Domino People

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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Project 10 arrives on Durban’s shores

For the past few months, we’ve been lucky enough to have a group of motivated volunteers with us from Israel. In the short space of time that Project 10 has been volunteering here, they’ve already managed to run a maths camp for Amaoti high school learners, prepared meals for the feeding programme and learnt some isiZulu through isiZulu classes run by our very own Sifiso (Life Skills mentor).

Through international volunteer groups, The Domino Foundation is able to exchange knowledge, expose our beneficiaries to different cultures and build international ties – all extremely valuable experiences for us. Shani Silove, South African Project Director of Project 10, shared her thoughts on their Durban experience and what it means to be an international volunteer.


What is the vision and purpose of Project 10 and how is this implemented?

Our vision is to empower young Jewish adults to give their time and skills to create sustainable projects in developing and vulnerable communities around the world. We aim to offer young Jewish adults from across the globe the opportunity to explore what it means to be an activist and to meet and be inspired by local people doing amazing work on the ground. In order to promote sustainability and strengthen local communities, we initiate projects in the three fields of informal education, public health and agriculture.

Why have Project 10 decided to come to Durban?

Durban is the first urban centre and is located close to a small Jewish community who were very enthusiastic to have Project Ten in Durban. Additionally, the Victor Daitz Foundation is major contributor to our programme and they were keen for us to work with local communities in KwaZulu-Natal.

Are South Africa and your home country similar? 

Yes, both countries have a long and complex history, which affects current social, economic and political structures. Both countries are also different from their neighbouring countries and have the potential to grow and develop in unique and exciting ways.

What have been some of the team’s defining moments during their Durban experience?

Seeing people their own age who are living on the street and are using substances such as glue as a way of coping with their life circumstances. It has given them a lot of perspective as to how lucky they are in their lives with loving families and all their basic needs met.

What lessons have your team learnt?

They’ve learnt not to judge a book by its cover and that sometimes it takes time to really see things as they are.

How has the Maths camp been going?

The Maths camp has been fantastic. We have a good team who are working well together, the kids are having fun and thanks to the generous donation of Domino we are able to feed the children too. It has been great to give the children an enriching experience together with the maths skills. For example, teaching measurements by measuring the map of Africa and learning about their own country while gaining maths skills.

What advice would you want to share with other volunteer groups?

To be open minded and to realise that many things you see are different from what you are used to but some things are always the same. All children, no matter where you are in the world, want to have fun, want to learn and they want to be loved.

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With the Festive Season upon us, Yuval Ezbal (right) and Amit Sosman (left) wished their isiZulu teacher, Siphiso Hlongwa, “UKhisimusi omuhle!”, the local good wishes for Christmas. He returned the greeting with “Chanuka sameach!” to mark the upcoming Jewish Festival of Lights. Amit and Yuval are in South Africa as part of the first group of volunteers with Project TEN, an apolitical international programme that operates centres in Mexico, Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda, drawing volunteers from all over the world. The programme combines volunteer work with local communities and service-learning in the fields of international development, culture and identity. Project TEN is involved with a number of the programmes of The Domino Foundation where Siphiso is a facilitator in the Life Skills programme. The Foundation is a non-profit organisation that creates essential structures geared towards supporting programmes that are meeting the physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual needs of individuals and communities in KZN and the Western Cape through mercy, justice and empowerment.

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Movement Day: Inspiring a more impactful 2017

The Domino Foundation has a heart to see individuals and communities within South Africa living with dignity, justice, hope and purpose.

So when four of The Domino Foundation’s staff, Richard Mun-Gavin (Executive Chairman), Shaun Tait (COO), Mickey Wilkins (Domino Business) and Toni Wilkins (Past ECD and Life Skills Programme Manager) were asked to join 137 other Durban visionaries to attend the three-day city transformation conference in New York, called Movement Day, they said yes.

The conference built into The Domino Foundation’s vision of seeing our community being transformed and our representatives listened to inspiring and knowledgeable speakers from around the globe, connected with like-minded individuals and visionaries and were equipped to bring change back to Durban. Two key points they learnt, which we can all learn from, are:

Relational trust

One of the underlying ‘lessons’ taken from Movement day was the importance of Relational Trust forming the foundation for any partnership or collaboration. This means moving from just knowing organisations from a distance towards deeply understanding their heart and purpose, and getting to know the people behind the scenes on a personal level. If people and organisations are aligned relationally and that trust has been built then tasks, programmes and initiatives are more likely to succeed and endure challenges. Relational trust is also key to developing sustainable collaboration.

Collaboration

Simply, collaboration is working together with people to achieve a common goal. It does not mean that everyone is implementing or doing the exact same thing but rather doing different things that work towards the same common vision of seeing a city reach its true potential. By collaborating across different sectors (business, government and NGO’s) there can be true economic empowerment and social justice that contributes to a well-working city that benefits all its citizens. And that can only happen through a trust relationship.

What this means for The Domino Foundation?

Next year looks set to be more collaborative and focused on building intentional relationships than ever before. That means engaging with other NPO’s, governmental departments, business and individuals to transform communities.

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Richard Mun-Gavin and Shaun Tait.

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New season, new roles

With a new season comes new leadership. As the Domino Foundation increases its capacity to reach more communities there have been some internal shifts to ensure that the hands who do this work are passionate, skilled and ready to impact lives.

At the beginning of the year Mickey Wilkins stepped down as CEO of the Domino Foundation. After twelve incredible years of leading the non-profit Mickey has now decided to look after the sustainability of Domino and has started Domino Business. As of February 2016 the Domino Foundation welcomed in a new CEO, Richard Mun-Gavin, lead pastor of Cogs Church. Not only does Richard bring a wealth of pastoral experience but his passion for people means he’s more than ready to take Domino into a new season of growth.

Shaun Tait has officially moved into the role of  COO and is overseeing the day to day operations of all the programmes and its staff. Although a tall task Shaun has slid into his role with effort and ease.

After heading up the ECD team since its inception Toni Wilkins has decided to focus her attentions on the Life Skills programme and counselling at the Door of Hope Counselling Centre. The team is now been led by the capable Jessica King, who moved over from donor relations. Jessica is more than qualified for the position and brings her unique learnings from her studies, a Bachelor of Social Science in Organisational Psychology and Industrial Sociology and a Foundation Phase Teaching qualification and is currently Clinical Psychology. Jessica also handles the Domino volunteers.

And in the feeding programme Cathy Whittle has taken over the reigns as Programme Manager. Cathy comes from the cooking industry and has the heaps of experience needed to steer the many Domino feeding projects in the right direction. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s our Sandwich Kitchen, Soup Kitchen and Relief Kitchen. Past Project Manager, Brenda Scheepers has moved onto an exciting venture with Domino Business, which you can read more about here.

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