When did Solomons Haven start and How, what are Maria and Alec’s background?
1989-1990 – Maria son Nadeem(Nigel)(passed away, 2005) was in Grade 5 when he brought a friend home from school and Maria questioned when she saw the child coming everyday and asked him why he wasn’t going home. He mentioned that his dad was very abusive towards him, his siblings and their mother. Maria took it upon herself to contact the child’s mother and invite her to find out if she could help. This is how it started. Maria housed them while the woman took steps against her husband. Maria took care of them and her passion for helping others started as she herself was an abused child. Maria was illiterate for the most part of her life as she had to work for her siblings and never had the opportunity to attend school. She has however achieved her aim of reading and writing when she attended classes at Maryland Literacy program. Alec has always supported Maria in what ever she does and with this their love for their community and the kids in their care has grown. Maria and Alec has been married for 25 years and still going strong.
What different organizations do they work with?
JDI Foundation (Just do it) Herzlia High School – Cape Town Marco van Embden (Tourist Company), etc
What sort of donations do they find the most helpful?
Groceries Meat hampers Clothing/shoes for the kids
How many children do they have currently, what ages and what are the circumstances that they come from? How much does it cost to feed, clothe and house each child? How many bedrooms does the home have, how many kids in a room- what do they children do for recreation- TV, games church etc.
+- 17, number may vary as place is needed for others.
How do Maria and Alec motivate themselves to do this good work even when times are tough?
When things get tough Maria and Alec knows that praying which they do every single day helps them through. The love for the children makes them look past the fact their might not be for tomorrow. They won’t allow a child to go back to what they were saved from. They will take each day as it comes and God (Their savior) makes things just fall into place.
Achievements of some of the kids
Lorna Cooney – Achieved 9th position (Grade 9 – All grade nines) at school – Princeton High School
Lorna Cooney – Won the Sanlam Art award at school (Picture of Painting available)
Aneesa Warries – Was the haven for about 9 years and is currently working for Social Services
Anthony – Has become a City police officer
Vanessa – Was at the haven for a few years and never attended school but with Maria’s help she has matriculated and has attended college and studied Accounting.