News Release

Safe Haven for Abused Children in Johannesburg

“The Teddy Bear Clinic” assists abused children by accompanying them step by step on their journey to healing.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints established a relationship with the staff of “The Teddy Bear Clinic” in 2014, as they worked together with Humanitarian service missionaries, Elder and Sister Kirschbaum, to assess needs they could help with. A project was completed that provided new carpeting for the facility. Recently, members of the Africa Southeast Area Public Affairs team visited one of their clinics in Parktown (there are 4 other centres around the Johannesburg area).

During a tour of the facility, the team received information about programs and counselling that is provided to families who have been affected by abuse, as well as for children who have sexually offended other children (known as the Diversion Program). Various programs and types of therapy are provided for children up to the age of 18 years of age. One specific program offered is known as “Shaken and Abused Baby Initiative” (SABI), where counsellors work with parents to give them help in caring for the needs of their young infants in a positive and loving way.

As the group walked down the main hallway, Dalene Bishop, advised “This hallway is known as our Journey to Healing”. She explained that each child who enters the clinic is given a teddy bear as a ‘traveling companion’. There are numerous teddy bears throughout the facility, which provides a loving, caring atmosphere for these children.

Established in the late 1980’s “The Teddy Bear Clinic” has assisted over 4,000 children through their Diversion Program.

For more information regarding the LDS Church's message on the subject of abuse, click here.

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