Oudtshoorn, 16 March 2022 – During a special council meeting on Thursday, 12 May 2022, the humanitarian crisis of Huis Triomph was under discussion with councillors trying to find ways to help the 30 boys who are currently living in appalling circumstances, after a heartening plea from Pastor Roelof Kwant from The Barn Church in Johannesburg.
Huis Triomf is a Youth and Children Care Centre that currently provides youth care services to thirty boys and is located at 1 Wagenaar Street, Oudtshoorn. The centre is funded by the Western Cape Department of Social Development, private donors and The Barn Church and the property belongs to the Oudtshoorn Municipal Council. The current board started the Huis Triomph Project to urgently find ways to move the boys from the premises to a safer and conducive environment therefore the board requested the Oudtshoorn Municipal Council to make use of the council premises at Cango Mountain Resort for an interim period and then later relocate to the Bridgton Chalets permanently.
After a short presentation from Pastor Kwant during the council meeting and a question and answer session, the council resolved the following:
- That for the relocation of Huis Triomf to two possible facilities as an interim and later as a permanent arrangement to appoint an Ad-hoc Committee to look at all technical aspects and report back to the council in two weeks.
- The Huis Triomph Ad-hoc Committee will consist of eight councillors and one official per directorate, including the Senior Manager: Contracts and Legal Services.
- That the Huis Triomf Ad-hoc Committee be led by the Executive Mayor who will also be responsible to compile the draft terms of reference for the said Committee.
- That the Executive Mayor liaise with Pastor Kwant and his delegation to arrange a date for site visits and meetings.
- That the Executive Mayor liaise with the Western Cape Departments of Social Development and Cultural Affairs & Sport to lobby support for funding, programs and assistance to Huis Triomf
- That the Huis Triomf Ad-hoc Committee engages with the Department of Social Development and other relevant government departments to be part of the Ad-hoc Committee.
- That the Ad-hoc Committee investigate the possibility to extend the current Memorandum of Agreement with Schoemans Poort Cultural Centre with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports and the Western Cape Government.
Huis Triomf is the only Youth and Child Care Facility in the Klein Karoo and the vulnerability rate amongst children and youth has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic. Huis Triomf is the only facility that speaks to the drop-out rate of school children in the Klein Karoo as this is also a national crisis. Mr. Louis Booysen, Manager of Special Programmes and Project, said that the Huis Triomf Project can become an excellent transformation model in terms of community development.
Huis Triomf or El Roi Children’s Home as it is currently known is a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) and is dependent on funding from the department of social development (DSD) and the private sector. The Barn Church is the main contributor to the day to day running of the centre. The Barn Church is also connected to an international mission organization that is looking for a venue to host an annual three-month training programme and they identified Oudtshoorn (Cango Mountain Resorts or Bridgton Chalets) as the preferred place to roll out their programme. Booysen further states that this initiative will also create opportunities for our youth to do skills development programmes and have an economic spin-off as external investors have intentions to invest in the facility and establish a fully fledge skills development centre. The Skills Development Centre will find means and ways to roll out the skills development programmes to include youth in the Greater Oudtshoorn.