IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RESCUE A CHILD
If these children are equipped with essential moral values and life skills, they will grow up to be a generation that will influence positive change within South Africa, Africa and the world.
The story of LIV started in 1997 when a vision was birthed in the heart of Tich Smith, to build a village for orphan and vulnerable children where they will have a home with a mother who loves them, food to eat, a school to educate them and where they will come to know God as their Father in heaven. Tich also dreamed of creating jobs for individuals in surrounding communities so that they can earn an income and look after their families.
Tich, along with his wife Joan, has relentlessly been pursuing this dream and 20+ years later, after much groundwork done and building relationships in local communities, LIV is an established organisation looking after the most vulnerable of our society – orphan children.
With the building of the first village in 2011, the vision became reality and the model proves to be sustainable as long as government, churches and corporates work together.
Today, LIV has a national footprint with operational villages in Durban and Gauteng as well as LIV Thokomala – a project initiated by Unilever and taken over by LIV at the beginning of 2018.
LIV Thokomala consists of homes in rural communities across South Africa. Each of these operational LIV communities has its own board of governors, upliftment programmes and fundraising initiatives to bring about transformation in South Africa and operates independently under the broad oversight of a larger management team.
“We place orphaned and vulnerable children into a family environment where they will receive unconditional love, spiritual discipleship, care and nurturing as well as an education to set them up for a bright future.”
This flagship LIV community is situated on the outskirts of Durban in the community of Cottonlands.
Finished in 2011, this village has gone from strength to strength and is home to around 170 orphan and vulnerable children and 33 foster mothers. LIV Business and LIV Training also operate from these offices.
Previously known as Refilwe Community Project, LIV Lanseria has been serving the community of Joe Slovo for 25+ years in many different ways.
The heart of LIV Lanseria is without a doubt the El Roi Baby Home, where babies are being looked after on their way to adoption. This very established LIV community reaches up to 3000 children on a daily basis through a feeding scheme.
LIV Cape Town has acquired a piece of land in Fisantekraal, situated 22 km from Stellenbosch and directly opposite the new Cape Winelands Airport. They will primarily provide an Early Childhood Development Centre to 120 of the most vulnerable children from that community.
They are currently fundraising to cover the building cost. The construction of their school starts on 1 July 2021. Amongst other community projects, they have also started producing reusable sanitary pads to make available to disadvantaged teenage girls and thereby reducing school absenteeism.
“Lukhanyiso” means light in isiXhosa and that is what we want to be, a light to the city of Grahamstown/Makhanda and to the nation and to point people to the Father in heaven.
We have a small team on the ground working together to bring God’s wonderful plan of hope and redemption to the community of Grahamstown/Makhanda. LIV Lukhanyiso is still in its infancy, but we celebrate every step we take towards the village being a reality.
Initially a project started by Unilever, Thokomala consists of 18 foster homes in communities across South Africa.
LIV took over the operational management of Thokomala in 2018 and LIV Thokomala has since grown to become a haven for many orphaned children and has been part of many success stories. LIV Thokomala partners with local churches to ensure our children are well taken care of and set up for a bright future.
LIV Business was established to provide for the future where the village would become self-sustainable, and ultimately support many villages across Southern Africa, as well as providing skills development and job opportunities for rural communities surrounding the villages.
In 1997, God gave me a picture of an African village on a hill. There were clusters of small homes surrounded by children, running and laughing. Mothers were sitting on the steps of these houses interacting with one another.
The church was in the centre. There were schools and a skills/business development centre. I saw fields of vegetable gardens.
He told me to build the village so that the orphan children will come to know Him as their Father; to create jobs for the rural communities so that they can sustain their families; and the Government will come and see why it works, and we can point them to the Cross.
Tich was a South African sports star who lost it all to alcohol. Joan had recently lost her husband. Their lives were at rock bottom when grace showed up and inspired these two middle-class South Africans to move past the racial prejudices of the Apartheid era and launch a ministry together.
Tich Smith grew up in a white middle-class home in Johannesburg and went to university in Pietermaritzburg. He played rugby for Natal at the age of 19 and cricket for Natal and South Africa. He had everything anyone could wish for but ended up in a home for alcoholics at the age of 35. Tich gave his life to Jesus in 1986 and chose to walk His way. In 1991 he met and married Joan, who had lost her first husband, and out of the ashes of their lives, God brought them together for His purposes.
Tich worked for Sanlam from 1987 – 1992. In 1992 he started Tich Smith & Associates, and TSA Administration (Pty) Ltd in 1997. His son, Greg, joined him in the business in 2001 and now runs the business.
In 2008, Tich and Joan felt the call of God to start the Lungisisa Indlela Village (LIV), which would become the urgently needed residential facility, for orphaned and vulnerable children. They visited the Watoto villages in Uganda where they saw 19 years of successfully transforming broken lives. The vision was the same. They brought the model back to KwaZulu Natal.
We are convinced that the church is the answer and has the resources and skills to make the difference. No longer can we sit in our church buildings and not hear the cry of the Father’s Heart for the fatherless. We are the church. We have the Father Heart of God within us. Together, in partnership with business and government, we can do it.
Read Tich and Joan Smith’s story of hope and healing among the poor. When Grace Showed Up tells the story of LIV and the amazing provision, kindness and mercy God has shown along the way.
South Africa needs thousands of Villages across the country in order to turn our biggest problem into the solution.
These children, who could become future gangsters and street children, can become future leaders and valuable citizens of our nation, in turn helping others to rise up out of poverty and abuse.
The journey began in 2001 into Amaoti, the largest informal settlement in KwaZulu-Natal, to feed starving children, under the umbrella of Indlela, and later Lungisani Indlela.
By 2009, 600 children were on the Back-2-School project, life skills training was introduced in the schools, over 30 creches were supported with teacher training and daily food, the sports academy had over 50 soccer teams and 16 young adults from the community were trained to manage these projects.
In September 2009, LIV was birthed. An 83 acre farm was purchased, north of Amaoti, next to the community of Cottonlands, and the building of the Village began.
In August 2021 we celebrated LIV Durban’s 10th birthday, and reflected on how far we’ve come in the 10 years, and how much more we hope to see in the next 10.
T: +27 32 007 0571
A: Vincent Dickenson Road,
Cottonlands, KZN, 4345
T: +27 82 465 6972
A: Plot 87 Pelindaba Road,
Lanseria, Johannesburg, 1748
T: +27 31 562 9868
A: Vincent Dickenson Road,
Cottonlands, KZN, 4345
LIV Cape Town
T: +2764 224 7730
A: To be confirmed,
Cape Town, South Africa
T: +27 82 829 5853
A: To be confirmed,
Grahamstown, South Africa