St John's Care is dedicated to the education and enrichment of the lives of the children in our care

Meet our dedicated Management Team and Caregivers at St John's Care in Barberton, Mpumalanga

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Rina Mienie

Centre Manager


St. John’s Care centre was established in April 1998 and since its inception the Social Workers from the Department of Health, especially those from Barberton- and Rob Ferreira Hospitals, had a longstanding trustworthy and mutually respected relationship with the sisters of the centre.


It is difficult to find the correct words to describe the significant value of the centre to the Social Workers at the mentioned Hospitals. The existence of the centre enable the Social Workers to render an optimal service to those children who are in need of care to live within an environment where they are accepted, loved and are allowed to lead dignified lives regardless of their physical condition, color or race.


The Sister’s unconditional love, commitment and care not only provide for safe and secure circumstances but also allow them to develop to their full potential and attend schools in the local area.


The centre is accepted and is respected as an integral part of the community which allow for activities to enhance their social and interaction skills.


Financial assistance strengthens goal achievement. Registration as a Non Profit Organization allows for safe and secure financial assistance by donors and benefactors.



The above is a message I wrote as a Social Worker employed with the Department of Health. Throughout the years I worked closely with the School Sisters of St Francis in an advisory -, voluntary capacity and as a board member.


On the 1st of May 2017, I realized a dream and my professional life came full circle. Here it was 19 Years later and I was appointed as the manager of St. John’s Care Centre.


I am proud to be associated with this worthy cause. The Centre strives to render residential care with the focus on integrity, privacy, respect, belonging and individualization. The St John’s Care Centre is currently registered with the following regulatory bodies:

  • Child Youth and Care Centre according to the Children’s Act, Act 38 of 2005
  • Department of Social Development; Non - Governmental Organization and Non- Profit Organization.


We are grateful for the continuous financial assistance by donors and benefactors and annual audits are done for financial accountability.


Thank you for all the support in the past as well as the future!!!

God Bless


Rina Mienie

Centre Manager


A balance between sport and education

A well rounded education


The importance of play

The importance of play


Social Interaction


Hands on education


Formal Education



Sandy Dacombe Ferrar



In 1998 the School Sisters of St Francis at St. John’s Mission in Barberton created a safe-haven for people dying of HIV/AIDS. In those days the stigma attached to the infection meant that many sufferers were unable to go home to die; this was particularly hard on mothers with small babies. Armed with nothing but an overwhelming determination to provide nurture and compassion to those in direst need, these teacher-Sisters rapidly became skilled in caring for and counselling the dying. The palliative care provided by the Sisters was exemplary, and thanks to this, there was the completely unexpected survival of many of the children.


During my six years at St John’s Care Centre as a part-time volunteer teacher (2009-2015), I witnessed first-hand the extensive care and concern of the Sisters and their staff for each of these little people. The children’s health, well-being and education depended entirely upon a handful of dedicated women and the generosity of various benefactors. The original survivors, now edging into adulthood, are being reintegrated into local society.


Today, thanks to anti-retroviral treatment, there is far less need for palliative care, and in 2016 it was estimated that roughly 7 million people in South Africa are living with HIV. Nevertheless, there are 2.3 million children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, despite our country having the biggest HIV treatment programme in the world. In and around Barberton there are still many children in need of a safe haven where the myriad possible side-effects of the infection are treated and the vulnerable child cared for with tenderness and attention to detail. The Sisters’ good work continues, and though supported by the government to a certain extent, St John’s Care Centre deserves the support of every member of our society in whatever way is possible for each of us.


Sandy Dacombe Ferrar



Alzbetka Koželová

Teacher at Gymnázium sv Františka z Assisi


Sethu, Nonsi, Pretty, Jethro, Surprise, Nkosi, Mzwandile, Victor... So many names, first difficult to remember, now difficult to forget. I was privileged to spend two of my summers (their winters) with them. To be with them when they were studying, working, relaxing, playing and very often just sitting together having snack and discussing joys and sorrows of our everyday lives.


I learnt a lot while I was at St. John's about South Africa, its history and people living there. I saw children who had suffered a lot but still had hopes and dreams for future. I met Sisters, teachers, caregivers and many others who dedicated their time and energy to those who cannot give them anything in return. I was a part of their big family for a short time and I shared my days with them. They taught me to be happy with what I have, to have hope in spite of all odds and to give without waiting for reward. But how rewarded I was!

Thank you.


Alzbetka Koželová

Teacher at Gymnázium sv Františka z Assisi


Pretty Shongwe

Resident at SJCC from 1999 - 2013



My name is Pretty Shongwe and St. John's Care Center has been my home for as long as I can remember. I am 18 years old and I am living with HIV. If it was not for the loving and caring Sisters and caregivers at the mission I would not be alive today. After I was rescued from being abandoned in a field in Nelspruit and taken to the hospital, I was soon put in their care. They have stuck by my side even when the odds of living were against me. Their strong faith in God and in His provision has seen me through many obstacles in my life.


I am very fortunate to be able to say that I am currently living in the United States of America. I moved here at the end of May in 2013. It has been four wild, but wonderful years. I was given a chance to become part of a great family who has provided me with a nurturing high school education and much more. When I graduate in June of 2017 I am planning on attending college and majoring in education. I was taught that knowledge is one of the most valuable things anyone can possess, and I want to share that love with the next generation.


Because of St. John’s Care Center I learned that strangers can become friends, and friends can become family, and in the end everyone is part of the God’s huge family. I learned to make every moment count because it might be my last. Just like there is always a rainbow after a storm, there is always a hello after a goodbye. HIV has not crippled my life, in fact, it has given me opportunities I could never dream of. My life has never been easy and I know it never will be, but I trust that God has a wonderful plan in motion for me. I will forever be grateful for the firm foundation that was set in me by my family in Barberton, South Africa.


Pretty Shongwe

Resident at SJCC from 1999 - 2013


St John's Care Tesimonials



St John’s Mission

R40 Nelspruit/Barberton Road


PO Box 1321


South Africa





Rina Mienie

Cell +27 (82) 962 0176



Sr Anece Salay

Cell : +27 (82) 092 6444




Caring for children with aids - treatment and hospice in Barberton, Mpumalanga at St Johns Care Centre

Donations to our cause

would be most appreciated


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