As we commemorate Youth Day, we are reminded about the sacrifices that were made to ensure a hopeful future for young South Africans. Despite the progress that has been made, our children are still suffering from a history of painful scars that have never fully healed. Lucky are the few who understand that healing requires time and that even through the darkest of times, there is always a helping hand and a flicker of hope.    

Leliebloem House is that ray of hope to many young children in the Western Cape. The organisation has been on a mission for the past century and a half to improve the quality of life of formerly deprived youths. Founded in 1868, Leliebloem House provides appropriate child protective and support services for the emotional and educational development of both children and their families.

At the helm of this non-profit organisation is Carla Stewart, who at 41 and after 16 years, continues to have an immense passion for community development. Together with her multifaceted skill set and team of specialists, Carla has the unique ability to impact the workforce with a blend of care, courage and compassion. 

Tell us a bit more about your role at Leliebloem?

I am accountable for developing and coordinating the plans of the organization’s fundraising, generating publicity and fulfilling the organization’s fiscal objectives. I am responsible for organizing campaigns and events that are geared to raise monetary donations or gifts in kind. I’m also responsible for developing promotional materials and other means to raise awareness of the organisation’s work, goals, and financial needs.

I have great appreciation for all donors, support partners and sponsors who support and allow me to contribute towards the healing and happiness of 60 children in our residential care.


What inspired you to become part of the Leliebloem House organisation?


Leliebloem House was founded as a House of Mercy by the Sisters of Mercy under the guidance of Bishop Gray in 1868 in Plein Street, Cape Town. In 1972 they moved to Crawford and registered as a child and youth care centre.  What inspires me to be here is the fact that I can advocate for the lives of children, who at the end of the day are being cared for and protected.

What does a typical day at Leliebloem look like? 

Each day brings with it new and exhilarating challenges. There is never a dull moment in a children’s home (giggles).

I check in with staff every morning, check emails, social media updates and respond to requests. I do various talks with groups. Collect donations. Interact with the children daily, encouraging them, listening to them, assisting them with their homework. I do ‘Tea and Tours’ of the facility for the public who are interested in learning more about the organisation and how they can get involved.  


Tell us a bit more about Child Protection Week?


Child Protection Week is commemorated at Leliebloem House to raise awareness for the rights of children as articulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005). It is imperative that the children and staff advocate for the rights and needs of vulnerable children who are entrusted to us for safety, care and protection. The Leliebloem Family demonstrates this by making posters and ensuring that our children take the lead by initiating a program for the week. 


How do you choose to keep your team and the children engaged and motivated? 

It is important to communicate and connect with the team, supporting and developing them where I can. My door is always open to all through mentorship and coaching. It is imperative to acknowledge and show appreciation, which builds trust and reliability. When your team feels valued you have teamwork at its best which leads to cooperation towards our shared vision. I enjoy our staff wellness days whereby we make a point of fitness, health talks by various institutions who have come on board. Athlone Pharmacy Diabetic 101 Support group always assists with glucose testing and BP checks.

As for the children, I love motivating them to be the best that they can be. I love extracting the extraordinary out of a so called “ordinary child” We do daily affirmations which helps boost their self- confidence which instills a sense of self-worth by affirming their existence.


How can people in the community get involved with the organisation?

They are welcomed to join our Friendship Family Campaign which entails assisting us in acquiring R25 per month debit order commitments which will go towards our R300 000 per month deficit. Our immediate needs list consist of non-perishable items, fruit and vegetables, cleaning supplies, household appliances and toiletries 

For more information about the Guardian Angels at Lelieblom House, visit