About Us

How it all began
The Almond Tree started in the home of Charmaine and Kent McQueen in February 2014. After many years of being exposed to children-at-risk in South Africa and seeing the adverse effects of HIV/AIDS, poverty and substance abuse on children in South Africa, Charmaine and Kent decided, by the leading of the Lord, to start The Almond Tree in their home.
Learn MoreMeet the team
The Almond Tree began as a temporary place of safe care for vulnerable babies from the ages of new born until 18 months, providing an environment where each baby is valued as a member of the family. Their first baby arrived in June 2014.

The Almond Tree has grown significantly since its inception and now encompasses a Baby Home in Benoni, a Baby Home in Delmas, a Children’s Village and an Early Childhood Development Pre-School in Cloverdene, Benoni.

With the advancement of The Almond Tree from a Place of Safety into a Child & Youth Care Centre, the need arose to provide training to the care-givers in Early Childhood Development (ECD). An ECD programme was formulated to cater for ages 18-36 months alongside a personal development plan for each care-giver to be up-skilled in Early Childhood Development.

The Benoni baby home ECD programme runs for 5 days of the week focusing on stimulation and learning, with the purpose of building strong educational foundations to give each child the best start to their schooling career.

The ECD programme which started at the Benoni baby home has opened the way to the establishment of an ECD Centre at the The Almond Tree Village in Cloverdene.

The development of The Almond Tree Children’s Village resulted from the need to provide residential care for sibling vulnerable children of various ages.

RESCUED

REUNITED

ADOPTED

FOSTERED

Our mission, our purpose, our passion

To place vulnerable children into a family environment where they receive unconditional love, spiritual discipleship, care and nurture, ensuring that all their physical, emotional and mental needs are met.
The Vision and Mission of The Almond Tree
The vision of The Almond Tree can be best described in the picture of a fishing net.

A fishing net is made from fibers which are woven together in a grid-like structure. A fishing net is a mesh formed by knotting together pieces of a relatively thin thread. In our vision, the net represents the network of people that need to be tied to one another to create a catchment space large enough for fish to be caught in. The fish represent all the vulnerable children. A net grows in size as more thread is knotted together. In the same way as many different people choose to link arms with The Almond Tree, our net grows bigger and enables us to can catch more vulnerable children.

“The Almond Tree’s dream is to catch as many vulnerable children that it can.” – Founder, Charmaine McQueen

The Almond Tree exists to “raise up the foundations of many generations.” (Isaiah 58:12) The Almond Tree is known as a collective of people who together with Jesus Christ desire to rebuild that which has been broken in people’s lives and to restore that which has been damaged. “And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” (Isaiah 58:12)

Children are the future of our nation, and how they are raised will influence who they become.

We want children to grow up to be a generation that will be influential and will effect change within South Africa and across the world. If the children in our care, are equipped with essential moral values and life skills and most importantly a sense of belonging and identity they will live lives of significance and lasting impact.

The Almond Tree Philosophy
The Almond Tree is a ministry of Covenant Life Church (CLC) Gauteng Benoni South Africa. CLC provides the spiritual foundation and is responsible for the health and well being of all people involved in TAT. Ministries like TAT are the mandate of the church as the Bible defines taking care of widows and orphans as true religion. (James1:27)

CLC believes that the church is The Answer to the vulnerable children crisis in South Africa and Africa. CLC believes Ephesians 3:10 that says, “through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

“The church is indeed the hope of the world because it is the conduit upon which Christ touches the nations. Melvin Mapetla of Watoto Children’s Villages says: “We as Watoto would never be able to do what we do without the Church, we would otherwise just be another organization.”

The Almond Tree model encompasses the construction of a children’s village, which provides a homely environment, where children are housed, clothed, fed, educated and spiritually discipled, with the intention to train and equip them as future leaders. Our goal is to provide holistic, residential care for every child so that each one will become a responsible Christian and a productive citizen of South Africa and Africa.

The village will be a haven of security and a place for our children to grow into mature Christian adults who will take their place in society. It will also be a haven for vulnerable families that might find support, skills, help and care to empower them to take care of their children and families.

Meet the team

BOARD OF GOVENORS

Charmaine McQueen

Charmaine McQueen

Founder and CEO

 

Jonathan Trollope

Jonathan Trollope

Chairman of the Board

Jeanette Stuart

Jeanette Stuart

Treasurer

Daniel Barnard

Daniel Barnard

Vice Chairman

Kent McQueen

Kent McQueen

Financial

Joanne Stroebel

Joanne Stroebel

House Manager

Tracey Ncube

Tracey Ncube

House Mother

Hannelie Pieterse

Hannelie Pieterse

Administrator

Angela McQueen

Angela McQueen

Principal – Head of Education

Zandile

Zandile

Social Worker

Zina Rotherham

Zina Rotherham

Development Manager