Nazareth House Johannesburg

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Nazareth House is a non-profit making charitable organisation, which has served the communities in Gauteng for over 100 years.

Nazareth House Johannesburg was established in 1896 with the objective to serve the homeless human casualties of the sprawling mining camp that was Johannesburg. Nazareth House Johannesburg aims to improve the lives of men, women and children who are not able to care for themselves and those living with the effects of HIV and Aids. The Sisters of Nazareth radiate the charisma and ethos of their foundress Victoire Larmenier and have opened their doors to the vulnerable and poor in caring for the sick, destitute and under privileged children and elderly with many other problems prevalent in a growing metropolis like Johannesburg.

Often referred to as The needle in the haystack, An Oasis in the desert or A refuge in the midst of chaos and confusion. That is exactly what Nazareth House Johannesburg is. Within the walls of this well-established campus, set in beautiful landscaped gardens, lies a place of safety for the weary and afflicted.

Under the watchful supervision of Olivea Louw, the House Manager and her dedicated team,
Nazareth House Johannesburg has the following ministries of care:

A total of 40 abandoned/orphaned HIV positive babies and children.
A total of 20 terminally ill patients in the Aids hospice.
A total of 135 financially burdened or destitute frail-aged.
A total of 20 destitute or abandoned mentally challenged women.
A total of 1300 people living with the effects of HIV and Aids and their families as well as the poor and destitute through an outreach programme through which they receive food, counseling and care.
A total of 1000 patients on Anti Retroviral Therapy and 500 on HIV care in the Out-patient clinic receive nutritional support in the form of soup and bread on their visits to the clinic as well as with food parcels.
Trainee nurses are offered practical experience.
Support group members who are part of the hospice receive support through skills training e.g. cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, beadwork and computer skills.
A 6 bed End of Life Unit for those in need of care in their time of passing.

The health, social and emotional impact of the services offered improves the quality of life of each individual cared for by the staff and Sisters of Nazareth. Nazareth House continues to adapt and change their focus to address the social needs of the community

Children's Home

The National and Provincial Social Welfare departments, the Children’s Court and the South African Police refer abandoned babies and children to Nazareth House. We currently have 40 babies and children in our care. We are entrusted with caring for their physical, emotional and spiritual needs - we provide 24 hour care, housing, nutritious food, clothing, education, specialised nursing and medication. Some children are only placed with us for short periods as a means of protection in emergency situations, while others are placed with us for the longer term because of their special circumstances.

Thanks to funding arranged by the South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference & PEPFAR and with the approval of the Health Department, all the eligible children started on an anti-retroviral drugs programme. This has been in place since 2004 and is having a huge impact on their well being and their ability to fight opportunistic infections.We are eternally grateful for this blessing and thank the funders for their generosity.

We strive to provide the children with as normal a life as possible. They attend the local nursery and primary schools, have fun playing in the gardens, riding bikes, going on outings. Every child at some stage longs to find their roots, who they really are and who they belong to. We owe it to them to do all we can to help them find the answers. We believe that children of all abilities should grow up in a nurturing home environment. Our priority is always, wherever possible, stabilise and reunite these children with their families, through Family Reunification, or to place them in loving foster care.

Care of the Elderly

Nazareth House is more than "home" to our residents, it is a place of peace and enjoyment, safety and hope.
Security, dignity, comfort and peace

For a frail elderly person without family or finances, life can be a terrifying ordeal. Add other various debilitating physical and mental diseases that affect the elderly, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and the options becomes even more limited. With Government subsidised homes for the aged stretched to the limit, care of these vulnerable elderly people falls onto the shoulders of organisations such as ours.

At least 60% of our elderly residents are dependent on various means of assistance, while residents in our frail care section are completely dependent on their caregivers. Although some of the residents contribute towards their care through their pensions, this does not entirely cover the cost of the services we provide. We provide for old men and women who can no longer care for themselves independently, or be maintained in their communities. The cost of medication, clothing, feeding and transport to and from hospitals is enormous. We feel that caring for the elderly is a privilege as each one has made a valuable contribution to society in his or her own way.


In co-operation with the Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa and PEPFAR, we provide a clinic for over 2000 patients from the local community, where ARV treatment is available for HIV/AIDS sufferers. We are also delighted to announce a new agrrement has just been signed with the Department of Health, Gauteng Province.

All of the Sisters and Staff involved in the ARVD programme have attended training courses regarding the administration of the medication, drug literacy and pre- and post-therapy counselling.

The patients are all given drug literacy training and will receive on-going counselling. But, more importantly, they have access to doctors and nurses who can treat the opportunistic infections they might also have, in a calm and loving environment.

St Basil’s Hospice

The hospice has transformed from a facility for terminally-ill patients to a comprehensive palliative care facility where patients receive 24 hour quality effective care, including psychosocial support and are equipped with income generating skills such as knitting. The number of discharges continuously increases as patients’ health improves, especially single mothers who need to provide and care their dependants. The number of children left orphaned or vulnerable therefore also decreases, with more children growing up as contributing adults within their community.

The Support Group

The successful treatment given at the Hospice and the Clinic has necessitated the formation of support groups to assist in the rehabilitation of patients. Sewing, cooking and beadwork workshops are held to establish life skills for the generation of income by the recovering patients.

Many young TB or HIV sufferers give up hope and stop taking the medication that is critical for their survival. The younger support group meet to encourage adherance to the medication plan and to receive professional assistance.

Always On Standby

We are so fortunate to have this amazing dedicated team from Pulsmed on 24hours standby at Nazareth House Johannesburg.

Outreach Programme

Our Outreach Programme is a commitment to love and to help those who are less privileged. One of our Religious Sisters (who is also a qualified Nursing Sister – Sr. Bridget) has for the past few years done work voluntarily on a daily basis at the Home Based Care Center in Johannesburg (Hillbrow). The area that Sr. Bridget serves is the informal settlements within the infrastructure of downtown Johannesburg, Hillbrow, Berea, Betrams, Yeoville etc. Some of the shelters that these people have made for themselves are in rat infested unused underground garages and warehouses and factories where there are absolutely no sanitation, water supply and electricity. Those that do live in apartments are squashed in due to overcrowding and have the same lack of or non functioning sanitation and electricity. The one building had water pouring down the stairs as Sr. Bridget made her way up to visit a mother with a new born baby.

Due to large insurgence of refugees from all parts of South Africa and Africa in search of work and better living, there is a huge lack of sufficient medical care and social services. At present Sr. Bridget visits, counsels, monitors hygiene and health, assesses medical and nutritional needs and gives spiritual comfort when requested. She assists these patients in complying to their health programme, in their hygiene and with their medication. She hands out to the destitute families any surplus food, clothing and blankets. She gives transport to patients going to clinics, hospitals and Social Welfare. We assess and source the needs of the destitute like crutches, wheelchairs, first aid medication and equipment, toiletries, nappies and vitamins.

Nazareth House wishes to be an active part in building a bridge for the poverty-stricken, ill, local community to uplift themselves through good health care and assistance in all areas by offering the already running programmes and to long-term sustainable strategies such as skills development which will empower them to acquire decent employment and better their living standards.

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