Nazareth House Johannesburg gets a refurbishment.

Nazareth Care Africa recently celebrated the refurbishment of their Child & Youth Care Centre (CYCC) and the Elderly Frail Care Centre (FCC) in March.

Nazareth House Johannesburg, situated in the heart of Yeoville, can only be described as an oasis for those who call it home, providing a safe space for the vulnerable children and ageing elderly to thrive against the odds. Within these four walls, the Sisters of Nazareth have built a residence that challenges the surrounding community’s natural perception.

Dating back to 1894, Nazareth House Johannesburg has a long-standing history of serving the people. With this legacy, the Sisters of Nazareth have built many long-term donors who are committed to the longevity and sustainability of the House to continue serving its mission caring for the poverty-stricken and destitute communities surrounding this area.


One particular donor who has committed to serving this mission is Mr. Manfred Freissle. Born in Germany Mr. Freissle immigrated to RSA to work as an electrical engineer on the railroad lines connecting major cities after World War II in 1958. Mr Freissle is a devout Catholic who started going to church at the age of 8. As a Pit & Quarry ‘Hall of Fame’ recipient, Mr. Freissle was noted as “A man motivated by family and faith, developed an innovative screening product that moved the aggregate industry forward. His goal was to be successful enough to buy his mother a house after their home was bombed. That is what drove him.” Outside of his work, Mr. Manfred Freissle is a family man anchored by charity and his strong faith. Even considering his work’s globalization, he measures his success through his family and charity work. He currently resides in the USA and due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, he could not attend the celebration.


For more than 40 years, Mr Freissle has supported the Sisters of Nazareth financially and the project to rejuvenate the Child & Youth Care Centre and the Elderly Frail Care Centre was funded in full and made possible by his donations. His first encounter with Nazareth House Johannesburg was some four decades ago via one of the Sisters of Nazareth, Sister Veronica. In the past, the Sisters used to partake in questing, going door to door asking for donations. Upon making her rounds, knocking and asking for donations and assistance, she met Mr Feissle.  

With great regret, Sister Veronica could not view the completed renovation. On 6 March, she fell in her bedroom and was admitted to hospital with a fractured femur. After surgery she became very weak, and her condition deteriorated. As per Mother Teresa’s popular saying, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Sister Veronica and the Sisters of Nazareth have dedicated their lives to serve the most vulnerable and continue such grand work. We honour Sister Veronica’s legacy through the many lives she touched and the relationships she built.


Mr Freissle’s generous donations and active dedication has assisted greatly in the long-term sustainability of Nazareth House Johannesburg, and further aided our continuous efforts to care for the vulnerable. Around the property there were many projects in great need of attention and with the funds received we were able to appease many of these. The largest of these undertakings is the renovation of our Child and Youth Care Centre and followed by our Frail Care Centre’s upgrade.

The Child and Youth Care Centre Pre Rennovations

The CYCC saw a complete upgrade of the childrens unit adding value for all the children who call this loving space home. In a near state of despair, the CYCC has been restored and further renovated to address the children’s specific needs. It has been a long process, starting with structural repairs to the roof and attending to water damage. Multiple rooms have been renovated, including the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry, thus allowing us to design the CYCC to benefit the children’s specific needs. Finally, we were able to repaint and create a homely and welcoming environment for all our children. In addition, over the festive season we launched a furniture donation campaign and were blessed with the support of multiple donors allowing us to finish the project.

The Child and Youth Care Centre Post Rennovations

In the Main House, our Frail Care Centre was fully upgraded to the delight of all our residents and staff. While funding for the aged is often a challenge, it is a blessing to afford our residents, many of whom have limited funds, with such an inviting facility and specialised equipment. Nazareth Care is continuously committed to quality care for all our residents and having a facility of this standard in one of our welfare homes is testament to that.

The Frail Care Centre During Rennovations

During the renovations our residents were housed in a different wing of the property. The intent for the renovations was not only to update the facility to modern standards but also create a homely environment for the residents.

The Frail Care Centre Post Rennovations

Without Mr Freissle profuse generosity and dedication to the Sisters of Nazareth and Nazareth House Johannesburg none of these undertakings would have been possible. The celebration of refurbishment was held on the 19th of March, a date chosen by Mr. Manfred Freissle as the day of celebration for these units. It is the same day that the world celebrates Saint Joseph’s Day. This date, also called the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, is in Christianity the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus Christ. It has the rank of a solemnity in the Catholic Church. The event hosted a select number of key role players in the renovation, donors, media, staff and the Sisters of Nazareth. 


The Celebration of Refurbishment, 19 March 2021

Nazareth House Johannesburg has an estimated operating expense of eighteen million rand for the financial year. This cost is broken up into two cost centres, Nazareth House Johannesburg – caring for the aged, and Nazareth House Johannesburg Child and Youth Care Centre – caring for the children. These costs are made up from accommodation, catering, housekeeping, medical expenses, and more. This allows us to care for the residents in the best way possible, further providing support, quality care, and a sense of purpose. The elderly and children are wholly dependent on others’ generosity, such as the business community and the community at large. This support will forever be appreciated and allows Nazareth House Johannesburg to continue its excellent work.

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