Victory Kids bring hope to special needs’ children in Port Elizabeth

Victorious team: (Top left) Wendy Mzayidume, Emse du Plessis, Zeidie-Lee Muller, Terri Niekerk and Gloria du Toit. (Bottom left) Alizma van Molendorff, Heather Weitz, Whitney Petersen and centre volunteer, Vuyo.  (PHOTO: Sarina Engelbrech, That Media Place)

Victory Kids — a Christ-focused early intervention centre for children with special social and educational needs — will host their annual potjiekos competition on Saturday, July 19, 2014. The fun, fundraising event starts at 13h00 in Outspan Shellhole, Kragga Kamma, Port Elizabeth.

This year the school hopes to raise enough to upgrade their playground and sandpit area. According to Zeidie-Lee Muller, centre manager, the needs of the school are focused on the children who attend. “The playground area is not just a source of fun but also one in which they grasp fine and gross motor concepts. Where coordination is developed and a greater sense of socialization and interaction with their peers becomes a reality,” she shared.

Esme with her son Liam (PHOTO: Sarina Engelbrech, That Media Place)

The centre is in need of upgrading their current play area to include balance beams, a tyre obstacle course and to purchase other gross motor apparatus for their young warriors to play on. They would like to place a shade cloth over the sandpit protecting the children from harsh elements and to change the sand.

The centre, run by Muller and Esme du Plessis, is powered by a team of six fun, passionate, teachers who come from psychology and teaching backgrounds. It is clear that this team of women have hearts for God and are passionate for the work they do. Their interaction with the children is conveyed by the results seen in each child’s life. Their vision that each child is a unique individual, with a future that God intended to be full of possibilities, is one that speaks from their hearts.

Victory Kids provide an intensive programme to prepare young children, aged 2 to 7, for entering into a mainstream or special educational environment. Classes are kept small and the children receive intensive one-on-one training allowing them the best chance to reach their potential and attend a main stream or special educational facility.

Victory Kids was established in 2005 by Janine Thetard after moving to Port Elizabeth with her son Joshua, who had severe epilepsy and was diagnosed with autism. Thetard realized that there was no facility to offer her son the Applied Behaviour Analysis Therapy he had been receiving, which prompted her to develop and implement a similar programme. Whilst training facilitators to work with Joshua, an interest grew from other parents and teachers who were unsure how to help the children in their care. She was blessed with the Sunday School building of her church and, from a service offered to two children, it has grown to a centre that influences the lives of many families.

Zeidi-Lee Naidoo, Centre Manager, with Esme du Plessis, Centre Coordinator (PHOTO: Sarina Englebrecht, That Media Place

Sadly, in October of 2010, Joshua passed away at the age of 12. He was a true warrior and the schools motto “For our young warriors who do battle daily- may you overcome” rings true in the perseverance and dedication of the work done by Thetard and the staff at Victory Kids, as they continue to provide an excellent educational opportunity for all children and their families by making the programme as affordable and sustainable as possible.

The centre not only offers an early intervention programme but also supports the families as they deal with their child’s developmental and educational differences and the impact this has on their family.

To find out how you can assist please contact Zeidie-Lee Muller at zeidie@victorykids.co.za

2 Comments

  1. Good day

    I read that Victory Kids bring hope to special needs’ children in Port. I have a 6 year old son with Down syndrome. She is attending at Kideo Kids. He is able to speak, go to the loo on his own he can draw. He is intellectual, I would like to place him at your school if there is a place. I would like to here from you.

    Thank you

    Nozuko Mayedws

  2. Have a niece who is 6 yrs old she doesn’t speak talk or walk. We need a special place for her as we don’t find someone who can look after her when we are at work. If you don’t cater for can you suggest a suitable place.