Impilo [Zulu] – to give life

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”  Nelson Mandela (8 May 1995)


It’s an ongoing struggle to meet our financial commitments.
Please support us in our mission to protect and care for orphaned, vulnerable and abandoned children.

Our vision is to provide a stable environment in which our children can shine.

Impilo, a designated child protection organisation with adoption accreditation for national and intercountry adoptions, places children in temporary safe care while carrying out intensive social work and child protection services so that children can be placed in a permanent family environment as early as possible after removal. At any given time, we provide services in the Gauteng region to about 150 children who are orphaned, vulnerable or abandoned. Typically, 13% to 19% of children cared for in a year will be refugees or asylum-seekers. We provide services to children up to 18 years old; however, 90% of the children we serve are under 6 years of age.

Impilo is registered as a Non-Profit Organisation (055-213-NPO), Non Profit Company (NPC- 2003/012123/08) and Public Benefit Organisation
(PBO – 930005449).

About Us

Services are provided from our head office in Fairvale, Johannesburg, which houses the administrative staff and our Mpepu project, which facilitates our temporary safe care work that caters for 6 children. It has a beautiful garden and safe play area. We have satellite offices in Johannesburg, Sedibeng and Ekurhuleni. In addition to Mpepu, we partner with temporary safe care facilities around Gauteng.

We believe children should be raised in a family environment in which they can thrive. We strive to avoid removal where appropriate, and return children to their family as quickly as possible after removal or find an alternative family, ie adoption. The family of origin is always the first option for a child’s placement, and alternative placement is considered and pursued only if this is not viable. 95% of our children are placed in a family environment within 2 years, and because of careful screening and monitoring, 98% of these placements are successful.


Vision & Mission

To provide pre-statutory and statutory child protection and adoption services, and to build capacity in order to ensure that at-risk children in South Africa live in a safe, permanent home within a family they call their own.

To care for and protect orphaned, vulnerable and abandoned children by providing professional services, guided by the underlying principle that the child’s best interests be served. We aim to strengthen, protect, preserve and build families in order to achieve our objective of providing children in our care with families. We aim to provide early-intervention services to both parents and vulnerable children, and strive to empower mothers to care for their children within their families and communities.


The History of Impilo

The concept of Impilo was born in 2000 when two adoption social workers, one of whom was Sue Krawitz, the current Director, with many years of experience in the field of adoption, began to see an increase in the number of abandoned children and children affected by HIV/Aids in South Africa. 

Children were placed in care for extended periods, with many becoming lost in the system. The social workers wanted to establish a home-based environment for a small number of children, and to offer intensive social work services so that children could be placed in a permanent family environment as early as possible.

In 2003, Impilo Place of Safety opened its doors to the first child. 

Organisational Objectives

  1. To act as early and as quickly as possible to deliver child protection interventions to parents and children who are orphaned, vulnerable and/or abandoned

2. To empower parents to care for their children within their families and communities

3. To find suitable alternative families for children who cannot be cared for in their families of origin

4. To engage with communities to build capacity regarding child protection and adoption.

The Impilo Board

Alex Maditse

Alex Maditse


Alex Maditse has been chairperson of the Impilo Board since 2019. He also serves as a non-executive director on the boards of a number of JSE-listed companies.

Fiona McLachlan

Lauren Fitchet-Hall

Lyn Bunce


Refilwe Pico

Arlene Kaftel
Community worker

Brad Carmichael

Jacqui Michael




The Follet Trust


Bryanston Methodist Church


McCain Foods


Nashua Children’s Charity Foundation


Absa Model

Kaftel family

Motto Amfluss (Austria)

The Children We Help

My name is Thabiso

When I was 5 months old my mother left me on the side of a river to die. Someone heard me cry and called the police. The police found my mother, who was 16 years old, and arrested her for attempted murder. My granny is 38 years old and has many children who do not live with her, because she has a drinking problem. I am not able to go back and live with my granny. When the police found me, I was very thin and sick. Today I am 15 months old. I am very cute, and I love dancing and hugs.
I hope to find a family soon.

My name is Portia

My mother was 20 years old when she fell pregnant with me. She was so scared to tell anyone about me. She decided when she was 7 months pregnant to try having an abortion, which caused me to be born early. Because of this, I had to spend 1 month in the ICU at the hospital in an incubator. I was not able to crawl. I have had to work very hard at occupational therapy and physiotherapy, so I can learn to walk and talk. Today I am
2-and-a-half years old. I can run and jump. I am still learning to speak and I am waiting for a family to adopt me.

My name is Tebogo

On a freezing-cold winter’s night, my mother gave birth to me. She placed me inside a bathroom stall, completely naked. Luckily someone heard my cries and called the ambulance, which rushed to find me and take me to the hospital. My umbilical cord was still attached and I was blue from the cold. The doctors said I was very lucky, as I was 30 minutes away from dying. Today I am 3 years old. I was reunited with my mother after she came forward, and got the counselling and help she needed through Impilo. I am so lucky to be able to grow up surrounded by my family.

A Word

From our Director

“South Africa is afflicted by a scourge of abandonment, with figures estimated conservatively at around 3 500 children per annum. It’s a privilege to be part of a community – which consists of a dedicated board and staff complement, and committed volunteers, donors and partners – that makes a positive contribution to the lives of orphaned, vulnerable and abandoned children. It’s enriching to work with both birth mothers who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, and prospective adopters and adoptees, ensuring they are supported through every stage of the process. Ensuring that children are placed in permanent loving families, which provides them with the opportunity to shine, and advocating for the rights of the child to have a permanent family, are responsibilities we embrace.”


Years Established

Adoptions to date


Cared for monthly