Domino Life Skills

Youth Life Orientation

We started 2020 with 1,474 pre-adolescent youth on our Life Skills Programme

We have had to be very adaptable as a team.  The DOE stipulated that no external partnerships/role players were permitted at any schools.  We have however been able to continue working with most of our learners and our role, certainly at the beginning of the lockdown, was largely supportive. 

When schools reopened, the youth workers performed a supportive role in educating learners on safety protocols and assisted the schools with preparations before learners returned to school.   Once schools reopened, the teams did the sanitising process for school learners and managed the entry and exit process to and from school.  Early mornings were spent screening learners and liaising with parents leaving teachers free to concentrate on the task of helping learners catch up academic time lost. 

Youth Workers then spent time in classrooms, helping where teachers were absent and were also permitted to teach the life skills curriculum with key grades. 

Currently we are teaching life skills to Grades 6 and 7 at Zwakele and Grades 4 and 6 at Ekuthuleni Primary school.  We are most grateful for our long standing relationship of trust with our schools who value us as partners in their schools

Activities that kept us engaged with one another and our beneficiaries during hard Lockdown Level 5

  • Weekly Zoom Team Connect Sessions – the team were supported emotionally to enable them to brainstorm new and innovative ways of reaching our beneficiaries so that life skills lesson content could be shared.
  • We worked strategically at developing Safety and Education Protocol Presentations to help learners and our partner schools navigate their return to schools.  Our Youth Workers developed visually appealing Powerpoint presentations to educate learners about the virus and how to stay safe.  These were sent out via WhatsApp videos and were reinforced when learners returned to school.  The team also experimented making short videos highlighting important lessons from our curriculum.  These were sent out to some learners whose parents’ details we already had access to. 
  • Weekly telephonic contact was initiated by the Programme Team Leader with the school principals
  • The team were instrumental in planning and facilitating the distribution of 1,300 Relief Aid Food Hampers to the most vulnerable beneficiaries within schools partnerships.
  • We continued upgrading the manual curriculum into digital presentation in classrooms using data projectors.
  • Once we moved to Lockdown Level 4, the Life Skills team pivoted to assist with general Domino Disaster Relief Operations as many hands and feet were needed with the unpacking and repacking efforts
  • They have also assisted with the Data Capture of Beneficiary Lists for Research and Evaluation

Where are we now 6 months down the line?

We are back in our schools, screening learners, liaising with parents on behalf of the schools and helping where teachers are absent.  We are also facilitating Life Skills lessons once again but not able to teach all the grades we taught at the beginning of the year, however we are most grateful to have the opportunity to reach some of our beneficiaries. 

What was challenging?

Data coverage and fast internet connection in the township areas is not ideal.  Trying to have online Zoom Meetings with the team was challenging and at times a very frustrating experience.  The team was adaptable and should be commended for their willingness to engage and innovate.  One of our greatest challenges we realised was that we relied too much on the school as our contact point with the learners’ parents/caregivers.  With schools closed at such short notice, our ability to stay connected to our learners was limited.  We have highlighted this as an area of importance that we need to improve in and are developing tools to have more direct contact opportunities with our beneficiaries and their families.

Opportunities to grow…

What lockdown taught us is that team work is vital for efficiency and efficacy.  Within our organisation new opportunities have presented themselves to work more co-operatively between programmes and this became most evident in the partnership between Nutrition and Life Skills.  Before a child can process any information, he/she has to have energy to pay attention through brain food.  Our Nutrition Programme supplies additional protein rich sandwiches to vulnerable children at school, to supplement the government feeding scheme.  What the team have observed is that sometimes the most hungry/vulnerable children are not always receiving a sandwich because of the way they are being distributed.  To address this, we are in the process of analysing how life skills could assist with developing tools to help teachers to identify the most vulnerable of children in need.  We are also exploring how the Youth Workers could help with distributing sandwiches to the orphaned and vulnerable learners. 

Regards School Nutrition – we want to build capacity not own the process so our intention is not to replace the role of the OVC teacher, rather to co-labour in support of the system already in place and see ourselves as adding value to our schools ensuring that we strengthen an active and inspiring learning environment for our beneficiaries.

Chad le Clos donates masks in support of youth …

Leigh-Anne Stevens heads up this team too

Want to know more about our Life Skills Programme

Want to impact the youth today for their leadership skills tomorrow?

There is such untapped potential in the young people in our country and we would love to see all of them thrive and shine. Is your personal or business conviction to mentor, model and motivate the youth to achieve all they are designed to be? Then please will you connect with our Donor Relations Team Karen Brokensha or Tarin Stevenson and possibly even host a Think Tank Session with Leigh-Ann and our Youth Team #onebodymanyparts

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Thinking out of the Box …

Berea-based NPO, the AtomGate Foundation, (an outreach arm of Morningside IT solutions and services company, AtomGate), has once again linked up with the Domino Foundation Nutrition programme in Amanzimtoti. A bakkie-load of flip-top plastic containers to be used as lunch boxes was donated for distribution to Domino’s beneficiary partnering primary schools, high schools and a community centre where the Nutrition Programme operates. CEO of AtomGate, Kevin Meredith, and founder of the AtomGate Foundation commented, “We have previously joined forces with Domino helping make sandwiches. Now, we felt that the schoolchildren receiving Domino’s sandwiches needed containers to put the sandwiches in.” As a deacon in Kingsway Church International, Amanzimtoti, Kevin has been par of the Domino Toti kitchen since 2016.

Cheryl Dann, who leads Domino’s Toti operations, said, “We distributed this generous donation to our beneficiaries who opted for big waves of gratitude as their smiley faces were hidden by masks!” Cheryl expressed her sincere appreciation to AtomGate saying, “Support from local business partners like AtomGate, which is a real community player, adds such value and joy to our work. We would love to connect with other local companies who want to partner with us to bring hope and really make a difference in our beneficiaries’ lives. Please contact me on feedingtoti@domino.org.za.”

Caption Domino’s Purity Ngcongo with Kusakusa Primary School Grade 7 pupils Nomthandazo Khumalo (left) and Msizi Hlongwa and some of the lunch boxes donated by the AtomGate Foundation.                                                                                      

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Mandela Day – Power Hour Options

We know some people like heavy lifting and to feel physically connected to the project! So in line with all COVID-19 Public Health & Hygiene Regulations (we know them very well after packing 20,048 Hampers over the past 3 months ) added to Domino’s signature agility, we have various #MandelaDay2020 options to suit your needs and budgets:

  1. Want to do a workout on site? We would love you and your team (strictly 5 peeps at time for an hour max) to help us pack and stack more Hope Hampers. It’s a R3,500 donation from your CSI/SED budget, and we will set up the packing grid here at Domino in Durban North on Friday 17 July 2020 only. Please email Lisa Doyle on admin@domino.org.za to book your time slot and send her your company details for invoicing. Watch our COVID-19 Workout video for inspiration of what you can expect and please don’t be a “Lazy Llama”!
  2. Prefer to workout off site? Ok perfect, you can come and collect a stack of 10 x COVID-19 Branded Buckets from us at the Domino Offices in Durban North and make a donation of R500. Then you and your team need to fill them at your offices/homes/churches with the 10 x Standarised Items (to the value of approx R300 each) Post a little video and tag us with you hard at work having fun packing. Please return the filled buckets all sanitised and sealed to our offices by Friday 31 July 2020. Email Lisa Doyle on admin@domino.org.za and she will send you all the details of how to fill your buckets
  3. Make-up Dignity Bags for girls? Gather your friends and make up pretty and practical Toiletry Bags (Uzwelo do some beautiful recycled options) for teenage girls who on our Literacy and Life School Programmes. Fill them with the following seven basic Toiletry Items, add a handwritten card of encouragement and then drop them at the Domino Offices by Friday 31 July 2020. Please email Lisa Doyle on admin@domino.org.za if you would like to bring joy & dignity to these girls.
  4. We need nappies for Africa – We care for 6 orphaned and vulnerable babies in our Babies Home and are always in need of nappies – Huggies/Pampers in sizes 2, 3 and 4 please. We can also use nappies to support little children in our partnering Early Childhood Development Centres. So, please pop a bundle of nappies, sensitive wet wipes and Vaseline (not perfumed) into your shopping trolley and drive by and drop off at Domino Offices in Durban North by Friday 31 July 2020. Please email Lisa Doyle on admin@domino.org.za to let her know you would like to do that!
  5. Did their school & sports shoes shrink in lockdown? If that happened to your kids, and you now have pairs of pre-loved school and sports shoes in great condition to give to community friends in need, please ask and encourage your classmates to bring them to school and drop at Domino Offices in Durban North on Friday 17 July 2020, or we can send our drivers to come and collect them all together. Please email Lisa Doyle on admin@domino.org.za with your school details and shoe collection contact person

Thank you so much #MandelaDay2020 #EachOneReachOne

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Mandela Day – Online Activations

“It always seems impossible until it’s done” Nelson Mandela

We realise and respect that many of you might want to do something for Mandela Day this year but would prefer to do it from the comfort of your own offices or homes. So herewith some simple and super fun options:

  1. Could you zap a R67 gift to us? Thank you Zap away and please challenge 6 – 7 friends to do the same! Can we make it easier? WhatsApp us on 083 777 5633 and we will send you the mobile Zapper link to forward on …
  2. Are you an avid Zwift racing cyclist? Yay then please cycle in the Virtual Aquelle Tour Durban on 25 and 26 July 2020. It is R50 per entry and you can seriously chase that leader board!!
  3. Or are you more of a #WeekendWarrior type cyclist, where it’s about the coffee and the connecting and the great open road? Great, then please get your cycling crew and sign up to participate in the Virtual Aquelle Tour Durban on 25 and 26 July 2020 It is also R50 per entry and you can race your mates along the beach, bush or berg …
  4. Are you artistic and wildly creative? Could you draw a picture, do a painting, create a doodle or take a series of photographs? Anything to do with hope. Then you can auction it off to your friends and family online, tag us in your “online exhibition”, share your story and donate the proceeds to us!
  5. Do you act, create drama, write poetry or sing? Could you add your voice to a video about the importance of education, justice and nutrition? You could share it on your social media channels and tag The Domino Foundation to create greater awareness of the importance of the #DominoEffect – #fromcradletocareer giving #dignity #hope and #justice
  6. How about challenging your friends overseas to any of the above options? We have PayPal especially for those that love Africa, her sunshine, Shwe Shwe, the big 5 and our beloved Madiba!
  7. Could you continue to raise awareness and support of our Hope Vouchers please? R410 is just a click away and brings freedom of choice and dignified relief aid

THANK YOU AND GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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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!

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Give Youth Life Skills

“A shift to fewer schools but going deeper with more grades!” says Leigh-Ann Stevens, who is also the Life Skills Team Leader

A decision was made at the end of 2019 to only facilitate Life Skills lessons at two partner schools and they are:

  • Grades 4, 6 and 7 at Zwakele Primary School and
  • Grades 4, 5 and 6 at Ekuthuleni Primary School

This has provided the opportunity to increase their availability and visibility with learners in these schools, they are able to build better interpersonal relationships and be more available onsite at the school, as well as assisting with parent/child home visits and to be included in the school staff events.

In Term 1 of 2020:

Our Youth Workers facilitated over 146 lessons at both schools in Gradess 4 – 7 as well as an additional 3 x 3 hour sessions were held by The Dignity Project. A wonderful partnership with The Sharks Gap Academy has created an opportunity for the Sharks students to facilitate 2 x PE sessions at Zwakele at the end of Term 1.

“We really are needing a small external office like a ‘Wendy Hut’ for the Life Skills Team at Ekuthuleni as the principal has given us a small area next to the Grade 4 classroom block which we need as a staff office and private meeting space with learners” Leigh-Ann appealed on the Youth Workers behalf!

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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!

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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.

 

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Life Skills Programme Update – 3rd Quarter

 

We are delighted that Nonhlanhla Majola has joined the team as a Youth Worker.

A total of 104 Life Skills lessons were taught in the course of the third term.

An introductory meeting with Edge Training has led to agreement being reached to pilot an after-school sports programme, either in Term 4 2017 or Term 1 of 2018.  Edge is awaiting sponsorship of equipment for this.

The Grade 7 learners from Zwakele took part in the Edge Schools leadership training 14-16th August.

Lifeline’s course, “Protective Behaviour” is being looked at with the team possibly going for training for February 2018. Meetings are being held to discuss training in counselling.

In 2018, one of the workers with the Life Skills programme will be offering Zulu dancing at the school as an extra-curricular activity.  A proposal is being put together to offer debating and leadership-training with class representatives and prefects is being considered.

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Medical Students Impact Matrics

With its express purpose of empowering school learners to make wise life-choices, The Domino Foundation’s Life Skills programme was delighted to have four UKZN medical students tutoring the Grade 12 learners at Amaoti 3 Combined. Working together with the school’s Principal, Mrs Maphumulo, and Physical Science teacher, Mr Majiya, the four university students, (Gift Machabe, Ayanda Nkosi, Sinethemba Mgolombane and Siyethemba Zwane) gave sixteen hours of Maths and Science coaching to the Amaoti learners on Saturday mornings. During this time, the medical students also facilitated an HIV/AIDS awareness workshop. Thanking them, Mr Majiya said, “Our students owe much of their success in their exams to your input”.

The Domino Foundation Life Skills programme reaches primary school children in the early teenage years in the Amaoti community. We believe that behaviour change is best effected through long-term relationships with learners in the formative phase of their lives. We impact a number of schools and reach children between the ages of 6 and 17 years. Our vision is to empower learners to make wise life choices, instilling in them a sense of self-worth and purpose and offering them hope for the future.

The Life Skills Programme comprises a four year HIV/AIDS prevention programme which runs at primary schools as part of the Life Orientation lesson. The project goal is to impact the lives of children who are vulnerable and under threat of HIV/AIDS. Work is done with children from 9-13 years assisting with their physical, cognitive, emotional and relational support and development.

The Domino Foundation Life Skills programme is dependent on both corporate and individual financial donors, on non-financial donors and on volunteers. If you would like more information, please contact Leigh-Ann Stevens (leigh-ann@domino.org.za) or 0315639605

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