Ikhaya Loxolo cares for children and youth with a variety of mental and/or physical impairments combined with severe experiences of abuse and neglect, and especially focusses on socialising them in their known cultural environment to make them feel at home and, if possible, educate and train them to later lead a dignified life in their families/communities.
Ikhaya Loxolo is a Safe House, which means that (especially female) residents are protected and looked after and cared for 24/7.
Ikhaya Loxolo was given 1ha of fertile land for farming purposes, and in 2010 another 2ha of land were added. The first 1 ha has been used to establish organic gardens, several traditional rondavels for kitchen, dining, office, class etc. as well as sleeping rooms. In 2008 the home was opened for children and youth with special needs.
Alexandra and Michael Guenther had been invited in 2004 by the traditional leadership to establish a home for mentally impaired children and youth as a need for a residential home had been identified. Alexandra Guenther is a Germany trained primary teacher and educator with specialised training in working with mentally impaired children.
At Ikhaya Loxolo children and youth learn life skills to the maximum of their ability, attend morning classes, and different workshops such as cooking/baking, gardening/farming, building/repairing, crop harvesting and food processing etc. Both the care-givers and the workshop leaders had first been trained by Alex and Michael Guenther and were then able to pass on their knowledge to the children/youth.
To monitor and measure success at Ikhaya Loxolo the nine domains of the Gross Happiness Index are used, psychological wellbeing, standard of living, good governance, health, education, community vitality, cultural diversity, time use and ecological diversity and resilience, as much as applicable for every person in their care individually as well as for the staff. Of course all necessary and sound financial structures and audits are in place.
As a home for children and youth with special needs, Ikhaya Loxolo will always depend on donations. To date Ikhaya Loxolo has not received any government funding, despite having applied for it yearly since 2008 (at the Departments of Social Development, Health, Agriculture and Education).