Written by Netanya Roachford. A volunteer from Toronto, Canada
I came to volunteer at the Botshabelo Babies Home because I’ve always had a desire to care for children, especially those who need a little extra love and attention. I decided to come for 3 months to get a feel for the place and see if I’d want to come back.
Its a privilege to care for the children at Botshabelo. These little miracles have all been given a second chance at life and it truly is a blessing to be able to see them blossom and flourish.
For instance, while I’ve been here, I’ve been able to see two of the little preemies nursed back to health. Where they were once too skinny for their tiny onesies, they’re now well filled out and on track with their growth and development! These babies change so much, everyday you can see a difference in their little faces.
I came here with the desire to love each of these little babies as if they were my own, unconditionally and whole-heartedly. Even when you have to say goodbye, you always know it’s for the best and that God will take care of them. There’s always one that just CAPTIVATES your heart, for me that was “Miss M.” She’s a tiny 5 month old that is full of smiles and drool! I loved her to pieces from day one…I loved her as if she were mine. The day that I found out that she was getting adopted, I had a bittersweet feeling in my heart. God’s response to me in that time was amazing, He reassured me “These children need homes, they can’t stay here forever. I asked you to pour out your love on these little ones unconditionally, sacrificially, and with your everything. Would you actually give them less than 110% of yourself so that YOU don’t get hurt in the end? I never did that with you.” In the end, it all works out and your heart will just grow more and more. God takes away the bitterness and just leaves the “sweet!”
I came here with the impression that I’d be giving so much of my time, love, and attention to these little ones but I didn’t realize how much I’d get in return. Not only do the children fill your heart with joy and all things beautiful, but the caregivers and the community of people that are a part of making Botshabelo what it is, have a hand in the love and joy that surrounds this place!
Even when times get rough and you need a little extra boost of encouragement, this has helped me throughout this journey, never forget about the vision behind why you came here, your why. There will be times that you’re frustrated and tired, and you might feel like going home, but never forget about why you decided to take time out of your busy life to come to South Africa and take care of little children. You’ll never let the little things bother you again because the bigger picture is so much more important!