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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).