Blog

NURTURING POTENTIAL

Mickey Wilkins of Domino Business was Guest of Honour at the 2017 Annual Speech Day at George Campbell School of Technology in Durban.  The school offers a specialised academic education in which learners follow a technologically-based course which can lead to admission to a university, a university of technology, FET colleges or any other form of post-school training, with particular emphasis on Civil Technology, Electrical Technology and Mechanical Technology.

After Mickey’s address, The Domino Foundation was approached by an Old Boy of the school, Jose Martin, who had been impressed by what had been shared about the Foundation’s activities and was wanting to sponsor a Grade 11/12 pupil through their high school studies. His long term aim would be to see the student through his or her tertiary studies or post school learnership with the potential of absorbing the student into his manufacturing company on successful completion of the degree or course. His dream is to see this grow into a long-term solution to the challenge of training up skilled men and women in technological spheres and integrating them into the nation’s workforce. Dreaming big, he stated, “I would like to give every George Campbell student a bursary!”

Jose has put out the challenge to other George Campbell Old Boys to follow suit and rally to the cause of supporting up-and-coming students with potential by partnering with The Domino Foundation’s Skills Development Programme. The programme’s vision is to create a platform through education to empower and equip disadvantaged individuals to reach their full potential and Brad King, the programme’s leader sees this move by Jose as an excellent opportunity to empower young people at George Campbell to achieve an education in their chosen field: “In addition to providing access to funding for tertiary qualifications like this from VRM Manufacturing, Skills Development supports and students through a mentorship programme to ensure they have the confidence, knowledge and tools required to seek employment.” A senior student at George Campbell has been identified and since the start of 2018 has been supported in his studies by VRM Manufacturing. As a skills development facilitator, The Domino Foundation is delighted to be part of a new initiative like this and is well-placed to assist with BBB-EE documents and points for businesses engaging in positive action to bring about nation Transformation.

Mickey Wilkins was enthusiastic when he said, “If this initiative gains momentum, it has the potential to significantly increase the capacity and skills available to Ethekwini’s manufacturing sector and the economic development of the metropole will be dramatically impacted.”

Anyone interested in taking up Jose’s bursary challenge or needing assistance with Skills Development points can contact Tarin Stevenson (tarin@domino.org.za).

Read more

FAREWELL, GOGO!

When she lived at Mashava Mine in Zimbabwe, Linda Davis had a passion to share her faith in Jesus with the children of the miners. Each weekend she would set up her Sunday School classroom in the local beer hall and read Bible stories to and sing with the little ones in the hours before the tipplers arrived. When she moved to Durban, Linda was a natural choice to become “House Mother” when Jenni Wallace, pastor’s wife at the then Church of the Good Shepherd, established the ‘Fair Havens’ babies’ home in Durban North in 2004. Since then, Linda, affectionately called “Gogo” by children and staff alike at The Domino Foundation’s Babies Homes, has seen almost 140 children placed with adoptive families locally and abroad. Together with Precious Thabete, she has nurtured and loved the abandoned and orphaned babies and toddlers who have found a safe haven under her care. Linda says, “Jesus’ words that we shouldn’t despise any of these little ones because their angels always see the face of His Father in heaven have always rung true with me. I have to respond to a child in crisis.” Linda is retiring from the position where she has so faithfully served the most vulnerable in our community for the past 14 years but knows that it won’t be long before she once again is holding babies in her arms and standing in the gap as “Gogo”. Leader of the Babies Homes programme, Sandy Hamblin said of Linda, “She has shown unfailing love to every one of the children who has passed through the homes and has been a tireless warrior in fighting to see the best outcomes for these little ones.” Linda’s leaving coincides with the closing of ‘Ububele’, one of the two homes in the Domino Foundation’s programme.  Precious Thabete, who has been a stalwart co-worker with Linda since the inception of the homes and who has been “House Mother” at “Ububele”, steps into the role of House Mother at ‘Fair Havens’. Far from this move, which sees the programme’s capacity being reduced from 12 to 6 children, being a retrogressive strep, Sandy Hamblin says that more resources will now be available to tackle the bigger advocacy issue where the challenge of bureaucracy, institutions and inadequate legal frameworks can be tackled in conjunction with groups like the National Adoption Coalition of South Africa.

 

Read more

READING THEIR WAY INTO A WIDER WORLD

After working for a year in Amaoti at Susan Ncgobo School, the international outreach group, Project TEN, undertook the refurbishing of a small room at the school as a library. They had been introduced to the school through The Domino Foundation’s Life Skills programme which then took up the challenge to see the shelves filled with books. A total of almost 500 books has now been donated to the fledgling library through the amazing response to the appeal put out. The students at Akiva College were particularly generous in their response to the appeal. Said Cameron Wulfsohn, head of Akiva’s Executive Committee for Outreach, “We are privileged to be able to know the books we have given will help the pupils at the school in the great adventure of being able to read.” Accepting the books, Mrs Swazi Shebangu, Principal of Susan Ncgobo, said they were part of the answer to a long-held dream to see a library facility established at the school.

Where only a month earlier the shelves had been almost empty of reading material, Mrs Amanda Mthetwa, school librarian, is now anxiously wondering where she will put any more books which might be donated. But it is a wonderful challenge to have. The community’s great generosity has resulted in reading books suitable for Grade R through to Grade 7 now virtually filling the shelves to capacity. The library is in need of English dictionaries to help the older pupils who are puzzled by unfamiliar words, and isiZulu story books for the children in the lower grades who are taught in their mother tongue. The library space also could do with bean bags and cushions for the young learners while they enjoy their story times and anyone who may have a spare bookcase (preferably metal, but not essential) will know that it will find an excellent home there. If you are able to help us with any of these items, please contact Leigh-Ann Stevens (leigh-ann@domino.org.za).

The vision is growing for the library to become a fuller resource centre for the school where teachers can access teaching materials like posters and charts for their lessons. Staff are being canvassed for their input on what materials would be useful. This would be an excellent opportunity for volunteers with The Domino Foundation to research and produce these materials. Two volunteers with excellent credentials in the area of libraries and literacy are already on board. David Hellinger, with thirty years in tertiary education behind him and involvement with various reading-oriented programmes, and retired librarian, Frances Callan, have already had input into the effective running of the new library and have vision for ways in which to develop the facility into one which effectively resources the community at Susan Ngcobo. Frances has cast her expert eye over volumes which have been donated and has seen that there is a need for non-fiction books suitable for Grades 6 and 7 dealing with the following subjects: South African history post 1994; inventions; science; ecology; computers; the history and geography of Africa. Books in isiZulu for all levels from Grade R to Grade 7 are also desperately needed. For any of these or for information on any aspect of Life Skills activities, please get in touch with Leigh-Ann on leigh-ann@domino.org.za.

 

Read more

COMBATTING SLAVERY TOGETHER

In addition to its primary work of reaching out, restoring and releasing survivors of exploitation and human-trafficking, The Domino Foundation’s Red Light’s programme has the vision to collaborate with other groups to influence South African decision-makers to act to reduce human-trafficking in our country. Red Light also aims to raise awareness of human-trafficking in a society which is largely unaware of the enormity and extent of this plague in our nation.

The Red Light programme is the KZN point-of-contact for The National Freedom Network (NFN), a group of people and organisations around South Africa working to combat human-trafficking. The aim is to connect and interact with like-minded persons and groups to exchange information, share resources and best practices, and develop professional contacts in the counter-human-trafficking field.

In 2009, a symposium was held to engage relevant high-level stakeholders on the topic of human- trafficking. Cherie Blair, patron of the international anti-trafficking organisation “Stop the Traffik” and wife of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was the keynote speaker. Because the nature of the crime of human-trafficking calls for a collaborative response, an outcome of the event was the highlighting of the need for all the parties dealing the scourge of human-trafficking to co-ordinate their efforts.

The following year, a base was established for the Network and critical areas to be addressed were identified. The National Freedom Network (NFN) was formally launched in May 2011, growing into a solid national network of anti-human-trafficking role-players across South Africa.

Curbing the scourge of human-trafficking is a critical priority of the National Prosecuting Authority. Red Light is also a part of the HHPPB (Human Trafficking, Harmful Traditional Practices, Pornography, Prostitution and Brothels) taskforce. This body was established to combat human-trafficking with local government and organisations.  In KZN, the task team has been operating since 2008 and is driven by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit. The team comprises some 35 organisations including the South African Police Service, government departments, non-government organisations and international organisations.

Twenty first century slavery in its many forms has tens of millions of people caught in its ugly tentacles. As many as 40 million men, women and children are enslaved worldwide and each year the illicit trade in human beings generates US$150 billion. Human-trafficking in South Africa ranges from sex trafficking through child labour, domestic servitude, organ smuggling, child-brides, illegal child adoptions and debt-bondage to the use of body parts for muti. Often hidden from sight, slavery is a problem which numbers among its victims millions of children.

Just as young people are brutalised by this appalling crime against humanity, young people also are making their voices heard in the fight against human trafficking. In response to the CNN Freedom Project, students around the globe joined in #MyFreedomDay on Wednesday 14 March, both to highlight modern slavery and celebrate freedom.

The Grade 12 students at Northlands Girls High School in Durban North came together in solidarity with the many South Africans their age and younger who are entrapped in some aspect of slavery. The school partners with a number of The Domino Foundation’s seven programmes, one of which is Red Light. It is envisaged that Red Light will partner with other schools in Durban to promote awareness of the enormity of this social ill afflicting South Africa and challenge the learners on how they can make a difference to heal this blight in our society.

If you are stirred to join the fight against modern-day slavery and human-trafficking, contact Esther at redlight@domino.org.za or want to find out more about the programme, click here.

Read more

BABIES HOME UPDATE 1st QUARTER

The end of the first quarter marked a very significant point in The Domino Foundation’s Babies’ Home programme. At the end of March, Linda Davis, who had been with the home since its inception, retired after many years of faithful service. “It has been an amazing journey of being able to give love to so many precious little people who have been abandoned,” said Linda. Precious Thabete, who has worked with Linda all those years and who also has a great heart of compassion and rich experience in being able to meet the children’s needs, has taken over her responsibilities. Read the entire feature “Farewell, Gogo” here.

This momentous change came at the same time as the decision was made to close the one home (‘Ububele’) at 125 Adelaide Tambo Drive, leaving ‘Fair Havens’ to cater for six children at any one time. There was no doubt that this is the perfect timing as a number of adoptions were in process and so several children would be leaving for their new adoptive homes shortly. With the new set-up with a single home and staff, the vision has been refined to ensure that training of the staff is even better so that the children are as whole and ready for their new family as possible when they leave the “Fair Havens”.

Although the decision to close “Ububele”, this new dispensation will put the Babies’ Home programme into a position where it can take on more fully the critical task, with other adoption and babies’ homes facilities and groups, the pressing issue of advocacy on behalf of abandoned and orphaned children in South Africa. Sandy Hamblin, leader of the babies’ Home programme now sits on the Adoption Coalition board and two very good meetings had already been held. The Babies’ Home programme has also joined forces with the National Adoption Coalition of South Africa whose aim is to promote and build awareness and understanding of adoption, build partnerships and collaboration across the adoption community and lobby government and regulators on behalf of the adoption community, leading the change needed in our society to embrace adoption as the best permanent solution for children, outside of their family.

It is always so gratifying when reports and stories come to the Babies Home of how children who have been adopted are faring with their new families. Jade and James, the brother and sister who left in December 2017, bound for Calgary in Canada, have settled into their very different new environment exceptionally well. They haven’t been daunted by the below freezing temperatures or short days, and making “snow angels” the deep drifts of the white stuff quickly became a favourite pastime. Their dad and mum have set very strict media restrictions in place and have seen great improvement in both Jade and James’ learning capacity. In the 5 months since they left South Africa, both are excelling with their alphabet, learning to read, colouring within the lines, and following instructions in a structured environment. We look forward to more reports of the progress of these siblings.

Stories like these keep the #DominoEffect alive. If you would like to be a part of ‘changing lives’, please contact Sandy Hamblin (sandy@anthem.org.za).

Read more

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE 1st QUARTER

The Domino Foundation’s Skills Development programme’s vision is to create a platform through education to empower and equip disadvantaged individuals to reach their full potential in their chosen field. It does this by providing access to funding for tertiary qualifications, living and travel allowances and educational resources. Building on the success of the programme over the past two years, bursaries for 2018 were awarded to twelve successful candidates and the students registered and began their studies at the start of the academic year. It was encouraging to see the increase in range of study areas the students are involved in. Five of the students are studying Education and one each Law, Financial Management, Dentistry, Medicine and Media and Public Relations and two are in disabled learnerships.

All the students attended a meeting at Domino where Operations Manager, Shaun Tait, gave an overview of the Foundation. Leaders of the Skills Development programme, Brad and Taryn King, discussed the heart behind the initiative, what is expected of the students and of Domino, and inspired the students for their challenging year ahead. Domino has paid the students’ registration fees, fees due, book costs and stipends. The mentorship aspect of the programme, which primarily focuses on equipping the student to maximise their time of study, also supports and walks alongside them to ensure they have the confidence, knowledge and tools required to seek employment once their studies are completed. To ensure relevance and effectiveness, all activities are monitored and evaluated and so a document was set up for mentors to track the students’ well-being and progress.

In the process of building confidence, part of the students’ programme with Skills Development will include a Toastmasters course that students can be further equipped for their futures as effective public speakers and as strong leaders. Toastmasters’ supportive learn-by-doing environment is an excellent vehicle to help the students achieve their goals.

A challenge has been recognised in that the circumstances of Individual students vary greatly. This means that determining needs and how to meet those needs to be on a personalized basis and the formalised mentorship programme will be an effective tool in achieving this. Leanne Barker, Volunteer Manager at The Domino Foundation (volunteer@domino.org.za), would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in knowing more about what is expected of mentors.

This quarter also saw the programme expand its offering to include a three-year funding cycle with the potential to align with the donor’s SETA and Business sphere.  You can read about how The Domino Foundation partnered with a donor to provide a new method of impacting the manufacturing sector. Read more here.

The Skills Development programme is fully compliant and aligned with the new B-BBEE codes and The Domino Foundation qualifies as a skills development facilitator. The independent Beneficiary Analysis was received from our rating agency, ‘AQRate’. If you or your company need to obtain skills development points, please contact Tarin Stevenson (031 563 9605/tarin@domino.org.za).

Opportunities for an increased range of specific skills training are being explored as it has been very gratifying to see the programme expand from purely university and college education into the realm of learnerships as well. The Skills development programme is looking to develop partnerships with service providers in the skills development sphere and is identifying potential new donors. Brad King expects that an increased pool of candidates for 2019 now that the new online application process is operational. He is certain that opportunities for post-school education and training will be opened up for greater numbers of young people who would otherwise be faced with bleak futures.

Individuals or companies who would like to partner with Skills Development in this exciting programme can contact The Domino Foundation on 031 563 9605 or admin@domino.org.za.

Read more

ECD UPDATE 1st QUARTER

The year started on a very high note for the ECD programme with the opening of the Ithuba ECD Centre in Blackburn Village, north of Durban. It has been an inspiring story of municipal, corporate, social outreach and local community cooperation to give the children of the area an opportunity to learn and grow, preparing them for a lifelong journey of education.

The iThuba Community Centre, a partnership between eThekwini Municipality, Tongaat Hulett Development and the Blackburn community has seen the development of the ECD centre, based in an old house which has been refurbished. The ECD programme will initially be overseen by The Domino Foundation’s ECD programme providing mentorship, assessments of the facilities and teaching. The programme will also supply a qualified teacher while training and mentoring local teachers to run the pre-school.

“The Domino Foundation is proud to be working with Tongaat Hulett Development in the establishing and opening of the iThuba Early Childhood Development Centre,” said Sliee Ndimande, ECD Programme Leader. “There is a high incidence of unemployment and as a result significant disadvantage and poverty in the greater uMhlanga area. There are also few pre-primary facilities serving the communities, and often are little more than childminding establishments. The Domino Foundation’s vision is to improve the quality of learning and preparation for school readiness of vulnerable children through focused empowering of ECD owners and educators. We see that, with the Tongaat Hulett Development funding, the lthuba ECD Centre will become a critical ECD model in the area.”

In the Waterloo community near Sibaya, the ECD Programme continued its work, funded by the ‘Sibaya Community Trust’, to upgrade early educator skills. This programme assists ECD centres in underprivileged areas to become sustainable by empowering the owners with business management skills. It also implements training to upgrade teaching skills so that critical early childhood development becomes a reality in the twelve centres where the ECD programme is working. The year’s activities began with a refresher training in Waterloo. Sliee Ndimande reported that many of the teachers who attended the workshop are doing well in their schools. ECD fieldwork in Waterloo began at the start of March in the areas of mentoring, monitoring, training, resources and nutrition.

A survey conducted of new practitioners in the ECD programme highlighted the critical need for training with these ladies in the crèches through the programme’s partners, ‘Unlimited Child’. The Unlimited Child’s programme covers life skills, mathematics, life science and language and aims to train caregivers in how to make learning fun. The programme starts with a hands-on four-day training session. The day-to-day practitioners’ guide, the daily routine and learning through play with educational toys are excellent tools to equip the care-givers and educators to give their charges a solid foundation for when they enter primary school.

Looking ahead into the year, the thorough groundwork which has been laid thus far in 2018 will enable another four crèches to benefit from the ECD programme as of July 2018. Growth has already been and will continue to be the hallmark of The Domino Foundation’s ECD programme.

Funding is urgently needed for a vehicle as the ECD programme expands. If you are able to assist us in this or be involved in some way with e programme, please contact Sliee Ndimande (ecd@domino.org.za).

 

Read more

RED LIGHT UPDATE 1st QUARTER

Planning has been a keynote item on the agenda for the Red Light programme before the start of 2018 and as the year has unfolded…what are the programme’s objectives for the year, how many ladies the programme would accommodate, what programmes and activities at the Drop-in Centre would be most impactful and beneficial in equipping and empowering the sex-trafficked survivors spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively to fulfil their purpose and destiny through Red Light’s restoration programme.

At the start of the year, Red Light’s Release Phase took in five beneficiaries all of whom had been in the Restore Phase in 2017. The process of this Phase is a tailor-made programme catering to each beneficiary’s needs…temporary provision, up-skilling, education, vocational training, and possible job placement as well as ensuring that the beneficiary is sustainably released back into society and is employable.

The Release Phase has a number of specific aspects to help the beneficiaries into wholeness before they step into “freedom”. The weekly biblical teaching sessions cater for the beneficiaries’ spiritual development, helping them understand how to apply God’s Word to their daily lives. ‘Personal Growth’ is a nine session process where behaviour change, setting goals and developing a personal long-term vision is dealt with. On a very practical short and long-term level, Red Light’s financial advisor volunteer runs monthly financial planning sessions for the ladies on budgeting, expense recording and saving. As so many of the beneficiaries have little or no formal qualifications, the question of what employment opportunities will be open to then when they leave the programme is crucial.  Many have not completed their Matric and so arrangements have been made for them to complete their high school studies with the Department of Education over a period of 10 months as from August. Red Light is seeking funding for its beneficiaries to be able to complete their Matric studies and welcomes enquiries from individuals and companies keen to partner with the programme in this regard. To complement this, the beneficiaries completed an online Career Guidance assessment. As a result, one of beneficiaries completed a secretarial, administration and computer course and two more will be attending an End User computer course in May. Another beneficiary is on the Domino Skills Development programme and will be doing her ECD Studies as well as a First Aid Level 1 later in the year with a view to becoming a Grade R teacher. One of the beneficiaries is attending vocational training with one of Red Light’s partners five days a week and earning a good living wage. Her excellent work ethic is likely to open other opportunities. Once our beneficiaries have obtained their qualifications, possible job placements will commence. Red Light would like to form relationships with corporate partners wanting to provide vocational training for the beneficiaries in a range of career opportunities. If you are able to offer a temporary placement for shadowing, please contact Esther (redlight@domino.org.za).

After the highly publicised murder of a sex worker in Durban North, has shocked the city into realising that the scourge of human-trafficking, drugs, prostitution and brothels is far wider-spread  than many had previously wanted to acknowledge. The new awareness has resulted in Red Light being approached by community and local papers about its views to the whole issue of human-trafficking and on how society needs to respond to the victims of this ugly large-scale business which blights our city and nation.

The increasing awareness of and concern about human-trafficking in all its guises (prostitution, under-age and slave labour, child ‘brides’ and much more) has led to the setting up of the HHPPB (Human Trafficking, Harmful Traditional Practices, Pornography, Prostitution and Brothels) Task Team. This body’s purpose is to consider and implement programmes which will heighten awareness of this multi-faceted problem and equip young people in particular to protect themselves and others against falling prey to human-trafficking. Red Light has been involved in monthly Task Team meetings where new documents, materials and systems are being implemented in the 2018 action plan.

With regard to promoting awareness of human-trafficking, Domino responded to the CNN Freedom Project in which students around the globe joined #MyFreedomDay on Wednesday 14 March both to highlight modern slavery and celebrate freedom. Read more here.

The making of the distinctive “Create Freedom” jewellery from the bark of the fever tree is a crucial part of Red Light’s funding and a full range of products has been finalised and a launch date of the Online Store is eagerly awaited.

Esther (redlight@domino.org.za) would be delighted to give you further information on Red Light’s actiities and on how you can be part of this impactful programme.

 

Read more

LIFE SKILLS UPDATE 1st QUARTER

In the first term 0f 2018, the Life Skills Programme mentors taught a total of 174 lessons as part of the HIV/AIDS prevention programme under the Life Orientation syllabus with the goal of impacting the lives of children who are vulnerable and under threat of HIV/AIDS. The programme aims to assist with these primary school and Grade 8 children’s physical, cognitive, emotional and relational support and development.

Pursuing Life Skills’ vison to see the school children growing in confidence to make good life choices, the team met with Chelsea Primary School’s management to learn about their service leadership system. As a result, meetings followed with Nhlonipho Primary School management which gave the go-ahead to establish a leadership development team with three meetings being held in Term 1 with the 30-strong prefect team. The leadership training has a major focus of helping the prefects change their mind-set from that of disciplinarian to that of mentor and servant-leader.  Strong emphasis is placed on exploring what service and relationship mean. To strengthen and widen the children’s leadership abilities, planning has been done with EDGE Training for leadership training on a weekend away at Camp Anerly for the prefect body in the second school term.

Looking to provide opportunity for ‘Protective Behaviours’ training, the Life Skills are exploring this to see if it is feasible for inclusion in its programme in the schools. To facilitate this, small groups will be run at break times to create awareness in the children of abusive behaviour (physical, verbal, emotional and the 21st century scourge of cyber-bullying) and how to keep themselves safe from the potential abuse. Although apps and social networking sites state that bullying, abusive behaviours which includes harassment, impersonation and identity theft are banned and not allowed, surveys show over 90% of people reporting cyber bullying said that no action was taken. These people are left feeling disbelieved, vulnerable and their self-esteem damaged. The Life Skills team provides one-on-one counselling with learners who approach the Youth Workers or are identified by them or who are referred by teachers in an effort to respect and maintain the children’s privacy and integrity.

To have its own expertise and abilities strengthened, the team attended the Imbizo Foundation’s three day facilitation training course focusing on self-discovery, classroom management and various learning styles. Imbizo’s stated mission is to restore a sense of identity, belonging and purpose in the lives of young South Africans. The Life Skills team also attended a two day introduction to counselling training to improve the skills for greater effectiveness in interaction and support to vulnerable adults and children and to be in a stronger position to address issues with the school children and with their parents.

The programme understands the critical role evaluation and monitoring of what it does in the schools. Research into these areas is ongoing and more effective ways to show the success of the Life Skills intervention are being pursued.  Part of this is to develop a learner profile to act as an early-warning indicator for orphaned and vulnerable children, an absenteeism profile and ways of measuring self-esteem and attitudes toward gender. Leigh-Ann Stevens, leader of Life Skills, says, ”Behavioural change programmes are difficult as there are so many variable influences from family and community that affect children as they grow and develop. It is so pleasing, however, to have reports from teachers that the pupils on our programme are notably more respectful, attentive in class and disciplined.” The Life Skills team agreed that these comments from the schools about positively changed lives inspire them to push on with the expectation that so many more lives can be impacted through the Life Skills programme.

There is a pressing need for the children on the Life Skills programme to be exposed to stimulating teaching methods and so, with three laptop computers having been donated and two portable projectors and two speakers sourced, the Life Skills team is now well-equipped to use technology in lessons. Through the use of technology, learning opportunities can be enhanced in the classroom. Technology in the classroom setting prepares pupils for an increasingly digital future. Training of the Life Skills mentors on effective use of technology took place at the end of March and implementation of this new look teaching is set to go.

For further information on the Life Skills programme, please contact Leigh-Ann Stevens (leigh-ann@domino.org.za).

Read more

FEEDING UPDATE 1st QUARTER

The first few months of 2018 has seen significant growth in the scope of the Feeding programme. Victor Daitz, a humanitarian who supported a wide spectrum of causes and uplifted the lives of many, set up a foundation with the aim of establishing a better life for disadvantaged South Africans. Funding from the Victor Daitz Foundation for 2018 has helped enormously in enabling the Feeding programme to expand its operations, particularly in the areas of Amaoti, Waterloo and Matikwe, North of Durban.

Marcus Kelly, storeroom coordinator, loading relief packs at the new storeroom.

The Stichting Nelis van Dril, a trust based in Holland and which established a relationship with The Domino Foundation in 2017, is fully funding the feeding in the twenty or so institutions in Inanda which came under the Foundation’s umbrella through its Feeding programme. Liesbeth Nicolai, the point-of-contact between the Dutch and Domino, is continuing her involvement with her extensive experience and relationship built with the communities over a quarter of a century, while the Feeding programme supplies the logistical support. The character of the feeding in these areas is different to that already established in the other crèches and schools where prepared meals are supplied. Liesbeth says, “We give the beneficiaries the dried goods, like Morevite and maize meal, with which they prepare the meals. I like to go on the delivery rounds once a month so that I can keep contact with the people I have come to know so well over many years.”

Leader of the feeding programme, Cathy Whittle, says that exciting opportunities to build with other churches are being embraced with a number of them now benefitting from The Domino Foundation’s Feeding programme’s resources and acting as distribution points. With Domino’s Feeding programme as the administrative conduit and each church responsible for distribution after delivery, these groups’ outreaches no longer have to carry the administrative and logistical burdens which are so often challenges for many organisations. This is proving an excellent example of the Foundation providing infrastructural support to allow other groups and outreach initiatives to flourish.

Under the leadership of Lucky Vilakazi and as part of the ongoing vision to empower the Feeding programme’s beneficiaries, the Brookdale Soup Kitchen has standardised its soup recipe. This means that ingredients for the soup can now be supplied to institutions in new areas rather than pre-prepared soup being delivered from the kitchen. The aim is to empower each school to make their own soup and to have the Domino kitchen staff teach each crèche basic nutrition standards. It is gratifying to see the capacity of the Soup Kitchen growing.

The Feeding programme’s extremely beneficial relationship with ‘JAM South Africa’ continues to flourish. With poverty threatening the early development of the majority of South African children, the partnership is addressing the nutritional needs of children in the Feeding programme, setting them on the path to growing into healthy adults. Realising the importance of early childhood development and along with the sandwiches and soup supplied by the programme, JAM’s high protein porridge is a vital component in the growing children’s diet.

Through the Feeding programme, the aim is to grow ‘JAM Feeding’ through site-specific churches. The Domino Foundation delivers the 25 kg bags of porridge to each church which then acts as a central distribution node to the crèches with whom it already have a relationship. With repetition, this creates an efficient distribution-through-relationship model. Glenridge Church is the first church to implement the model. A nutritional food hygiene programme for each of the crèches is being formulated and a generic crèche report being compiled to create a rating system to measure the infrastructure of the crèches and to assess individual needs.

The South Feeding programme in Amanzimtoti, working under ‘Kingsway Church International’ (KCi), has found new premises for The Domino Foundation Toti Kitchen as from May 2018. With the exciting development of taking on an extra 3000 beneficiaries in May, the programme is finding its capacities stretched and is offering potential donors and partners to come on board to support the logistical side of operations in the areas of transport and large electrical equipment like freezers. With a total of 49 000 sandwiches having been supplied to sixteen institutions in the first term, the programme also continues to supply schools, churches and centres with bread, peanut butter and margarine, to create a self-help culture among the beneficiary groups. Never shy of taking on new challenges, team leader, Cheryl Dann, is negotiating with JAM to take over the crèches under the KwaMakutha Organisation of Crèches.

If you would like to partner with our Feeding programme, please contact Cathy Whittle (feeding@domino.org.za) for North of the Umgeni River or Cheryl Dann (feedingtoti@domino.org.za) for South Feeding support.

Read more