Catherine Nancy Hyland was born in Eastern Transvaal, South Africa, on August 4th, 1927, to Lucy Mothewane-Rhadebe, a tribal black woman. Her father was a Danish/Scottish Caucasian; and, because of this, her parents were prevented from being formally married--as interracial marriages were illegal. Thus, from the very beginning of her life, Catherine was forced to suffer the consequences of a biased and unjust society.
Yet, from very early on she demonstrated a love and compassion for others uncommon among her peers. She maintained her compassionate attitude despite experiencing the types of hardships that often make people bitter and angry.
Her determined spirit and amiable disposition carried her through instances of abuse and suffering at the hands of both strangers and family members.
After getting married and having children, Catherine made instilling this spirit of love and determination into each of her seven children one of her top priorities. Her daughter, Margot Hyland, the founder of CIFKIDS, remarked, “Mom’s favorite phrase was, ‘Put your love into action.’ She would say, ‘If you really love your brother and sister, then put your love into action.’ It was her motto in life.”
Catherine’s exemplary commitment to others was clearly demonstrated in her years of unselfish service as a missionary serving in various parts of Africa, including South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho and Mozambique and South West Africa. Catherine came to know Reverend Jardine and his wife, Lorraine, while they lived in Noordgesig, and later on she reacquainted herself with them when they moved to Ennerdale, South Africa where he and his wife were running an outreach program to benefit children in squatter camps in Lawley, Johannesburg, South Africa. Catherine worked extensively with the couple over the years and supported their efforts to care for orphaned and abandoned children both financially and by giving of her time.
When Catherine fell ill in 2003 she requested that her daughter, Margot Hyland, go back to their native South Africa to help victims of child rape and those orphaned and abandoned due to the proliferation of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. It was her particular wish to build a formal church and orphanage for Rev. Jardine and his outreach work. Margot promised her mother that she would. Founding CIFKIDS was her first step in fulfilling her commitment to her mother, Catherine Hyland.
Though Mrs. Hyland is no longer with us in body, it is her spirit and philosophy that drives every aspect of Catherine’s Inspiration for Kids, from its inception until the day that child rape is no more in South Africa--or any other country of the world. Catherine Hyland’s vision was a world in which brutal sexual violence and abject poverty became a thing of the past. She understood that our efforts to make a difference in the lives of these children make both their world, and ours, a brighter place. For "without a vision, the people perish."