, it symbolises his ‘journey’.

He’s walking independently but has juice tucked securely under his arm for comfort and nutrition when he needs it. He knows that he is cared for and provided for so he’s confident enough to walk by himself in an unfamiliar but interesting environment.  He’s enjoying the sun, the “freedom” and the moment.

Even the shade seems to symbolise that the toddler will grow and become the shadow of the man that he will be as he walks a path through life (those shadows do look a bit like a track, don’t they?).

What does not show in the photo is, of course, the Caregiver and volunteers who are watching over him closely to make sure that he really is safe and content.

Two of the most crucial aspects of the programme at PAAH is to ensure that babies develop emotionally (that they bond, receive and give affection, and trust the process) and that they meet the important milestones of early childhood.  Both of these require stimulation, opportunity and consistency.  The long term impact is that the first months of life are the foundation for all future development and well-being, not just for our babies but for all babies.

Thank you to the amazing people who make it possible for our toddlers and staff to enjoy these outings which are such stimulating, happy experiences for the little ones.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

                                                                                       – Lao Tzu

Jo-Anne Schermeier on April 13, 2014

SAVE THE DATE!  Join us on 11 May for a fun-filled day for the whole family in a lovely garden restaurant setting.

PAAH is excited to partner our annual Pamper Day with a Mother’s Day Garden Party organised by Celebrity Cherubs Charity Aid and La Vie en Rose (Illovo).

The day will include food, fashion, pampering for moms and activities for the little ones – all in the upmarket, secure environment of one of Joburg’s loveliest venues.

Funds raised for PAAH from the day will be used directly in caring for the babies in our nursery.

A full invitation will be circulated in the next few days.

A fun-filled family day in a beautiful, secure garden restaurant

A fun-filled family day in a beautiful, secure garden restaurant