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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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RAPID RESPONSE PROTOCOL FOR POTENTIAL VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Information taking from:

  • Standard Operating Procedure: Trafficking in Persons: Victim Identification, Victim Assistance and Referral system
  • Meetings with KZN human trafficking task team
  • National Policy Framework for Prevention and combating Trafficking in Persons

Identification of potential and presumed victims of trafficking in persons is an authentic challenge for many reasons. To name but a few, trafficking tends to be a hidden phenomenon; trafficked persons are too scared to come forward or do not identify as victims and rights’ holders; stakeholders are often not trained on identifying and helping victims. Identification of a trafficked person can be a complex and time-consuming process because of the complexity of the criminal case or the time necessary for a victim to severe ties with their traffickers and exploiters, recover and speak out. Therefore, in many instances, identification is more a process rather than a result of a prompt act. Nevertheless, it needs to be carried out quickly and accurately to help and protect victims.

  1. Clues for Potential Victim of Trafficking or a Perpetrator:

(Refer to ‘ID human trafficking’ Document as well)

· Who does the talking?· In many cases, a perpetrator will attempt to talk for a victim. The last thing the trafficker wants is for the victim to talk to a member.
· Who is in possession of personal and travel documents?· Perpetrators often take control of the victim’s travel and other documents in order to exercise control over them.
· Who has the money?· Victims rarely have money. Perpetrators often have access to money. Inquire to determine who is in possession of the money.
· Who are friends with whom? What do people in a group know about each other?· In a normal relationship, people know each other by names and will be aware of personal information about each other.
· Is anyone injured?· Victims might have injuries as a result of exploitation.
· How did they get here?· Perpetrators use particular routes to move victims (long and round about routes).
· Why are they there?· Find out from the suspected victims what their initial expectations were, what they have been promised.
  • If you suspect a potential victim of trafficking:

Try gather as much information as possible including

  • the name, surname and contact details of the victim;
  • the location of the victim;
  • the age of the victim and physical description;
  • whether the victim is in any danger and the nature of danger; and
  • whether the victim needs to be rescued and whether there are other victims, if so, how many.
  • Assess the victim’s immediate needs for care and services.
  • Ask for their story, try write down what they share with you after you finish talking with them – names of people, places, any circumstantial evidence that could assist police in a raid etc. 

Contact or go directly to the closest police station in your area is your first point of call – police should use “Screening Interview Form” to assist with the profiling of the victims of trafficking in persons. A case docket should be opened.

The police should contact a social worker from Department of Social Development and they should refer victim to a registered place of Safety.

Open Door Crisis Centre in Pinetown is a registered place of safety +27 31 709 2679.

NB contact details :

If you can’t get to police station – you can contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Line – 0800 222 777 or report via website www.0800222777.org.za

Dawn Coleman Malinga – Head of KZN Task Team

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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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A dream comes true

A little girl gazed at her Grade 7 teacher and felt a tug at her heart: “That’s what I want to be when I grow up.” Eight years later, the dream is now virtually a reality for Nobuhle Ndlovu. Back in 2012, she was a pupil at Amaoti No. 3 Combined School and her dreams seemed like the early morning mist in the North Durban township valleys which rapidly disappears as the sun rises. Her family had four mouths to feed and there certainly was no extra money for grand schemes like becoming a teacher.

Nobuhle went on successfully to complete her Matric at Amaoti No. 3 where she had been on The Domino Foundation’s Life Skills programme. Through this connection, the aspiring trainer of young minds heard of Domino’s Skills Development programme which has created a platform through education to empower and equip young people from economically challenged backgrounds to reach their full potential. Opportunities to gain an education in a chosen field are opened up by The Domino Foundation’s Bursary Programme by providing access to funding for tertiary qualifications, living and travel allowances and educational resources. Nobuhle was determined and went through the interview process and was awarded a bursary to study for a B Ed degree at UKZ Edgewood.

Three years later, the journey is almost over but hasn’t been without its challenges, particularly during the time of Lockdown. “Not being able to go to lectures on campus has my studies this year more difficult with I have been blessed with a laptop and with data so I have been able to be part of online lectures and video calls with my lecturers and supervisors.” She initially found home-learning challenging without the interaction and stimulation of being together with her peers: however, as a teacher-in-the-making. “I have learnt that improvisation and lateral thinking are two vital tools for any educator so I really think Lockdown has brought me some benefits!”

 Nobuhle had practical classroom sessions scheduled for this year but found the altered landscape of Lockdown challenging. “The transition from contact classes to online classes demanded so much extra work and zoom meetings and teaching sessions were made more difficult because the network in Amaoti is very bad.”

This self-assured and engaging young pedagogue’s greatest dream is to support learners to achieve their goals as her teachers did for her. “All my teachers played an important in my life from primary to high school to keep me grounded and focused on my dreams. I want to do the same for the new generation of learners.” Nobuhle is currently looking for a position as a teacher of business studies and of travel and tourism.

Unlike the little girl in the front row of the Grade 7 who could not imagine how her dream could ever take shape, Nobuhle is determined to be a facilitator of change in the lives of her young charges. Shaun Tait, CEO of The Domino Foundation would welcome enquiries from companies and individuals who would like to be part of making the dreams of other aspiring future students take on reality. He can be contacted at admin@domino.org.za or 031 563 9605.

Caption:

Successful graduate on The Domino Foundation’s Skills Development programme, Nobuhle Ndlovu, with her UKN mentor, Thulisile Hlope.

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Jayda Mun-Gavin’s Story

What a complete privilege and opportunity to have taken a moment to capture this young woman’s story from #CradletoCareer.

Take a listen to Jayda’s story from abandonment, to being the 4th child placed at the Domino Fairhaven’s Babies Home, then adopted by Richard and Jaci Mun-Gavin to matriculating in 2020!

Hear her story here recorded with her bestie Grace Shepard, and take a listen to what they have to say to the youth …

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Found an abandoned baby?

How to respond if you find an abandoned baby …

Call the South African Police Services promptly and make yourself available to provide an affidavit on your observations.

Remain with the baby until the police come in order to ensure that the baby is safe and protected from the elements.

If necessary, the Emergency Rescue Services could be called to attend to the child’s health needs.

Take note of the following information:-

  • Time of finding the baby
  • Place where baby was found
  • Child’s appearance and condition e.g. health, cleanliness, emotional state of being
  • Child’s clothing – What was child wearing? Was the child wrapped up?
  • Was there a bag or any possessions left with the baby e.g. clothing, nappies, baby formula, water or baby food
  • Any identifying details e.g. the Child’s Road to Health Booklet, any letters, documents or information regarding the mother or family and their addresses or contact details?

It is important to note that your own observations surrounding the abandonment is critical in assisting in the investigation into the child’s circumstances and may be helpful in the process of identifying and/or locating the mother or other family members.

Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.” – Nelson Mandela

Information supplied from Child Welfare Durban and District (Nonprofit Organisation (002-259 NPO), PBO Ref. No. 18/11/13/1145 A Community Chest Member) www.cwdd.org.za

Tel: (031) 312 9313 Fax: (Admin): (031) 312 3147

Address: 20 Clarence Road, Durban 4001, P O Box 47569 Greyville 4023

Board Members – R. Pillay – President; D. Msomi – Vice President, M Naidu – Hon. Treasurer. Members: P Ram, J Murray, S Naidoo, D Shukla, H Grobbelaar.

What to do with an abandoned baby – CWDD

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Collaborate & Prepare

The second and third quarter of 2020 can best be described as COVID chaos, a kaleidoscope of mass donations and regional distributions, days/nights and weekends. Every 24 hours passed in a flurry of receipts, delivery notes, invoices and beneficiary lists. The phones rang off the hook and the emails and Facebook post requests poured in.

The JOCC (Joint Operations Command Centre) became our second homes and daily Zoom calls with the KZN Disaster Response Team was vital shot of directional sanity.

Here is a link to the stats – the beneficiary numbers, areas and impact which is a powerful account for our collaborative efforts

This manic pace, soon eased into a steady flow of logistics and check lists, improved communication, shared workloads, WhatsApp Groups, LEANS and churches working together, new collaborations and more hands and feet on deck to help as more of the other programme staff came back onsite to work.

We strategized who needed what and who was in fact was presenting as the “most vulnerable” including the “new vulnerable”. This helped us update our beneficiary lists and to assist/ create sustainable impact into those that most need food relief and support.

It is an ongoing programme that is slowing down as people settle into a new ‘normal’ and various stakeholders, churches and corporates play their parts more proactively in Alert Level 1 of Lockdown. We have moved into a phase of ‘Preparedness’ for the Summer Rains and potential Shack Fires that normally take place in the final quarter of each year 

Cath Whittle also heads up The Domino Disaster Response Unit and was nominated as a News 24 Every Day Hero

WARNING !

The pandemic is far from over and we are constantly looking to build long term sustainable partnerships for Disaster Relief and Response, with a particular emphasis on PREPARATION to avoid ‘known and the more predictable’ disasters …

Is that you/your company or your church? Then please connect with our Donor Relations Team – Karen Brokensha or Tarin Stevenson on ways to partner in this space.

https://www.news24.com/news24/southafrica/news/everyday-hero-catherine-whittle-not-afraid-to-get-her-hands-dirt-to-help-kzns-vulnerable-20200717?fbclid=IwAR1PKWMa79HVy68qj7PRjTFN9MGcWcDZwYYLasGNg1FJxJf0zmzWpO7Ag6o
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Trip to Blue Roof Life Space

Our Red Light Ladies (Women at Risk) visited the Blue Roof Life Space in Wentworth, Durban last week …
 
Here is insightful feedback from our Release Co-ordinator, Esther Madikane, on the increased impact in vulnerable people when we work together to care for them!
 
Career Assessment Centre:
Blue Roof is one of our outsource partners whose career tools are designed to help individuals better understand how a variety of personal attributes (i.e. data values, preferences, motivations, aptitudes and skills), can definitively impact their potential success and satisfaction to select different career options and work environments best suited to their personality strengths and interests
 
Outcome:
We partner with their services by sending our beneficiaries to their state of the art Career Assessment Centre to help the ladies get ready for their Release Phase of our Intervention, so they have with a better understanding of what careers they are suited to and what skills, qualifications and education they need to get there.
 
Wellness Centre:
Blue Roof is one of the Zoë-Life ICS Projects which also runs a Wellness Centre to provide HIV Services and Support. It is such a privilege to access all these services under one roof. A large percentage of our beneficiaries are HIV+ and after being assessed we determined they were either not on treatment, or have defaulted and are not taking their treatment!
 
Outcome
Our beneficiaries will continue receiving ongoing services from The Wellness Centre for their HIV Treatment and Support
 
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Feeding in Famine and for the Future

It is more than a quarter of a century since Nelson Mandela’s acceptance speech at the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo. On that auspicious occasion, he articulated his vision for a nation where the children should be “… no longer tortured by the pangs of hunger or ravaged by the disease or threatened with the scourge of ignorance…” Twenty seven years on and that vision is far from being realised in this country. South Africa’s under-five population carries significant marks of malnutrition. As of 2016, more than one in four under-fives showed evidence of stunting and one in eight children in the same age bracket could be categorised as overweight…and the culprit is poor nutrition.

The “hunger, disease and ignorance” Mandela spoke of are often almost inevitable bedfellows in many of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres and schools in South Africa’s less affluent communities and research has shown that there is a direct link between poor nutrition and poor educational outcomes. The University of Cape Town’s 2018 South African Child Gauge reported that six million South African children were living below the poverty line. Children in these circumstances are without reliable access to food, let alone to the right sort of food to ensure healthy development of their ability to learn and to reach their full potential as adults. A guaranteed meal at school is a strong incentive for children from financially-challenged homes to go to school.

The Domino Foundation’s programmes have some 13,566 beneficiaries, the majority of whom are either in pre-primary or primary education. With two of its programmes focusing on Life Skills and Literacy, a third on Early Childhood Development and a fourth on Nutrition, it was inevitable that the teams involved would be keen to develop their interrelationship. Cathy Whittle, leader of the Nutrition programme says: “Our vision is fill the feeding gap and to make ECD Centres so attractive that parents want to send their children to school. We aim to add value to the existing government feeding schemes, allowing children to receive two meals a day. Our dream is of communities where no child is too hungry to concentrate and learn.” Emphasising the Nutrition programme’s specific Christian mandate, she added: “We feed those in our community who are going hungry through a crisis or circumstances beyond their control. In doing so, we enhance learning through meeting children’s physical need for health and balanced nutrition.”

The Nutrition programme’s Crèche Feeding Project provides nutritious meals to children at crèches every week day and encourages their attendance and helps them achieve developmental milestones. The School Sandwich Project has sandwiches delivered to school children who would otherwise have no lunch, providing the learners with ‘food for thought’. This augments the government feeding scheme to ensure that children who may only have a single meal at home get an additional meal designed to promote cognitive development and including carbohydrates, protein, fruit and vegetables.

Monitoring and evaluation have been crucial to ensure that the Domino Foundation’s Nutrition programme remains relevant and effective for consistent impact. Before the Covid crisis burst on South Africa’s marginalised communities, the closely linked areas of nutrition and hygiene had been a focus of Cathy’s teams, with extensive crèche owner training on the subject. Each crèche owner and child was weighed and measured. BMIs were calculated with bi-annual follow-ups scheduled. “The highlighting of obesity and stunting issues gives a clear picture on needed interventions. Our one kitchen averages 80,000 meals each month consisting of a highly nutritious porridge, daily-prepared and delivered soup or dried soup ingredients for crèches to prepare themselves. We aim to have more crèches preparing their own soup, creating space for new crèches to join the programme and pass through the three year graduation phase,” explained Cathy.

That was all before the challenge Domino faces on an ongoing basis was exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and Lockdown. Cathy elaborated: “Since 27 March, most of these children have not been to school at all and so could have missed out on that vital daily meal.” Cathy pointed out that not only had extreme hunger become an even greater threat in those communities but so had the negative educational effects of malnutrition.

The Domino Foundation’s Disaster Relief Unit, also led by Cathy, moved into action at the start of Lockdown to meet the basic needs of these young learners and their families. As part of KZN Response, a partnership of five NPOs (Disaster Relief, the Red Cross, Zoe Life, CityHope and Nation Changers), Cathy’s team set about collecting, packing and distributing “Hope Hampers” in and around Durban and beyond. The hampers included basic hygiene items and crucial non-perishable foodstuffs, enough to sustain a family of four for three weeks. Eventually, the equivalent of one million four hundred thousand meals were distributed. “The making of the thousands of sandwiches had to stop but feeding these vulnerable children could not,” declared Cathy. “Individuals, churches, community groups and corporates came on board and bands of masked volunteers made themselves available every day to see thousands of 20 litre buckets packed and loaded.”

At the end of the initial period of hard lockdown on 30 April, the principals of four schools in the Amaoti community in North Durban were consulted and lists of 1,500 vulnerable families drawn up. These were contacted and came to the relevant schools in small ‘socially distanced” groups at specified times to receive relief food parcels.

The days of Lockdown will eventually come to an end, but Cathy and her teams are fully aware that it will not be a matter of ‘back to business-as-usual’. Nutrition is a dynamic, changing programme and the pandemic and its fallout have dramatically changed the landscape. Cathy noted, “Through collaboration with like-minded NPO’s, corporates and individuals, we will continue to streamline our efforts into the relief space, growing and assisting with education in our resilience and preparedness, particularly in the light of the way this pandemic has challenged our abilities, time, resources and partnerships.”

Shaun Tait, CEO of The Domino Foundation, commented how adaptability and agility has characterised the way in which the teams of the various programmes have responded over the past months: “Contingencies and emergency situations have demanded that we pivot and change direction quickly and efficiently to be an answer in present crises and also to remain true to our long-term vision.”

Cathy is always keen to share more on this vital work and welcomes groups, companies and individuals who would like to be part of this ongoing programme to feed the most vulnerable in their time of need to contact her feeding@domino.org.za  or 031 563 9605)

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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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