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 Children’s Village on which you will find our Baby Home, Permanent Residential Cluster Homes, Early Childhood Development Pre-School and the Children of Promise Independent Primary School.

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 our care-givers in Early Childhood Development (ECD). Embarking on an ECD programme which catered for ages 18-36 months signaled the start of our Education branch and has led to the development of many of our staff and the growth of our Education program to the Primary School level. To date we have facilitated the education and training of our teachers and staff leaders through bursaries and short courses. As The Almond Tree has grown, so our staff have had the opportunity to grow and develop their skills.

TAT Care and Protection
Children's Village

RESCUED

REUNITED

ADOPTED

FOSTERED

TAT

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 is to provide a loving home for vulnerable children who need to be rescued from unpleasant and often life-threatening circumstances. We exist to accomplish God’s word to “raise up the foundations of many generations” (Isaiah 58:12), and to be known as a people who together with Jesus Christ rebuild their brokenness and to restore them to wholeness and life.

The Almond Tree is all about the Care and Protection of vulnerable children. We achieve this by placing children into a loving family home, with no more than five siblings and a permanent care mother. Here they receive unconditional love, spiritual discipleship, care, and nurture, meeting all of their physical and emotional needs. The Almond Tree staff are trauma informed and continually strive to understand the complexities around trauma and the effects it has on children and people. Our children are dealt with in a loving and sensitive manner with all consideration of their traumatic history.

We believe that children are the future of our nation and how they are raised influences who they will become. We want our children to grow up to be a generation that will be influential change-makers who will make an impact in South African and  across the world. By equipping our children with essential moral values, life skills and most importantly a sense of belonging and identity, they will live lives of significance and lasting impact. 

 “Our Vision is a Loving Home for Every Child” – CEO Charmaine McQueen 

 

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

Mesuli Tshele

Mesuli Tshele

Chairman

Dominic Lebo Mabeba

Dominic Lebo Mabeba

Vice Chairman

Jeanette Stuart

Jeanette Stuart

Treasurer

Kent McQueen

Kent McQueen

Co-Founder

Mazvita Muchengeti

Mazvita Muchengeti

Board Member 

Claudius Bezuidenhout

Claudius Bezuidenhout

Board Member 

STAFF

Charmaine McQueen

Charmaine McQueen

CEO and Founder

Angela McQueen

Angela McQueen

Principal – Head of Education

Zina Rotherham

Zina Rotherham

Development Manager

Hannelie Pieterse

Hannelie Pieterse

Finance Administrator

Tessa Grunouw

Tessa Grunouw

Operations Administrator

Zandile Vilakazi

Zandile Vilakazi

Social Work Supervisor

Tracey Ncube

Tracey Ncube

Baby Home Manager 

Tiny Ralepelle

Tiny Ralepelle

Cluster Homes Manager

Nadine Green

Nadine Green

Activities Coordinator

Lonzelle Du Plessis

Lonzelle Du Plessis

Centre Manager Delmas

Simphiwe Mthombeni

Simphiwe Mthombeni

Social Worker