Domino People

A little goes a long way …

“2.5 Million Children in South Africa Go Hungry Every Year”… we have become numbed by headlines like this…the words exhaust us, frustrate us and leave us asking, “How can I possibly make a difference?” My once-off donation of R250 would pale into insignificance in the light of the burden of increasing rates of child poverty, child-headed households, double orphans, human-trafficking, malnutrition and lack of equal educational opportunities.

The Domino Foundation is committed to its purpose “one changed life, changes a community”. In the same way, it only takes one decision to make a difference, no matter how small the gift. However, Marketing Storyteller with the Foundation, Karen Brokensha, points out: “giving on a regular monthly basis of a relatively small amount makes a very tangible and sustainable impact in the work we can do for communities. R250 a month on a direct debit order has a very quantifiable impact through our programmes.” Karen gave details of how R164 per month enables active learning in a toddler in the Early Childhood Development Programme while for R32,50, the Nutrition Programme is able to supply peanut butter or egg mayonnaise sandwiches for a school learner each month. The Literacy Programme is able to provide phonic education for five children to learn to read in Grade 1 with an investment of R250 over the twelve months.

“Where some of the needs are much bigger, individual donors and families giving monthly forms the backbone of our fundraising strategy as people who give to what matters to them, usually partner with conviction, compassion and consistency” Karen said. “We have done our homework and realised that it only takes 13 individuals or families donating R249 per month to help a young person reach their destined potential through our Skills Development Programme. Our bursary students need R3,237 per month for their tuition/textbooks/data for online learning.” Karen went on, “It takes R3,214 per month for us to give the round-the-clock love and care each of our vulnerable little ones in our Babies’ Home needs. That also means 13 families giving R250 each month would fit that bill for each child being transitioned through reunification/adoption into their forever families”

Karen’s colleague, Gugu Mazwele in the Red Light Anti-Human-Trafficking Programme, added, “We need R4,493 per beneficiary per month to reach out, restore and release these women who have experienced traumatic sexual exploitation”  That is 18 people donating R250 per month per woman, to fight for their freedom through the programme.

“Statistics are hard cold facts“ Said Karen emphatically, “because they reduce human beings to numbers on a spreadsheet, but over the ten months of a standard school year, our Youth Workers in the Life Skills Programme can impact pre-adolescent youth through Mentorship and Leadership Development and you could help a trio of game changers with R250 per month”

Over the past months of Lockdown in particular, Domino’s Disaster Response Unit has appreciated every financial and in kind donation, no matter how large or small, which has helped them meet the immediate needs of people adversely affected by the pandemic. “But our communities will continue to be hit by disasters like floods and shack fires. “We have worked out that R1,588 will help each disaster victim for a year. That’s almost two people helped each month by a direct debit of R250,” said leader of the Disaster Relief Team, Cathy Whittle.

Receiving support from individuals and families on a monthly basis into the Domino stable of ‘ministries’ adds confidence and camaraderie to both the giver and receiver. It is the foundation of  partnership made to stand the test of time!

Nelson Mandela said that “…overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity.” We believe in building diverse income streams to sustain the work we do for the beneficiaries sake,” Karen concluded, “and one option is the direct debit option which enables so many more people to be a proactive part of the solution to brokenness in South Africa. We also want them to know how their generosity is changing individual lives and do our best to send regular updates. We want them to know that we are being faithful stewards of their R250 every month.” She invites anyone who is keen to be part of the direct debit scheme to contact her on karen@domino.org.za or Lisa on admin@domino.org.za or call the office on 031 563 9605.

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PROTOCOL FOR THOSE WANTING TO EXIT THE SEX INDUSTRY CALL 0800 222 777

Many women will share that they want to get out of the lifestyle, so you need to put systems in place to assess their commitment and tenacity to exit the industry.

Some helpful suggestions from our Redlight Programme Team.

  • Hand out Contact Cards – have a separate cell phone with a different number to your personal one, where they can Whatsapp you or miss call you to meet up at another time. I would add the Human Trafficking Resource Line number 0800 222 777 on the card too so if they are desperate they can make contact at any time with the resource line
  • If they don’t have a phone on them, but they know their number – you can do a follow up call with them the next day and make an arrangement to meet up.
  • Always make a plan to meet up in a public place (restaurant or somewhere visible that the ladies are familiar with) and make sure you bring someone with you who can be watching from a distance as protection and can be there to pray.
  • If they show up, bring a notepad with you and just share with them that you want to hear their story and get to know them – allow them to share without interrupting and write down as much as possible – up to you if you want to offer to pay for some food or drinks.

Possible questions to ask:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Where they currently live and with who
  • What area they come from, grew up?
  • School and education level
  • What family, children they have
  • Friendships
  • Previous activity before working on the streets
  • How long have they been working in the industry, who introduced them to the streets?
  • Addiction and substance abuse (often don’t admit truthfully so try to  minimize this aspect)
  • What would they like to do if they could do anything

Once they share all this information with you, you can share how you can/would like to assist them and to encourage them that all it takes is the courage to continue to show up to these meetings and you can share other stories of ladies and men who have successfully left the streets, who have got help getting out of addiction and into other employment opportunities.

FOLLOW UP REFERRALS

  1. The Domino Foundation – Redlight Program

Call Esther Madikane – Redlight Number 076 190 5037, or on the Domino Office number – 031 563 9605 or on email release@domino.org.za

Based in Durban North

Domino Restoration Program can assist with:

  • Refer to an Addiction rehabilitation program and support groups
  • Counselling
  • Spiritual Healing
  • Skills development
  • Education opportunities, short courses
  • Stipends and basic needs provision to support while exiting the industry
  • Vocational training and work experience
  • Medical assistance
  1. The Open Door Crisis Centre: Pinetown +27 31 709 2679
  • Counselling
  • Clinic Services
  • Place of Safety
  1. Human Trafficking Resource Line – 0800 222 777

If the ladies ever feel in danger or want to escape a situation – they can call that toll free number and someone will answer 24/7

 

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When in need, ask a woman!

Each year, South Africa marks Women’s Month in August and remembers the 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 to protest the extension of Pass Laws to women.

The Domino Foundation is largely staffed by women, unrelenting in their determination to see the vulnerable in our communities shown mercy, the marginalised empowered and those with no voice finding justice.

In the time of Lockdown, the severely disrupted school calendar has meant several of the Foundation’s eight programmes have not been able to operate at regular full capacity, yet programmes like the Disaster Relief Unit and Nutrition programme, have gone into overdrive, collecting donations, packing and distributing the equivalent of over one a half million meals to many of Domino’s 13,000 beneficiaries and others through collaboration with city partners, churches and NGO’s. Karen Brokensha, Domino’s Marketing Storyteller, says, “The extraordinary times we find ourselves in have called for extraordinary agility in our female tribe. With extra time and capacity on their hands, due to the disruption in some of their programmes, we have been able to step into unfamiliar spaces to work together to meet the endless needs.

The feminine contingent at the Durban North based foundation have taken much of their lead from Cathy Whittle, leader of the Nutrition and Disaster Response Unit as she coordinates the distribution Relief Aid to reach those in need. Recently nominated by News 24 as an “Everyday Hero”, Cathy has lavishly praised the teamwork which is seeing vital paperwork done, Monitoring and Evaluation continuing, the 64 crèches on Domino’s ECD programme being made Covid-ready for when the children can and do return, and the endless administrative business is being attended as a united effort. “Possibly it comes quite naturally as we women are multi-taskers by nature of our roles as working moms. The ladies are thinking smart and stepping into the gaps without being asked. This really is teamwork at its best!”

Caption

Some of the ladies of the Domino team whose hands have made the job much lighter left to right:

Happiness Zulu; Zikhona Diya; Zanele Nzimakwe and Gloria Nyawuza.

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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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AGM 2020 Notice

Dear Domino Foundation Members, Partners and Donors,
 
I trust that you are holding up during these unusual days of the COVID-19 virus and the resultant lockdown. I am pleased to report that The Domino Foundation has been able to add considerable weight to the eThekwini Disaster Management efforts over the past 10 weeks and it is a privilege to be a fellow member of this great organisation.
 
It is our responsibility as the Board of Members of The Domino Foundation to hold an Annual General Meeting within six months of our financial year-end, which is 31 December each year. As a Board, we have explored multiple scenarios as to the possibility of holding an AGM during the ‘national lockdown’ we all currently face, and after presenting our options to legal counsel, it is our opinion that it would be best to defer our AGM for the 2019 year to a date (to be set) when all Members, Partners and Donors, have the possibility of attending in person.
 
This will mean that we have not fulfilled the technical responsibility for holding an AGM within six months of our year-end, however, we believe the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in force us to defer beyond the six months allowed. We will, however, be sending our Annual Report in due course.
 
The reason we have opted to defer the date for the AGM is due to the fact that we value all of The Domino Foundation Members and our desire is that everyone of us should have the opportunity to attend the meeting, which may not be possible should we hold it via electronic/digital medium. Should it be foreseeable, by October, that it will not be possible to meet in person in 2020, we will revert to holding a virtual AGM in the last quarter of the year.
 
We trust that you will support the Board in this matter and we look forward to seeing you all at the AGM when we are able to meet in person. 
 
Kind regards,
Richard Mun-Gavin on behalf of The Domino Foundation Board

Should you require further information please kindly contact us on admin@domino.org.za

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It’s a full baby home

Precious Thabete our Crisis Parent shared these insights and updates on what has been taking place in the transition home over the first few months of 2020.

“We are so happy to share the news that there were two separate adoptions in December 2019, which made way for us to take in two more special little people who both came to the baby home on the same day Monday 23 December 2019 and we really thank God for adding them to our Domino family”

Our home is alive with the sound of children healing and being cared for in a safe and loving environment. Precious, her team of caregivers, volunteers and community service learners (Pre COVID-19 lockdown!) continue to love these gorgeous kiddies who have been abandoned, given up for adoption or removed from their families for their own safety.

It has also been amazing to have the Domino Early Childhood Development Team come and empower the caregivers on how to run their mini morning teaching sessions for the two older boys so that active learning can take place!

“And whilst there have been no other adoptions this year, we were so excited to have a family from London pop in and visit us in February with their little girl and she seems to be so happy and doing so well!”

We continue to pray for our partners at Durban Child Welfare and Department of Social Development who assist us to place and care for vulnerable children in distress.

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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!

 

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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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Food for good thoughts

Goal – To feed the hungry children in our peri-urban schools, churches and crèches and supplement nutritional well being of learners where the government are not feeding vulnerable children.

This update is from Cath Whittle who heads up Nutrition in North Durban.

“We really want to send a massive thank you out to all our business partners who make this programme so effective and nutritious. Our morning meal is a high protein porridge from Jam SA, on the sandwich front we partner with Cheval Eggs, RCL Foods (Peanut Butter and Mayonnaise), Isiqalo Food (Margarine) and Premier Bread, and are so grateful to the Unilever office team and our many amazing volunteers for making 5,810 delicious, healthy ‘samies’ for school learners. In addition many of our partnering Early Childhood Development Centres also make soups, and we get a power packed soup mix powder from Unilever, high protein legume mix from Container Ministries and beef bones from Ellis Park Butchery. This is incredible community collaboration for the benefit of healthy children” says Cath Whittle who heads up Nutrition in North Durban.

And Cheryl Dann shared her news from Nutrition in South Durban (Amanzimtoti)

“School nutrition continues to take place, although two schools have dropped off the programme, making space for two new ones. Collection of updated registers, ID documents and paper work continues to be a very slow administration process but does not dampen our spirits as we have a team of amazing volunteers who love to make sandwiches in support of the work we do and they earnestly pray for every child too!

In Quarter One we made and delivered 6,984 sandwiches and are absolutely delighted to have Amanzimtoti High School come back on the programme with 4 children who we are grateful to send food for. We also distributed monthly Relief Hampers to partnering churches, schools and community centres i.e. Cedar Hill Church, KCI Church, Holy Sabbath Church of God, Young Stars Development and Qinselani Primary School.

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Office ready, so staff can feel safe!

We understand that returning to work has created various levels of stress and anxiety for many staff members, so in accordance with Government Regulations we have created our Work Readiness Plan and shared with all our staff via email and Whatsapp so they can feel as safe and valued.

So please feel free to download ours and adjust this work place readiness plan to suit your organisation if that would help you and your staff too – THE DOMINO FOUNDATION COVID-Ready Reopening Plan is here for you!

As stipulated within the REGULATIONS ISSUED IN TERMS OF SECTION 27(2) OF THE DISASTER MANAGEMENT ACT, 2002, Dated 29.04.2020, The Domino Foundation Disaster Management Programme is classified as an Essential Service (Part O, of table 1 as well as Annexure D, Part B, point 2) which has continued to operate throughout the lockdown. As we enter level 4, other programmes of The Domino Foundation will reopen as per Table 1, Alert level 4, Part P, point 4 as well as Annexure D, Part B, points 2, 9 and 31. These include programmes that provide all social work, counselling, care and relief to older persons, mentally ill, persons with disabilities, the sick and children.

This plan outlines the strategy and actions taken to ensure the safe reopening of The Domino Foundation and its programmes as per Regulation a6(6)(b) of REGULATIONS ISSUED IN TERMS OF SECTION 27(2) OF THE DISASTER MANAGEMENT ACT, 2002. Dated 29.04.2020.

 

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