eMthunzini is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation that seeks to assist in the healing of abused and hurting animals and people.

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Welcome To eMthunzini


eMthunzini is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation that seek to assist in the healing of abused and hurting animals and people.  It is their aim through God’s Grace to facilitate the healing of emotional, physical and spiritual problems using a blend of counseling, animal therapy, care, natural treatments and by allowing the person to retreat to serenity and a therapeutic environment.   By providing a loving and caring atmosphere, eMthunzini strives to assist in healing all those who have been victims of crime, are abused, neglected, broken-hearted and those who are simply struggling to cope with the pressures of life.  eMthunzini assists in allowing God to break the cycle of abuse in people’s lives and aims to help the victims to work through the abuse so that it does not negatively affect their lives.

eMthunzini has effectively combined and inter-linked the needs of animals and people.  Animal-assisted therapy is used together with counseling to bring about total transformation of abused children and hurting individuals.  Through therapy and interaction with domestic animals, the rehabilitation of wildlife and through the counseling of qualified counselors, children and adults are given a chance to live a normal life despite the circumstances that brought them to eMthunzini.

eMthunzini has experienced that animal-assisted therapy is one of the best God-given therapeutic tools that can be incorporated in the facilitation of healing.   This therapy has been proven to work for both adults and children in South Africa as well as internationally with physically handicapped, injured, traumatized, psychologically disturbed and abused people as well as the aged and those who are suffering from stress. Somehow caring for an animal helps a person to put their own needs aside to love and care for the animal.  Occasionally individuals find that they are able to express their own hurt to an animal in a way they might find impossible to another human. Once their feelings have been expressed people generally open up more easily thereby beginning the healing process.

How The Vision Began

The journey towards the foundation of eMthunzini began many years ago when a broken-hearted little girl befriended a gentle-spirited horse.  As the friendship between her and the horse developed he became her confidant.  He would stand quietly nuzzling her neck as she wrapped her arms around his powerful neck and poured out unspeakable memories that haunted her.   And so God enabled the healing of emotional trauma and restoration to begin.  This was the beginning of God's calling on this child's life.  Through the intervention of a humble horse the potential tragedy of a life that could have gone awry was averted and a heart of compassion and desire to share this healing experience with a hurting world began to flourish.

Slowly God's plan began to unfold as she began rescuing injured and hurting creatures.  Monkeys, squirrels, birds, mice, cats and dogs all found refuge in her love as she nursed them back to emotional and physical health.  She could not bear to see any animal or human suffering.

After graduating she began devoting her time to helping the youth of the community - pouring herself into assisting them to overcome the obstacles and hurts that they were encountering.

Slowly a vision began to develop that would call her forward to find a place to start a humanitarian and animal wildlife rescue organization.  This vision was to establish a place of refuge to bind up the broken-hearted and provide a sanctuary to assist in the healing of both animals and humans.  

Now married, God has written this vision firmly on her husband's heart as well.  Together they have begun striving towards making this vision a reality.  To this end a non-profit trust called eMthunzini
(No. IT 112/2005)
was established.  

eMthunzini aims to function mainly as a self-supporting entity, relying on donations only for improving the facilities, expanding and helping those who are not financially able to afford to get the assistance they deserve.


To create an atmosphere of restoration at the centre.  It is the aim of eMthunzini to facilitate the healing of emotional, physical and spiritual problems using a blend of counselling, animal therapy, care, natural treatments and by allowing the person to retreat to serenity and a therapeutic environment.  It is important that each person be holistically healed – emotionally, physically, spiritually and psychologically.  This will enable them to return to society and cope with life more effectively.

Many people are suffering from stress and burnout.  eMthunzini offers them a wonderful atmosphere for them simply to get away from their circumstances for a while.  This includes couples or a parent and child who  need time away on their own to obtain healing for their relationship.  Counselling is available.

To break the cycle of abuse and help the victims to work through the abuse so that it does not negatively affect their lives thereby preventing the cycle of abuse.

To assist those who are struggling to come to terms with acts of violence that have been forced upon them - especially residents of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

To love and heal all those who are abused, neglected, broken hearted and those who are struggling to cope with the pressures of life.

To provide counselling for people who are hurting.

To care for domestic and wild animals who have been abused and neglected and to rehabilitate the wild animals where possible.

To rescue abused and neglected horses.    This will be accomplished in conjunction with Royalynne Equine Care Centre.  To work with them and heal them physically and emotionally and to try and rehome them to loving homes where possible.


Immediate & Short-Term Goals

To network with other organisations and members of the public to assist in cases of abuse and neglect.  To compile a comprehensive database of centres and professionals who are qualified to help people and animals that are in need of help.  This database will contain contact numbers of centres, doctors, veterinary surgeons, lawyers, counsellors, rehabilitation centres, sanctuaries and retreats etc. throughout South Africa who will be able to assist with various issues e.g. drug abuse, alcohol abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, homosexuality, teenage pregnancy’s, abortion counselling and animal cruelty.

To build a team of Veterinary Surgeons, Doctors, Lawyers, Social Workers, Psychologists and Pastors who have chosen to support eMthunzini by offering their valuable time and skills to the furtherance of the cause.

Long-Term Goals

To establish a sanctuary and a temporary shelter for abused women (and men) and those involved in domestic violence.   While they are staying at the eMthunzini we will endeavour to find them employment and permanent accommodation.

To establish a sanctuary and a temporary shelter for abused children.  

To establish a skills development or social upliftment programme.  There are many people, who for various reasons are unable to obtain employment.  We will be actively involved in teaching these people various skills and allowing them to cultivate these skills at eMthunzini.  When they are ready, they will be able to go back into society with a newly learned skill, enabling them to make a way for themselves and be financially secure.  They will also have gained sufficient knowledge to teach other members of their community thereby creating a rippled effect benefiting the community at large.

Fundraising Activities

We do not believe that any organisation should be a drain on the economy.  It is with this in mind that we will undertake various fundraising activities to assist in generating income for eMthunzini at the same time as accepting donations from people who are interested in helping us accomplish our vision.  It is vitally important that we raise funds in order to counsel and help people who cannot afford to pay for counseling and/or professional help.

Short-Term Fundraising

Approaching companies to donate a small amount to eMthunzini e.g. 10c per item of theirs sold.  This will increase their sales as people will see that they care about people and animals and will in turn help those who need it.

Selling advertising space on eMthunzini's website for very affordable rates.

Approaching companies to ask for donations - both nationally and internationally.

Obtaining volunteers who will assist eMthunzini in fund-raising drives.

Intermediate & Long-Term Fundraising

Offering holiday accommodation.

Asking companies to donate a certain amount to eMthunzini.  In return we will allow them use of the guest cottages and conference facilities for a certain amount of time per year free of charge, depending on the donation.

Having an adoption programme set up so that the public can adopt a wild animal until it has been successfully rehabilitated.  This will enable them to choose a name for the animal and have a plaque set up saying that they have adopted the animal.  This means that the cost of the animal's stay at eMthunzini will be paid for by the "adopting parent".

The Significance Of TheName 'eMthunzini'

eMthunzini is often referred to as "Retreat To Eden".  This brings to mind the most beautiful vision of all - total peace being experienced between humans and animals in the presence of God.

The word "eMthunzini" is a Zulu word which literally translated means "the place in the shade".

When eMthunzini's trustees were contemplating an appropriate name for the Trust to suit the work of the organisation, the image of taking shelter in the shade of God's Almighty Wings became clear.  Laura Wilhelm captured this image beautifully in the logo that she designed for eMthunzini.

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