Bright Beginnings

Train The Trainers

Anele Chita, Grow ECD’s Community Development Co-ordinator in the Durban metropolitan area, hit the new school year strongly with a two-day Train the Trainers workshop with The Domino Foundation’s Early Childhood Development Programme’s Team Leader, Zanele Nzimande and her field workers.

“We equip ECD businesses and organisations with the skills, support and resources to provide 5-star early learning for every child in their care,” he explained. The workshop provided ongoing training in proficiency in the GROW app which has revolutionised the 64 ECD centres partnering with Domino since the app was rolled out in the centres last year. Domino’s Education Co-ordinator, Nicky Walton, described the progress since then: “The app has streamlined the way education happens in these centres, gearing them up significantly on their journey from being merely child-care centres to being effective small businesses where critical preparation for school readiness is the order of the day.” The app is used for daily updating of registers, for its resource centre and library, and a variety of ways of stimulating pupils more effectively as pre-schoolers in preparation for school-readiness.

The multi-purpose app provides paperless administration and enables owners to improve their centres as small businesses, facilitating finance management, parent communication, teacher competency and pupil assessments.

Joining the field workers was Mdu Vato, Domino’s Nutrition Programme Supervisor, who took part because the  ECD owners’ progress in using the app is monitored for their centres to qualify to receive high protein porridge and soup for their pupils’ lunches. He explained: “We are very aware of how good nutrition helps children avoid stunting, wasting and obesity as well as being ‘food for thought’, aiding brain development, concentration in class and effective learning all round.”

At the end of the workshop, Zanele commented: “Evidence shows attendance at pre-school establishes good foundational learning skills which will generally see pupils going further and finishing their school careers well. The GROW app is significantly impacting these centres and we expect to see them attaining increasingly high standards in business and academic achievement.”

If you would like invest and partner with us in the ECD Education space please contact Nicky on education@domino.org.za

Caption: Domino’s Zanele Nzimande and GROW ECD’s Anele Chita at the Train the Trainer Workshop held at the Domino Offices #fromCradletoCareer #jointheDominoEffect

As featured in our Community Newspaper too

https://www.citizen.co.za/north-glen-news/news-headlines/local-news/2024/01/25/durban-north-organisation-grows-early-childhood-development/

Read more

Eyes Right!

The two words defined the day for 116 pupils at Ekuthuleni Primary School, Ntuzuma. “Eyes Right!” wasn’t a military command to the “troops” lined waiting for the team from the African Eye Institute (AEI).  Rather they were what would mark the day as a turning point in their educational journey. The eager young crowd were there to receive their new spectacles prescribed after the children’s screening as part of AEI’s OSaaT (One School at a Time) project.

Non-profit AEI works to reduce avoidable blindness and vision impairment caused by refractive errors and other eye deficiencies and, through donations and partnerships, supports free, quality eye health services to marginalised communities, particularly schoolchildren and the elderly.

Thobile Msani, head of The Domino Foundation’s Life Skills programme, talked about how the children’s lives would be impacted by their clearer vision of the world around them: “A lot of these learners have many challenges which have negative effects on their ability to really benefit from their schooling. Not being able to see clearly in class makes everything far more difficult. Children with poor eyesight find it harder to identify and interpret what they are seeing which creates difficulties in much of their education.” She explained that the spectacles not only mean the children can now see the board at the front of the class more clearly and how better vision helps learners’ brains take in, organise and interpret information. Some children have close-up vision deficiencies which can affect hand-eye coordination and delay reading and language skills development. Social and physical development can also suffer.

AEI’s Head of Programmes, Nad Ramsarup, described how his organisation has been providing free vision screening to hundreds of underprivileged schoolchildren in KZN and other provinces: “We don’t only provide spectacles but also refer some children to hospitals if further intervention is needed.” He said that 121 Ekuthuleni pupils had been identified for extra care and treatment for vision problems.

The OSaaT programme’s large-scale school screenings would not be possible without its sponsoring partners: Berkeley Vision, CooperVision, OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, Transitions, Optometry Giving Sight, and Peek Vision.

Nad can be contacted at nad@aei.org.za for more information on AEI’s OSaaT (One School at a Time) project.

Caption:

Pic 1: AEI’s Kesi Naidoo shares in Mratiwa Moloi’s delight as the world comes into focus at the fitting of spectacles at Ekuthuleni Primary School.

Pic 2: Grade 1 pupil at Ekuthuleni Primary School, Xola Magikane, is delighted as the world comes into focus after he received spectacles through the African Eye Institute.

Thank you to our community media partners for your support

https://www.citizen.co.za/north-glen-news/news-headlines/local-news/2024/02/07/durban-north-organisation-helps-learners-look-to-a-brighter-future/

Read more

A Heart filled with Hope through Nadia

The lineage of the name ‘Nadia’ can be traced back to the Slavic languages and beyond to the ancient Middle East. Among its meanings is “Filled with hope”. Nadia Aboud knows that her name describes her inner self perfectly. Originally hailing from a small Free State town where caring for each other is second nature to the members of the community, she has always had a heart to extend hope to those in need of it. When she moved to Durban in 2016, big city life came as something of a culture shock. She was swept up into the pressured demands of corporate life and, in her own words, “I lost track of myself.” In her search for the Nadia of Koffiefontein of her youth, she met Nicky Walton, a fellow La Lucia resident who introduced her to The Domino Foundation. There Nadia has found ample scope for her innate capacity for hope to overflow to beneficiaries on the foundation’s programmes.  Initially, she volunteered during the mammoth relief effort Domino coordinated in the aftermath of the KZN April and May 2022 floods. She was stirred by the effort of so many for the good of those in need and knew she had found her space to inspire hope.

Nadia’s creative and artistic skills are finding expression as she works with the survivors of human-trafficking in the Red Light Programme, teaching them jewellery and seamstressing. As one of the finalists in Mrs SA 2022 in November, fashion and beauty are hallmarks of Nadia’s. She has also stepped forward to volunteer at Domino’s Babies Home and is keen to bring her special brand of hope to the little ones there. “I was thrilled to meet the new baby who has just been welcomed into the ‘family’ there and I am appealling to the community for winter tracksuits and leggings and winter tops for 2 to 4 year-olds, flannel cot sheets and receiving blankets.” Precious Thabethe, House Mother at the home, invited any well-wishers to drop their donations off either at the home or at Domino’s offices (37 Mackeurtan Avenue, Durban North).

Nadia with a precious little baby from Fairhavens Baby Home Nadia Aboud imparting her special brand of hope to a small member of the ‘family’ at The Domino Foundation’s Babies Home.

 

Read more

The BIG picture

We thought it would be super helpful to put all our programmes into a one page “big picture format” for you, to make it easy to identify with our common values and purpose and how each programme interconnects with the other.

The aim is to reduce vulnerability step by step in a beneficiary’s life creating a positive #DominoEffect from Cradle to Career, an beyond!

There are three additional safety net interventions for added support of Human Rights, Disaster Management and protecting the Environment.

We hope this inspires you, as your impact plays it part in this story!

The Domino Programme Infograph

The interconnected #DominoEffect reducing vulnerability from Cradle to Career with additional Safety Net interventions in support!

Read more

Active learning in Foundation Phase

Zanele Nzimakwe is the Team Leader for this Enterprise and Educational programme. Our partnership is with ECD Owners who are our beneficiaries, to enable them to stimulate and enhance child learning holistically, by equipping them with essential business skills that will assist them to run their school as a small business that is effective.

Progress in the first quarter of 2020 was follows:

  • The ECD Field Workers started with site visits in Blackburn and the Domino Babies Home
  • Field workers are busy working on developing a Practitioner Guide (how to improve their teaching and awareness skills of the needs of their pupils)
  • Provided age appropriate learning materials to our partnering ECD centres who are:
  1. iThemba
  2. Siyavuka
  3. Smanethemba
  4. Khulanathi
  5. Sifundokhule

Other activities included:

  • Quarterly Assessments were started but not completed prior to COVID-19 Lockdown
  • Staff did a reflection session to assess the impact of those ECD’s who have partnered with Domino vs those who have not. This was a great encouragement to the team
  • Team continue to implement the ECD 150 Tool

Victory!

“Ithuba is running their ECD centre effectively and their DSD funding proposal is in progress” said Zanele.  This it is anticipated will have a greater impact on their long term independence and business sustainability.

Have a sneak peak of Zanele taking learning online

 

Read more

All children must read

Exciting times for educators and learners at Ekuthuleni Primary School as we had established the Step 1 and 2 of the Neema Literacy Programme in Term 3 and 4 of 2019 and moved onto Step 3 in Grade 2 of 2020. This means that both Grades 1 and 2 are now benefiting from ‘Gateway into Reading’ in this wonderful school.

Activities for Term 1 of 2020 included – Implementation meetings with the Principal Mr Khalala and HOD’s, Educator workshops were completed,  class lessons done, workbooks printed, resource packs prepared for each Grade 2 teacher and assessments (written and verbal) with 36 x Grade 2 learners were done. Shew it is ground breaking work which is of great significance for foundational phase reading in this community!

“This is a fundamental opportunity to shape mighty minds and Cathy Potter has been an incredible asset in this programme” says Leigh-Ann Stevens, Literacy Team Leader

An exciting innovation from COVID-19 is taking our reading lessons online – we hope this brings much hope and happiness to smart little minds!

 

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

ECD Effects 4th Quarter 2015

Early Childhood Development 4th Quarter 2015

“Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.”

These great words from Nelson Mandela inspire the Domino Foundation’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme, an initiative that hopes to empower unequipped and under-resourced ECD centres to build a stronger foundation for young learners.

One of South Africa’s greatest education challenges is access to quality learning from a young age and even those that do go to foundation phase learning are often scared by the social ills of a broken community. The Amaoti area is marked by poverty and child-headed households and the reality is that what’s happening at home affects the school day – making teaching difficult and requiring teachers to double up as counsellors too.

The Domino Foundation’s ECD team walks alongside 16 ECD centre owners, monitoring the crèches weekly. Educational and enterprise assistance is provided to help meet the nutritional, cognitive, social, behavioural and educational needs of children in their formative years.

Even though the programme has been implemented for a few years it has been a joy to see the suggested improvements being cemented in centres’ routine. All the crèches now teach the same themes and work in tandem together, whereas before the teachers worked in silos isolating themselves from peers. Through the guidance of Unlimited Child and the continued support of the Domino Foundation’s crèche mentors, crèche owners and teachers are empowered to not just care for the children but actually teach them too.

The Sibaya Community Trust have generously funded the programme for the past three years and have been so encouraged by the improvements in the crèches that Domino works into that they are extending funding to cover 15 more crèches in the Waterloo area. Crèche assessments have already been well under way as life skills workers rate the Waterloo crèches on their standing on the registration process, their hygiene, teaching methods and infrastructure.

As a thank you for the teachers’ selfless dedication the Domino Foundation threw an awards ceremony for the crèche owners and teachers complete with holidays hampers and gifts to acknowledge them for what they have done.

The ECD team is excited to unroll what they have set up this year; a season they feel is full of promises and miracles. 2015 has been a year of strengthening and laying the foundations to make an even bigger impact on vulnerable children in the Amaoti community in 2016. As God opens doors into government the team prays for the completion of all the crèche registrations, an accomplishment that brings life and security to the creches and a stepping-stone to a brighter future for our children.

Read more

ECD Effects June/July 2015

The Early Childhood Development programme focuses on empowering ECD centre educators and owners with essential education and enterprise skills. Since it’s launch in 2011 the programme has impacted 32 crèches in the Amaoti area in rural KwaZulu-Natal, assisting in making ECD centres sustainable businesses in the process making a lasting economic and educational impact in the community.Sixteen of the creches are funded the Bright Start Programme, a Sibaya Community Trust initiative that invests in education.

We have witnessed many success stories throughout the years, classrooms have been built and beautified, owners have learnt business and teaching skills and kids have quality classes. To ensure that the little learners can absorb the quality education they’re fed nutritious meals everyday through the Domino Foundation’s feeding programme.

Primrose Gcabashe is the crèche owners of Thembelihle Crèche and is exceptionally proud of her new crèche built through the funds available through the programme. She believes the programme has empowered her run to an effective business as well as provide quality education saying, “I don’t feel so alone, I feel supported and encouraged and now I have a beautiful crèchethat I can teach the children in.”

Read more

Bright Beginnings for Back2School!

Traditional zulu dances in celebration

The children at an Amaoti  crèche had a bright start to the school year when Integra Scores, a BBBEE verification agency, threw them a party with all the delicious treats that children love as well as a generous donation of stationery to the value of R5 000.00. The children performed a Nativity Play and traditional Zulu songs and dances to express their appreciation – a fitting finale to a fun-filled occasion. And long after the taste of the party-fare has faded, these children will be enjoying the educational benefits of colouring-in books, paints, pencils, erasers, story-books, crayons, balls, play dough, and scissors – all the tools  needed to equip them for the challenges of ‘big school’.

Integra Scores approached Durban North-based NPO Indlela at the end of last year with a view fo throwing a Christmas party for children in the Amaoti community. As numerous parties had already been organised, it was suggested that they consider sponsoring a ‘Back2School’ party in the new year for a crèche that falls under Indlela’s ‘Bright Beginnings’ programme. Indlela’s crèche development programme is aimed at helping to prepare young children in needy communities for a brighter future through improved nutrition, early childhood education, and by upgrading the physical environment of the crèches.

Read more
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial