A Tribute to Monika

“Homes to Grow” has been running for eleven years!  We look back at all the trials and tribulations and are thankful for overcoming many hurdles.  The journey has not been easy – and challenges will always present,  but it is all the more worthwhile seeing how the children respond and grow with our nurturing support.  Each trustee plays a crucial role, but we especially pay tribute to Monika for her tireless efforts.

Celebrating her 80th birthday, we’ve found a selection of photos from past files, showing her hands-on approach – her love of the children, and her continuous support and encouragement.  Those who know Monika well, will often note how much she can pack into a day, and that she keeps going well past midnight on this or that project.  Always on call for getting the children to various extra-curricular school functions or to appointments for checking the status of their health; waiting interminably at doctors consultancy rooms or hospitals.   Arranging fundraising drives, taking the children on educational or fun outings…. besides the many tasks she undertook whilst holding the “Chair” for so many years.


This nurturing instinct also extends to growing plants…. those green fingers of hers can coax anything to grow!  She encourages the mothers to grow vegetables and the children all chip in to help. It’s also a pleasure visiting her at her apartment, walking through a courtyard filled with greenery: flowering orchids, wonderful succulents and hanging baskets.

During this time of pandemic and social-distancing, instead of inviting her friends and colleagues to celebrate an 80th Birthday Bash on August 30th, she is donating R3000 to the trust.  For those who would like to mark the occasion, she requests that in lieu of gifts we may also consider making a donation.   Also as previously posted there is an option of purchasing copies of  Suzette Duby’s watercolour scenes from past calendars.   As spring comes blazing in with swathes of colourful wild flowers, this is fittingly captured in one of the scenes.

Monika, you rock!   On this special occasion we wish you joy and contentment and many more fulfilling years ahead.


Marking a Milestone

Dear Friends,

As time draws closer to the occasion of my 80th birthday at the end of August, I’ve been reflecting on the many blessings which have enriched my life.   I’ve been so fortunate that from a young age, I became involved in the care of children. As a young teenager I started out babysitting toddlers in my neighbourhood which led to choosing a profession in physiotherapy which would enable me to work with children.

Many years later when I followed my husband to South Africa and settled on these beautiful Cape shores, I cast around for volunteer work and here my commitment to helping underprivileged children began at the Masiphumelele Township crèche.  After five years of working there, fate intervened with greater plans!  Together with 6 like-minded friends, the St Francis Outreach Trust was established.  We started on ‘a wing and a prayer’ and through the strength and support of many donors – local and overseas – we opened the doors to our first home in 2010.  A second home soon followed and since then we have provided care for 12 abandoned, abused or HIV affected children under the loving guidance of two foster mothers. Our passion to improve their lives and attain better education continues to drive our fundraising goals. 

In these uncertain times of Covid-19 it has become tougher, but by the grace of God, we hope to be able to continue with the support of our donors.

By way of my birthday celebrations, we’re offering copies of the beautiful watercolour scenes painted by artist Suzette Duby from past calendars –

which may be purchased as e-copies in A4 size for R250 each.

We would like to continue offering further scenes through the year depending on popularity.

Banking details as follows:

Standard Bank: Branch Code 036009;  Account Number 271907185;  Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ

Please provide your name and email information and reference your name on the funds transfer so that we can send you a high resolution copy for print.  South Africans can request a tax certificate against donations.

With best wishes,


M.d Sautoy email address:  peteandme@mweb.co.za