Providing individualized family care for the most vulnerable children of South Africa.
Every child deserves a family. We offer children, once orphaned and abandoned, a Forever Family Home. Since 1998, we have been providing love, dignity and individualized care as our team works to meet the complex needs of children who have suffered trauma and loss. We have seen the restoration of many children, as their needs are met in a non-institutional, family setting. While you will see some of their stories on our website, their names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Who we are
Acres of Love is a global movement of compassionate individuals, private and public foundation, churches, and corporations who have embraced an entrepreneurial approach to solving the orphan crisis in South Africa. Moving away from institutional model of orphan care, we work to enable and empower children to thrive, not just survive.
What we do
The mission of Acres of Love is to rescue and care for children abandoned or orphaned due to AIDS, abuse, and extreme poverty in South Africa.
We also advocate for the rights of orphans to obtain world class health-care, education, and nutrition. Our Forever Family Homes are recognized and licensed by the RSA Department of Social Services and Population Development as Child and Youth Centers Homes in South Africa.
Who we serve
We serve the most vulnerable population of children in South Africa. Many come to us on the brink of death, with substantial emergency medical needs that require immediate proactive intervention. A growing number of children are designated to us due to our ability to receive children with complex special needs and provide them with the highest possible care. At this time over 38% of our children have moderate to severe special needs. While many of our children will launch into self-sufficient adulthood, some will require a long-term family plan that reaches far into adulthood in order to provide dignity, care, and a chance to live a fulfilling life. Our solution to this growing need is our newly opened Special Needs Advancement Center (SNAC), located in the Cape Town region of South Africa. Click here to read more about our unique model of care for children and young adults with intense medical needs.
Our History: 20 years of bringing hope to children in need
In 1998, co-founders Gerda and Ryan Audagnotti were convicted to speak up for and defend the rights of orphans. Living in South Africa, their eyes were opened to the AIDS Orphan Crisis that existed right outside their door and they were inspired to transform their former family home into a place of hope for children abandoned by AIDS. Police and social workers began to drop children at their door; some found in corrugated iron outhouses, others discovered living with dogs or wandering alone in parks. Still more children were abandoned in hospitals, thrown at birth down long-drop toilets, or found beside their mothers’ dead bodies. Rejected or abused by extended family, these children were left hopeless and alone. Gerda and Ryan’s vision went beyond providing a bowl of food and a blanket; their mandate was to provide each child with a hope and a future, and everything they would want for their own children. A vision for “Forever Family Homes” became a reality as orphans became de-facto families in individual family homes, run by loving and committed full-time house parents and staff.
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” -Amy Carmichael