Caring for Canaan

“Every child with a disability should be treated with love, respect and dignity and be given the best life that one can give them. Treat disabled children as you would everyone else and remember that just because they cannot speak does not mean that they cannot hear you.”

Words such as these from Canaan Care Centre Fundraiser and Marketing Liaison, Leigh Tebbut,  summarises the sentiment of a Team that are dedicated to and passionate about their work at the Centre.

The Centre has a special place in the hearts of the Fit for Logan participants as it is where Logan Bartle is enrolled in its day care program.

“Logan Bartle is one of our special little boys at Canaan and always has the biggest smile when you walk into his classroom,” says Tebbutt.

Bartle is a young boy with cerebral palsy who continues to benefit from the Centre’s therapy sessions and whose name is behind the campaign.

The majority of us have heard the name Canaan Care Centre but might be unaware of the vital role they play in our society.

Read on to discover just a fraction of what they do.

Aspiring to send their children to a special-needs school, a group of parents established Foden Centre within a small Southernwood house in 2006. Foden Centre would later be renamed Canaan Care Centre.

Centre Manager, Eleanor Saayman and Centre Administrator Leona Oates oversee the running of the home which is now based in Gleneagles Road, Bunkers Hill and consists of two large houses, one of which is used as a therapy centre and the other as its Home from Home residence, from where specialised care, therapy and accommodation are provided for 67 children.

The children in their care are either severely physically or profoundly learning disabled or both and are predominantly in need of 24 hour care as many are non-verbal, unable to walk and are in nappies.  A number of the children are tube-fed through their stomachs and these feeds can take up to 30 minutes at a time.

The Therapy Centre provides specialized care and offers a carefully planned daily routine specific to the children’s individual needs which include the use of a speech therapist, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and other medical specialists.

The centre has two eye-coordinated computers and the therapists run a basic alternative learning program for those learners who are responsive to this form of teaching.

Though Canaan Care Centre offers these fundamentals for the children, it also offers counselling and guidance to parents and is a place of safety for abandoned children.

The Home from Home residence has a palliative care facility and is home to 11 young adults who are part of the assisted living program. It is the hope of the Centre to rent a house as soon as possible to establish a permanent home base which would include a stimulating environment for the day-to-day care of them.

The non-profit organisation is of great benefit to the East London community yet would be unable to offer all that it does without the public’s support as it has limited funding.

“The cost of the care per child is way too high for the average parent, so therefore we fundraise in order to cover the extra costs. We rely on fundraising, community, organisations and businesses to assist us to make up for monthly shortfalls,” says Tebbutt.

Stirling High School recently arranged a Food Drive for the Centre, and you too can assist them in your private or corporate capacity.

This list is just some of the regular assistance that Canaan Care Centre would welcome:

  • Food
  • Toiletries
  • Clothing
  • Cleaning Products
  • Educational Toys
  • Educational Products
  • Financial assistance including the sponsorship of school fees for the children currently at the place of safety

Another pressing need is a pool fence at their Home from Home where they also have an on-going project that encourages private individuals or corporates to adopt and decorate a room.

If you would like to be a part of the Canaan story and make a difference to the life of a child, you can contact Leigh Tebbut on 083 778 7148 or e-mail her at

Caron Troskie, Cheryl Larsen, Tubs Lingham and Wendy Kretschmann have taken up the Challenge to raise funds for Logan and to create awareness about Cerebral Palsy. If you would like to sponsor them per kg lost, click on the link below. All funds raised go towards Logan Bartle’s needs.

– The GO! & Express is the official print media sponsor of the Fit for Logan Challenge.


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