our history

How did it all begin and where are we now?

our story

In 1987 Colin and Liz Whittle first opened their home to provide a place of safety for abandoned babies. Between 1997 and 2000, due to an increasing demand for a place of safety for vulnerable children, a property was purchased, Social Workers were employed and the Child and Youth Care Centers established. The lives of thousands of children are touched every year through these and other initiatives. The ministries are situated in Matatiele, a rural town situated in the Eastern Cape, on the borders of Kwazulu Natal and Lesotho. Matatiele and 7 surrounding areas are serviced by these offices.


New Preschool

Crossroads now has a more formal preschool on the property. The purpose for which, is to give the children an opportunity to learn English, get accustomed to a school routine and give the children a good start to their schooling experience. The School comprises of 2 groups. A Blue group – of three year olds and a Red group of 4-5 year olds. She has 10 years of experience in teaching Chinese children in Beijing.

The school was opened in September 2014 by Taryn Pretorius, a qualified preschool teacher. The classes are divided into ring time, a rotation of activities (for the development of various skills) and story time. The children learn easily by singing songs and constant repetition. Learning to sit still and get along with peers is a challenge but equally rewarding when seen using what they have learned outside the classroom Limakatso, a 12 year old blind girl has private classes.

This class is a challenge for the teacher since she has to rely on Limakatso’s good memory for learning. She has nerve damage to her fingers and therefore cannot learn braille. She is a happy girl and loves school. The School teacher also oversees the homework club for the older children. Our children are well adjusted at school, all doing well, some very well, achieving outstanding results.

New building

Playground Upgrade


Crossroads in Winter.

Siyakhula Child and Youth Care Center.


Purchase of the third property seen on the left.

The building of 4 cottages for Siyakhula Child and Youth Care Center.

The Siyakhula cottages nearing completion.


Spacious bedrooms with private space for each child.

Each cottage has a kitchenette.

Establishing the lawns.

Peace and Tranquility at last.


It took quite some engineering to accommodate 75 children, builders, building material etc on the properties, without one unpleasant incident occurring.

We moved the children into the new houses as they were complete so that the old could be demolished.

Breaking down original offices to make way for the building of the Hall.

Old building down!! Hall being built in front.

We were truly grateful that no Children were hurt during the building process.

Building of cottages. 2 properties were consolidated so that all 8 cottages and the activity hall could be built.

Building of the new cottages. Second house purchased can be seen in the background. It was left standing and is used as the school room, library, store rooms, laundry and Crossroads Manager’s office.


The original shelter for boys

The outside ablution block of original shelter.

Buildings loaned to us by the Local Municipality for use as a Shelter for the boys before registration of project.


Original Society offices – This building was demolished to make way for the new activity hall and Kitchen.

The original office block

Lunch time. The one thing that has not changed is the nutritional meals provided.

There was no room in the house for activities. These were therefore done outside on sunny days. The house in the background was the second house purchased.

In those early days playground equipment came in the way of boxes!

One of the bedrooms in the original house purchased. We had up to 45 children in 1 house at this time.