Interview Alison Alexander, founder and project manager Rainbow House of Hope
Since the age of 16 I knew that I wanted to help children less fortunate. Throughout my adolescence as well as into my twenties, I was a Sunday school teacher, a junior youth worker, an educare teacher. Always working in townships and with children less privileged. Married in March 1984, my husband and I responded to an ad in the local newspaper where Communicare was looking for safe homes where they could place children who had been abused, abandoned or neglected. We were the only respondents to that ad and so started a life of our home becoming a haven to those who could not defend themselves.
The setting up of Rainbow House has been a catharsis for me and I know now I am driven by compassion and an unconditional love for all children whom I believe must be placed in the best possible care and environment that the community can give them. I believe God has birthed this in me and it is very hard to explain. I am also truly inspired by women like Mother Teressa, Catherine Booth, Florence Nightingale, Hannah More, Elizabeth Fry and Nancy Ward. If they, with little resources at their disposal could help millions throughout a hurting world, then so can I.
In 2003 I started my work with the Western Province Baptist Association, the house being given for childrens ministry, (it was first a place of safety to refugees), and that is how I came to realize my dream of a place of safety for children run by the community, totally dependent on God.
And this little girl made a big difference…
I can’t begin to tell you how many kids have been through our home. The youngest child ever placed with us was a two week old girl just before Christmas 1999. Her mother had left her with a bottle of neat alcohol and was sent to Karl Bremer Hospital. This girl, Zoe, is now our daughter and recently turned 13. Against all odds she has defied what medics say about FAS. Just as recent as last week her teacher says if she continues as she does she will be able to choose whatever high school she wishes to go to as she excels in athletics, gymnastics and swimming. She has passed every school year and is now in Grade 7. We adopted her with the view to making a lasting difference in one childs life.
Where did you find the money?
We never had a cent when we started. The house was available for childrens work, everything just fell into place with NO money! Donation after donation just came in whenever it was needed! I believe it is my absolute faith in God, whom I believe called me to this work at Rainbow House and I believe because God called me, he will supply every need of this home!!!
What was the most incredible story you encounter at Rainbow house?
The most incredible story is of a 6 year old whose mom was a prostitute and who also used her daughter for sexual favours. That childs grandparents didn’t want her and left her on the steps of social services with a black bag with clothes.
To cut a long story short, after months we found out that she was abusing the babies who were staying at Rainbow House. When they would cry, and I would go into the kitchen to warm their milk, this little girl would slip into the room and beat the babies. We knew it was happening but we didn’t know who. The Social Workers wanted to lay a charge of abuse against me, but one night, everything just became clear and we caught her coming out of the babies room.
I told to the Social Worker I wanted her to stay and that we would find a counselor for her. Needless to say, everyone thought I was mad, but now almost 7 years later, that girl is a well adjusted young girl. She is with an amazing women who cares for her and she STILL spends holidays at Rainbow House! This is the kind of stories that never make the newspapers, but it is these stories that give me the strength and courage to keep on doing what I do!
Do you think that you will be at Rainbow for the rest of your life?
I definitely will!
About Rainbow House
Rainbow of Hope (Rainbow House) operates as a place of safety for abused and abandoned children. The home was established in October 2007, and since then has obtained its NPO (Non-Profit Organisation) status. Since its inception, Rainbow House has cared for and facilitated the successful placement of 56 children.
More information or if you want to support, the website : Rainbow House
Receive our newsletters
Subscribe to get updates!