Boucher House –a home where children are loved, can heal from abandonment, grow into balanced children and have hope for a brighter future!
Johan and Elizma Boucher opened their home to abandoned children in 2007. They both love children dearly and wanted to make a difference in the lives of children whose parents were not interested in raising them or could not keep them. Johan passed away in 2009. Until today, no diagnosis was made and a healthy man passed away very suddenly. Elizma, however, decided to continue with the dream they both shared: reaching out to innocent children without safe haven, creating for them which we might take for granted – a home. Since 2009, Elizma has faced her own battles. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and again in 2012, which lead to a double mastectomy. Despite her own personal challenges, Elizma continues to hold her head high and remain a pillar of positivity and strength to the children she so lovingly cares for.
Elizma’s doors are open to all children who need a safe haven, even if it is just for a night or two. She has offered a safe haven for more than 300 children already– some raped and injured, others ill and traumatised.
Hereby a short overview of the 8 children that are fostered by Elizma on a semi-permanent basis:
The oldest girl, age 11, was neglected by her parents due to alcohol abuse. Being left in her pram in the sun without being fed, the neighbours stepped in and she was eventually placed with Johan and Elizma. Both her parents are mentally challenged and so is this beautiful girl, who tested to mentally be only 3- 4 years. She currently attends the Alta du Toit School and stays in boarding school due to a lack of transport to school during the week. Her future holds many challenges as she will never be able to look after herself.
Another girl, 7 years of age, was rescued from a drug house at the age of 6 weeks. Her biological mother was a prostitute, abusing alcohol as well as drugs. This little girl only knows Elizma as her mom. Due to malnutrition during pregnancy the girl has tested to be below average for her age on various emotional and intellectual levels. She currently attends a pre-primary school and despite her slow development, has to go to school next year. This same girl’s biological mom fell pregnant and dropped her son, now age 5, at Karl Bremer Hospital with a sticker on his back indicating his name and surname. He was only 10 days old when taken to the Boucher House. Like his sister, he only knows one mom – Elizma. A very sensitive, chirpy and busy boy who has now been diagnosed with ADHD. He currently attends a play school close to home.
A little 3 years old boy was born with a too short trachea and put down to die. With Elizma’s faith, love and care, he is now a very active boy with a huge mischievous smile. This little one spent the first 7 months of his life in hospital where a specialist, who had training in new operation techniques, offered to operate on him. The fighting spirit of a tiny baby surprised everybody! He still develops very slowly and there is no guarantee that his trachea will keep up with his growth.
Another brother and sister, age 6 and 10, were removed from their parents who still abuse drugs. They can share stories of how they were locked up in cupboards, hid under tables, never bathed and wore the same clothes day after day. They were fed while their Granny stayed by them, however after Granny left they often went to bed hungry. These experiences left its marks on the pair, as they tend to lack emotional stability and act very impulsively. Four years later, another two siblings were removed from the mother after anonymous calls were made to the welfare. All four siblings are currently in Elizma’s care.
It is Elizma’s dream to raise these children in a loving, caring and homely environment up to the age of 18, while contributing to their basic educational needs and instilling good moral values and norms so that these beautiful souls can become balanced, happy and functional members of society.
“I always wondered if my influence on the children makes a difference, until recently when one of my foster children said to me: ‘Mom, I never knew about Christmas, birthdays, or Jesus before I came here.’ Then I again realized that all the sacrifices are worth it.”
HECT are with Boucher House and Elisma, on a project that would look to provide permanent and stable home for the children. This involves finding a secure new home and setting up a legal structure that provides the children with future protection and stability.