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Sarah Gertrude Mary Christina Holland (Posthumous) (1952 - 2010)

The Order of Mendi for Bravery in

Sarah Gertrude Mary Christina Holland (Posthumous) (1952 - 2010) Awarded for:
Providing shelter to orphaned children and sacrificing her own life to save the lives of the children who were in her care.
Profile of Sarah Gertrude Mary Christina Holland

Ms Sarah Gertrude Mary Christina Holland was born on 11 April 1952, in Durban, and passed away on 9 February 2010, at the age of 58.

On 9 February 2010, the house of Ms Holland was destroyed by fire which claimed the lives of 11 people, including hers. The house was situated on a farm in the Ingogo area in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.

She was a selfless woman who dedicated her life to taking care of orphaned children, and ultimately sacrificed her life for them. In 2005, she established an orphanage called the Hope in Christ Mission, as a non-profit organisation in Ingogo, northern KwaZulu-Natal. Its main purpose was to provide a dignified homecare service to orphans, abused or abandoned children.

At the time, the structure that she was using for this objective was nothing more than a dilapidated house with no water, electricity and toilets. She transformed this place to the best of her abilities. She went on to open a school nearby where she undertook the task of teaching rural children from the surrounding area of Ingogo and providing them with a cooked meal at lunch time.

The first child to walk through the doors of Hope in Christ Mission was an abandoned little girl in 2006. Thereafter, many children were placed in Ms Holland’s care. They were children coming from various backgrounds but mostly abused and abandoned.

All Ms Holland could do was love to them and help them to have a second chance in life, and soon enough they started being children again.

The purpose behind the establishment of the Hope in Christ Mission was to break the cycle of abuse, neglect, HIV and AIDS and abandonment in the lives of children, through empowering these children with strong family values, structure, love and support. And this is something that Ms Holland with the assistance of the Mission staff members achieved.

When fire broke out at the house, she did all she could to try and save the children.

She saved six children; including two babies aged three months and two-weeks old. She tossed the three-month old through the window. Unfortunately, when she went back inside the house to save the others, she was overcome by smoke and thus could not save them nor could she save herself. When the fire was eventually put out, the heroic Ms Holland was found dead with two small children she was trying to protect and save next to her body.

Ms Sarah Holland showed her heroism in saving lives of the children who were in her care by sacrificing her own life. We are proud to honour Ms Sarah Gertrude Mary Christina Holland with the Order of Mendi for Bravery in Silver.