It’s been 80 years’ since Cotlands founder Matron Dorothy Reece took an abandoned baby into her home and poured her unconditional love into its care. She officially opened Cotlands in 1936, and by 1942 had cared for more than 600 little ones.
Matron Reece passed away in 1967, but her selfless devotion remains the inspiration for Cotlands.
There have been many moments which have made the life of our organisation special. Stand-out memories include times when our supporters came forward and provided the funding we needed to keep open our doors and expand key programmes.
The Sunday Times, Southern Courier, Radio 702 and 94.7 are just some of our media friends who have helped raise funds and drum up volunteers. South African actress Shashi Naidoo joined Cotlands as our brand ambassador in 2012, and athletes have taken up our banner, with 40 riders taking part in the Momentum 94.7 cycle challenge in 2013.
Throughout the years, we’ve never lost our ability to move with the times. In the 1990s, Cotlands started feeling the impact of HIV/AIDS and opened the Aids Hospice. We later joined forces with other parties to obtain a court ruling to compel government to provide treatment to pregnant women to reduce HIV/Aids being transmitted to the child. We also implemented antiretroviral treatment for children and launched HIV/Aids counselling.
By December 2012, we’d experienced such a drastic reduction in Aids-related deaths that our Aids Hospice was transformed into the Cotlands Child Care unit. This achievement is something to celebrate, as it impacted on many young lives.
We hope now to have the same influence on early childhood development. We opened our first toy library in Hlabisa in 2010, and provide children with an array of quality services including early learning playgroups, health and psychosocial services.
We believe Cotlands has played a pivotal role in South Africa. Thank you for helping us to remain relevant, and providing for little ones deprived of care.