Domino Babies Home

EGG-STATIC!

 

The response to The Domino Foundation’s appeal for Easter eggs was overwhelming. Every child on the Foundation’s Feeding programme received a chocolate-covered symbol of new life, the triumphant message of the Easter story. Schools, church groups, companies, families and individuals showed great generosity in the almost 9000 eggs they donated. Working together with Cathy Whittle, leader of the Feeding programme, Pippa Coote of Sprout Consulting, galvanised various businesses enterprises to bring in 4500 of the eggs. The young leaners at Qalakahle Crèche, Mansell Road, Stamford Hill, were delighted with the taste treat brought by the Easter Rabbit. Their crèche was one among the many which were blessed through the generosity of so many. Other channels through and to which eggs were distributed were The Domino Foundation’s Feeding, Babies’ Home, Life Skills and Red Light programmes, creches in Amaoti, Waterloo, the Durban CBD and the Point area, Glenridge, Anthem and Every Nation Churches, Youth for Christ, Mildene Retirement Village and Villa Sunfield old age home and frail care facility. On behalf of all those who were blessed by the wide and generous response to our appeal, we say “Thank you!” It was an Easter to remember!

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

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

Teaching the Toddlers

Early in 2017, Liezel Rabey moved to KZN from Gauteng with her family. She contacted The Domino Foundation, wanting to be involved in some aspect of the foundation’s activities. Liezel, an educational psychologist, has a passion for seeing toddlers established on a firm grounding for the school years ahead of them. She has been running an informal play school at The Domino Foundation’s Babies’ Homes since then three times a week, with two other ladies, Amanda Pet and Kerrie Tomlinson, having taken up the challenge to increase that to a fourth day each week. Music, art and dance lessons are great fun and develop the little people’s co-ordination and imagination. Their fine motor skills are strengthened through puzzles, play dough and threading. Every second week, the children are seeing their worlds enlarged with visits to exciting places like Animal Farm, the Mitchell Park Zoo, Ushaka, the Port Natal Maritime Museum where the toddlers had a wonderful time exploring the steam tug and the minesweeper, King Shaka and Virginia airports, the Trampoline and Bird Parks. Liezel has set up a veggie garden where the children take part in the planting, watering, weeding. Here they are admiring the very healthy broccoli in the garden.

The vision of the Babies’ Homes Programme is to provide a safe, loving and nurturing environment for abandoned babies and toddlers before their being adopted into a loving family unit.

While the children are in our homes, we ensure that they have 24 hour care in a holistically safe environment which caters to their physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs. Our desire is to provide as stable a home-life for these little people as we can so that their transition into their adoptive families is as easy as possible.

We have items which we need on an ongoing basis to enable us to keep functioning effectively. We gratefully receive donations of any of the items on the following list:

 

Read more

2016: What a year!

This year has been a time of exponential growth, tough challenges, our faith been tested and of course, many lives been changed. In 2016 alone we’ve been able to impact the lives of over 5000 individuals on a daily basis. During our journey we’ve seen 3 key areas being highlighted:


1. Increasing our areas of influence

A big cause for celebration has been The Domino Foundation moving from being a North Durban NPO to a nationwide NPO.

We’re excited to announce that The Domino Foundation’s areas of influence now include: Waterloo, Oshebni, Amanzimtoti, Inner city Durban and Cape Town. We’ve also continued to strengthen our existing relationships with donors, volunteers, NPOS and governmental departments like the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Social Development and the National Prosecuting Authority.


2.Partnering with local churches

We have loved partnering with other churches to outwork their social justice initiatives.

This year we’ve partnered with Glenridge (Durban Inner City) and The Rock (Umhlanga) through the outworking of the Red light Anti-Human Trafficking programme; Life Changers (Tableview, Cape Town) for the Recycle Swop Shop and Kingsway Church International (Amanzimtoti) to open another sandwich kitchen. As we’ve been able to share our experience, skills, knowledge and feeding expertise we’ve seen an incredible growth in the Amanzimtoti Sandwich Kitchen. In just eight months the kitchen has grown to preparing 660 sandwiches a week – an incredible growth rate!


3.Beneficiary Impact

We started the year with four programmes and expanded to seven community transformational initiatives.

Babies’ Homes – We provided a loving, family environment for 15 children in our two transitional homes with 6 babies being adopted into their ‘forever homes’.

Life Skills Programme– We worked with 4 under-resourced primary schools and 726 children on a weekly basis through lessons, one-on-one counselling sessions and after school activities – all aiming to empower learners to make wise life choices.

ECD Programme– We started the year upskilling and transforming 23 crèches into sustainable small businesses and places of active learning and increased to 44 establishments by year-end. Our work in the ECD space ensures that over children are receiving quality foundation-phase development throughout KZN.

Feeding Programme– We opened an additional kitchen to feed the south Durban basin, as well as added an additional 17 establishments (a combination of crèches/kindergartens and primary schools) to our feeding programme across KZN. By the year-end we were feeding a total of 55 establishments and averaging an incredible 98 000 meals a month!

Red light Anti-Human Trafficking – This programme joined Domino in 2016 and in 2017 we look forward to welcoming 8 ladies into our programme where they’ll be assisted, cared for, restored and released.

Recycle Swop Shops – The social justice and environmental programme joined Domino in 2016 with three swop shops operating in the Western Cape.

Bursary Programme – In 2017 the programme will fund 5 students’ tertiary education, giving them the opportunity to build themselves a future through education.


Thanks to donors and volunteers, your support has enabled us to continue changing thousands of lives through showing mercy, combatting injustice and empowering individuals throughout our beautiful country of South Africa. If you would like to partner with us for 2017 please let us know.


Read more

Stories from the nursery: 3rd Quarter 2016

The two Domino Babies Homes have seen a flurry of activity over the past three months. Not only has there been lots of day-to-day maintenance as well as volunteers coming to play with our babies but on the night of the 1st September 2016, a passerby alerted us to a tiny newborn that had been abandoned on our doorstep. Needless to say, we jumped into rescue mode.

We immediately brought her inside and warmed her up, phoned the police and then took her to the hospital to be checked. Not even a day old the little girl might have had a rough start to her life but we count it SUCH a privilege to care for these precious children and are constantly in awe that we are able to change destinies through all programmes at The Domino Foundation.

Thank you to everyone who has supported our two Babies Homes – your support has not gone unnoticed! A big thank you to Dischem  and the Christain Motorcycle Association who donated large amounts of much-needed baby supplies.

 

img_2816

In Ububele…

Baby R continues to thrive in Grade R and in all school activities. The lively seven-year-old has been with Domino for a year. Just like the other children Baby R started to come into her own after arriving at Domino, the care and love of the Babies’ Home staff settling her soul and stimulating her mind.

Baby S’s is a five-year-old boy who arrived at the Domino Babies’ Home almost a year ago after he was abandoned at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital. His health is improving every day and we know he’ll be strong enough to go to school next year.

Baby U is settling in nicely to her new home and is learning how to speak English and isiZulu. The police found the little two-year-old girl walking on the street. Precious and the caregivers believe she’s from another African country because she’s been unable to speak in English, isiZulu or Xhosa. After a few months of gentle guidance and teaching, she now is starting to learn the names of the other children and some simple words.

Baby V is a bubbly little ball of joy. The seven-month-old has just learned how to crawl and is enjoying her new transition home. Child welfare is still investigating her family and deciding if she should be adopted or taken back to her family.

img_3014

In Fairhavens…

Baby Q is a healthy seven-month-old who has recovered from his chest and breathing problems. He’s now ready for adoption and the social workers are looking for a home for Baby Q.

Baby M is a beautiful five-year-old girl who has been with Domino Babies’ Home for over a year. She loves going to Preschool and is busy preparing for the school play, which is coming up soon. Child welfare is still looking for a loving home for the little girl.

Baby N is the brother of Baby M and has just gone through a phase of ‘the terrible twos’ – something all parents will be familiar with! The home’s routine, as well as the caregivers’ constant love, has ensured Baby N has moved through the terrible twos and into the next, much calmer, stage of his development.

Baby O and Baby P are sisters and are in the process of finding their forever home. As it is with all adoptions and fostering it’s up to the children to determine the pace of leaving the transitional home – once they have warmed up to their new parents then the adoption can go ahead.

 

Read more

Working together for a better future

Members of Gap Capital and SAICA gathered together for a special site visit organised by the Light Trust, to experience the philanthropic work of one of its beneficiaries, The Domino Foundation.

The group were made familiar with some of The Domino Foundation’s youth-focused programmes by taking a tour of the Babies’ Home, a loving home that has cared for over one hundred abandoned babies over its decade-long existence, and the Sandwich Kitchen, which prepares and delivers over 4 000 sandwiches to underprivileged schools in and around Durban per week.

Wesley Smith, Executive Director of Gap Capital, Chartered Accountant and member of SAICA, has known about the Durban North based NPO for at least ten years. Through Gap Capital he hopes to stand in the gap between the rich and the poor and use capital for good.

“Our model is to create storehouses of wealth to sustain the poor not through charity and giving but through investing in businesses. Gap Capital’s role is to find great companies that we can earn equity stakes in and gain back territory for the poor through the Light Trust. We offer financial, strategic and operational support to a range of charities, just like the Domino Foundation. Can you imagine if millions of millions cold flow every month into charities?”

Naaem Asvat, Regional Executive of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), joined the group who toured the Domino Foundation. He believes that business and professionals, like accountants, have a crucial role to play when it comes to doing good.

“There’s a lot of good work being done by chartered accountants and if other chartered accountants could see this good work it will also encourage them to play in that space of social entrepreneurship as the Domino Foundation and Gap Capital have done. Our intention is to get chartered accountants involved in the community with a simple reason of benefiting our communities.”

With so much good to be done, it makes all the difference when businesses join arms with non-profits.

dsc_0024

*ABOUT SAICA

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 40 000 members who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)], and hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development

 

Read more

#KnowYourNPO – Babies Home

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

#KnowYourNpo

The Domino Foundation believes in helping the most vulnerable and impoverished in the Amaoti community – that’s why we have four amazing projects that each do their bit in making this vision come alive. For the next few months we’ll be shining a light on each of our programmes.Here are some encouraging snapshots from our Babies Homes, made up of Fairhavens & Ububele, as the first Domino Foundation Project in the #KnowyourNPO campaign.

#1. Our two Babies Homes provide a safe, loving and nurturing place for abandoned babies and toddlers to stay while their forever home is being found. These children come from Kwazulu-Natal and surrounding areas and are placed in our care by Durban Child Welfare.

#2. Under the watchful eye of our crisis care moms and trained caregivers, our babies are given the best care possible. That means 24 hour supervision, lots of hugs and changing hundreds of nappies every month.

#3. Since 2004 we’ve had over 100 babies through our homes, which is actually over one hundred families that have been transformed.

#4. Have you ever wondered about the process of how our Babies Homes function?

An infographic showing how the Babies Homes works.

#5. SA unfortunately has a large number of orphaned and vulnerable children. But what are we doing about it? Child Welfare places vulnerable children (who are up to the age of 5) with us while they look for a forever home. We also share a house with Door of Hope, a counselling center that offers counseling to women in crisis pregnancies.

#6. Domino always dreamed of opening a second babies home and in 2014 that dream became a reality. Ububele Babies Home is neighbors with the first home, Fairhavens, and each house can take up to six little ones into their care.

#7. The success of the Home is directly linked to the generosity of others, so thank you to everyone who has made Domino Babies Home a place of hope and happiness. We’re always looking for volunteers to play and love with the little ones. If that’s you, email volunteer@domino.org.za.

#8. If you have a heart for giving on a regular basis, why not sign up for our “Adopt-a-cot” initiative? For just R200 a month (debit order) you can ‘adopt’ one of the cots in our two homes and help cover the running costs of the home like nappies, electricity and food. Alternatively you can use Zapper – a super easy way to donate! Click here to read more about the initiative.

12512395_1000577699979374_1403917229691411053_n

Read more

Babies Effects 4th Quarter 2015

This year the Domino Foundation’s two Babies Homes were able to provide a safe, loving and nurturing environment for twelve abandoned babies and toddlers. That means that twelve little lives were rescued from unfair circumstances and cared for by caregivers. We celebrate the four children who found their forever home and the one precious life who was restored to his family.

One such story of joy is about Baby Senzo’s international adoption. Because his parents were from Denmark they only had two weeks of bonding time before they flew to South Africa to take him home. To get Senzo ready for his adoption they gave him a storybook for house mother, Precious, to read to him every night. This helped him become familiar with his soon to be pet dog and family and brother, who is also adopted like him. What innovative parenting!

Another amazing story from the Babies Home has been the restoration of a brother and sister. The both arrived at the Babies Home at the beginning of the year with blotted pasts. Through some ingenious investigation from Child Welfare it was discovered that they were in fact brother and sister, and unbeknownst to everyone had been placed in the same home. At the end of this year they were both adopted by the same family, a testament to God’s bigger plans.

The Domino Foundation Babies Homes would not be able to continue running without the generosity of gifts and time by this community. Thank you to everyone has contributed in some way or form – you have made us shine.

Fair Havens 2 013

Read more

Babies Affects June/July 2015

Big news in the Fairhavens Babies Home has been the adoption of one the precious babies into their forever home. We celebrate with this wonderful occasion and pray that baby is loved unconditionally. With this exciting news Fairhaven’s prepares itself for the arrival of a new little life and looks forward to being a safe place until he or she finds their forever home.

The six children who currently call Fairhavens home loved their visit from community service volunteers from local surrounding schools that came to help at Domino for the week. The children were treated to hand painting and plenty of interactive playtime, a very important form of stimulation that helps to develop gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor development is movements that involve using the large muscles of the body; so rolling over and catching a ball and fine motor development involve movements using smaller muscles like painting.

Other exciting news has been the development of Fairhaven’s very own veggie garden on the property to help supplement the children’s meals. One of the I-Can staff has been looking after the plot and has just been sent on a training time at the Domino Foundation veggie gardens. This training will help the vegetables, and the children, flourish!

Looking after small children requires 24 hour attention and the Babies home staff work shifts to ensure every little body is carefully cared for. In saying this, the home is looking for two small TV’s for the night staff to enjoy when the babies are sleeping. Please contact the office if you are able to help.

Read more