Growing up in Wellington, Sunfield Homes has always had a special place in my heart. One of my earliest documentary projects in college was about Sunfield homes, and now, 15 years later I walked back into this amazing community, recognizing some faces and feeling nostalgic.
I contacted Elmarie who referred me to Daisy and offered my services to photograph the staff that work there. Daisy suggested that the residents may also enjoy being photographed so with much delight, I arrived one Saturday morning to a buzzing courtyard of ladies in dresses and gents standing in line to get their beards trimmed.
Sunfield Homes in Wellington is a center for intellectually disabled adults. Their residents are individuals who are unable to function without guidance or protection. The reasons for their diminishing intellectual ability differs from one individual to the next as a result of injuries sustained at birth, motor vehicle accidents, illness, environmental deficiencies, congenital or genetics such as Down Syndrome, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome or oxygen deprivation at birth.
The need for a safe haven for intellectually disabled adults was recognised and the doors of Sunfield homes was officially opened in January 1991, with seven residents. The facility has grown significantly providing a loving, nurturing environment for 96 residents as well as 10 day-care individuals, ranging from 18 years of age to 70 plus.
Residents are encouraged to develop as much independence as their individual capabilities allow and to participate in as much as possible in normal everyday activities. Most residents attend a workshop during the day or participate in either paid or voluntary work.
As there are different levels of intellectual disabilities and capabilities among the residents, the accommodation types vary and range; some stay in their own flat while individuals requiring constant care will reside in Huis Liebenberg where dedicated staff will look after them 24/7.
Such beautiful people with so much love to give, I was honoured to be able to capture these amazing individuals. I walked away again realising how much I love what I do and appreciating moments like these.
Do get involved or for more information contact:
Elmarie van Schalkwyk - 021 873 5038 | 087 231 7260
Of visit their website: www.sunfieldhome.co.za