Community Involvement

LITTLE EDEN – a Haven more than a Home
LITTLE EDEN is home to 300 children and adults with profound intellectual disabilities. Today, this haven provides safety, security and 24-hour care to all its residents.
Where did it start? 
The ‘Home’ officially opened on 15 May 1967 to the first three little girls. Initially, it was simply a day care facility, operating in the Edenvale Methodist church hall. By the following year, LITTLE EDEN was taking care of 23 children with the help of a nursing sister as supervisor. 
LITTLE EDEN moved premises 13 times in nine years before a special, permanent building was erected in Edenvale. Today this is known as the Domitilla and Danny Hyams Home. In 1969, a small holding in Bapsfontein was bought. The 43-hectare grounds’ wattle trees were removed, the boreholes were sunk and hundreds of pecan nut and almond trees were planted. This was followed by dormitories, kitchen- and laundry facilities, as well as other fruit trees, mielies, and vegetables. 
This village was named after the mother of LITTLE EDEN’s founder: Elvira Rota Village, and today houses about 120 of LITTLE EDEN residents. The children who are able to, help out on the farm – this sense of responsibility does a great deal to give them a sense of self-worth, and they are rewarded for their work in the form of treats from the tuck shop once a week. 
The Elvira Rota Village houses an array of animals chosen for their friendly, calm and gentle nature (including sheep, pigs, bunnies, poultry, and happy-go-lucky farm dog named Sasha!). Interaction with animals (who accept us just as we are) helps lessen anxiety and builds self-confidence among children with disabilities.  
LITTLE EDEN has a second-hand shop that, together with government subsidies and donations, helps to provide an income for the Home. 
LITTLE EDEN caters for people with profound intellectual disability – those who are classified as uneducable – of all races and creeds. Priority is given to those who have been abandoned or abused, or who come from severely disadvantaged backgrounds. Once accepted into the LITTLE EDEN family, they remain there for life.
The residents of LITTLE EDEN come from a variety of backgrounds – prenatal alcohol- and drug abuse, family violence, accidents, genetic illnesses, etc. But at this Home, every staff member ensures that every resident is loved and cared for.
The oldest resident at LITTLE EDEN is 65 and the youngest is a mere four years old.  The average mental age of the residents is that of a one-year old, or younger. Some of the residents are HIV-positive and live with Aids. Others are terminally ill and dying. And when a resident passes away, their absence is mourned by staff and remaining residents – because at LITTLE EDEN, everyone is family. Thankfully, the majority of residents enjoy good health, despite their disabilities.
LITTLE EDEN is licensed by the Department of Health Gauteng Provincial Government to care for children older than three years. However, in special circumstances, permission may be granted to admit younger children. 
Each of the two Homes has different wings, where residents are grouped according to their abilities and age. Each wing, run by a house mother, boasts its own play area so that the group can function jointly as a family unit. Of the 300 residents with intellectual disability, 204 also have physical disabilities and 96 have dual diagnosis – meaning they have mental illness with their intellectual disabilities. 
At the Domitilla and Danny Hyams Home in Edenvale, most of the 180 residents require a certain level of frail care. Staff, (including medical, therapists, group leaders, assistants, house mothers and care givers) give of themselves to help each resident develop to his or her full potential. 
How can YOU help?
It goes far beyond the upkeep and maintenance of LITTLE EDEN facilities and infrastructure in order to provide the best possible care for the Homes’ residents. The biggest challenge that LITTLE EDEN faces is to remain sustainable. In order to help (and make a profound difference in someone else’s life), you can:
  • Adopt LITTLE EDEN as part of your company’s Corporate Social Investment Programme.
  • Commit to a monthly donation via the debit order process or website. Donations can also be made by electronic funds transfer, direct deposit, cheque or postal order. Once-off donations are also much appreciated!
  • Obtain your MySchoolMyVillageMyPlanet card today, and make LITTLE EDEN your beneficiary. The card can be obtained at LITTLE EDEN or by contacting 0860 100 445 or by visiting
  • Adopt an Angel. Sponsor a particular resident monthly and build a special bond with him/her (see the included ‘Adopt an Angel’ advert below for more information).
  • Include a bequest to LITTLE EDEN in your will.
  • Donate goods in kind.
  • Support LITTLE EDEN’s second-hand shop. 
  • Support their events throughout the year.
  • Buy LITTLE EDEN Christmas cards, stationery and home-grown pecan nuts (it really makes a difference!).
  • Tell your friends about LITTLE EDEN. 
  • Visit for a detailed wish list, or contact the office on +27 (0)11 609 7246. 


To make direct payments/EFTs into the LITTLE EDEN Society Bank Account:

Bank: First National 
Acc no. 5468 0928 009 
Branch: Karaglen
Branch code: 25-24-42 
Acc. type: Cheque 
Swift code: FIRNZAJJ
Beneficiary Reference: Please use your surname or donor number if you know it, and fax proof of payment to (011) 452-4560 so that LITTLE EDEN may thank you for your kindness and, where relevant, send your tax certificate.


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PDF icon Little Eden_Adopt an Angel.pdf1.51 MB