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English student spends time giving back to the community!

The gentle English accent might fool you, but Theo is fluent in Afrikaans. In fact, he and his family speak nothing else when they are ‘home alone’ in Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire, north of London. His surname is the giveaway: the Bredell family hails from Bethlehem in the Free State and moved to the UK in 2009. Theo did all of his schooling in England and has been accepted to study medicine at St Andrew’s University later this year. Fellow congregants at the local church in Sharnbrook are South Africans and it was through the wife’s parents, Morningside residents, Gary and Sandy van Vuuren, on a visit to see their family, that Theo came to hear about The Domino Foundation. The aspiring medico was planning a trip to visit family in South Africa and was invited to stay with the van Vuurens in Durban. There Theo met Shaun Tait, Domino’s CEO, who suggested the young Englishman spend time as a volunteer with the foundation.

He has landed himself a heavy schedule working with several of the programmes at Domino, taking part in many aspects of Domino’s work: sandwich-making; food deliveries; preparation of hygiene kits and emergency relief hampers; data-capture and even visiting the Babies’ Home to spend time with the infants and toddlers! “Perhaps this is where my ambition to become a doctor is showing?” he said. “I want a career with a dynamic balance of academic challenges and helping people from every walk of life. Interacting with these little people and seeing their response when someone takes an interest in them really has gladdened my heart.” Theo joined Domino’s Disaster Relief Unit in a trip to Jozini to distribute hygiene supplies to local communities. Commented Cathy Whittle, DRU’s team leader: “Theo’s participation in this distribution was greatly appreciated by the team and by the beneficiaries.”

When asked whether there might be an ongoing Domino/Sharbrook connection, Theo enthusiastically said: “I really hope there will be!” The van Vuurens echoed that: “Theo has been a delight and his heart to make a difference in people’s live is very evident!” said Sandy. A report-back is on his schedule when he is back home and he said he will definitely be recommending The Domino Foundation as an excellent and rewarding organisation to do voluntary work with.

Esther Madikane, who manages Domino’s volunteer programme said: “We have had a number of international volunteers spend time with us. They always go home deeply impacted by what they see and do here and are always our greatest ambassadors.” She invites anyone, either local or from overseas, who is interested in volunteering with the foundation, to contact her on 031 563 9605 volunteer@domino.org.za.

Caption: English volunteer, Theo Bredell with Domino’s Volunteer Co-Ordinator Esther Madikane.

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Bread and Butter Champions

There’s a gentle hum of happy industry in The Domino Foundation’s Nutrition Programme kitchen in Amazimtoti. The five volunteers who have gathered for the weekly buttering-spreading-wrapping routine have it down to a fine art: 1,200 peanut butter sandwiches ready to be delivered to 13 schools, ECD (Early Childhood Development) centres, churches and a community centre, some well beyond a 20 kilometre radius of the kitchen which is situated at Kingsway Church International, Doonside.

Team leader, Cheryl Dann, proudly exclaimed: “These are my champions! They faithfully give of their time and energy to ensure that 1,000 children on the sandwich programme and the 3,000 on porridge programme get some nutritious food. We call this the learners’ ‘food for thought’ because studies have shown that healthy food isn’t only for good physical growth. It is also essential for the way children’s brains develop. And these generous people are making sure that the children get it.”

Two of the volunteers, Lizzy Cullen and Pat Manton, have been regulars since 2016 when the kitchen started operating. Lizzy said: “Besides the fulfilment and reward of knowing that we are helping to feed desperately hungry children, it is also helping us as individuals.   Being a volunteer at the Toti Kitchen enables us to join a ‘sandwich family that cares for the community and for us as individuals”.  Pat added: “It keeps us young and our minds busy and we have amazing fellowship and made so many friends!   My favourite is when we visit the schools and get to love and care for the children!” 

The preparation of the “sarmies” isn’t the exclusive preserve of the gentler sex. Andre Botes, a retired Seadoone Mall car guard, was adamant when he said: “A real man can rustle up a mean sandwich!” When Andre first got in touch with the Nutrition team, he was helped with food hampers until they were able to get him into a retirement home.  Making sandwiches is Andre’s way of giving back to the community.  Cheryl said: “We have ‘adopted’ him at Domino and this is really a picture of the saying that God sets the lonely in families. We are thrilled that Andre is part of our ‘extended family’!”

Cheryl said that the Nutrition Programme would love to give other members of the communities on the South Coast the chance to also be part of the answer to keeping children in school and developing well both physically and intellectually. Anyone who is interested in donating peanut butter for these sarmies or finding out the roles they could play are welcome to contact her on 083 201 0554 or nutritionsouth@domino.org.za.

#lonelynomore #menspreadingbread

Caption: Male volunteers spreading the peanut butter at The Domino Foundation’s Nutrition programme’s kitchen in Toti: (lleft to right) Tim Dann; Calvin van der Merwe and Andre Botes.

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Dignity, Justice, Hope and Purpose

26 years after the establishment of a democratic South Africa, with its lofty ideals scripted in the constitution and marked as one of the world’s finest, many of the country’s citizens find themselves far from having those ‘theoretical suggestions’ as a stark concrete reality in their lives.

Nonetheless, there is every reason under the sun for us to celebrate National Human Rights Day again on Monday 21 March 2022. The Christian perspective, which undergirds The Domino Foundation and it’s eight programmes, is that each and every South African is made in the image and likeness of God. 

Natalie Ogden, the foundation’s Social Justice Co-ordinator, is adamant when she says: “Domino’s mission is to see all people living with dignity, justice, hope and purpose. These convictions align with the constitution’s affirmation of:

  1. equality before the law for all,
  2. that every one has an inherent dignity to be respected and protected, and
  3. that everyone has an inalienable right to life.”

Natalie elaborated that, two of Domino’s Programmes, address the core critical human rights issues:

  1. The Domino Fairhaven’s Babies’ Home, where the youngest and most vulnerable of our fellow citizens (babies and children) are rescued from abandonment, nurtured and loved until they are either reunited with their biological families or are adopted into what are called their new “forever” families;
  2. The Red Light Anti Human Trafficking Programme sees survivors of human-trafficking reached out to, rescued, restored and released into new lives, where the brokenness of their former lives is gone and wholeness opens a wonderful future for them.

She underlined that the basic dignity of every one of Domino’s 13,500 beneficiaries is affirmed in whatever the foundation’s response to their plight may be. The highest form of love is agape love which Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 13:8:  “Love always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres”.

This Monday, our community as a whole and Domino in particular needs to respond to the call to collective action to see that what our constitution declares does become the reality experienced by all our fellow citizens.

 

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#everyONEaddONE

We are so excited to start building on our #everyONEaddONE Campaign
 
HERE IS THE ASK!
 
If each one of you reading this blog, can refer ONE friend, family member, colleague, church, business or local/international funder to the Domino Foundation, we could double our impact THIS YEAR!
 
And here are some helpful suggestions to get you started:
 
  1. Get them to like and follow us on our socials
  2. Individuals can sign up as monthly direct debit donor
  3. Make a financial gift donation on your birthday or anniversary month
  4. Refer your HR/IR/CSI/Diversity champions to our Donor Relations Team
  5. Churches can you connect us to your Mercy and Justice Ministries
  6. Do you know local or international organisations looking for new partners in Durban, KZN or SA
MAKING IT EASY FOR YOU …
 
Send an email of introduction to your ONE referral, connecting them to one of our Donor Relations Consultants Tarin Stevenson, Elaine Chetty or Navin Bahadur … and we will do the rest!
 
 
 
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Let it B-BBEE a simple and professional process for you!

We believe our B-BBEE unique service offering as an NPO, is our commitment to professionalism through the process.

Over the years we have put concerted effort into:
1. understanding and staying in sync with the B-BBEE codes and point requirements
2. forging strong relationships with our donors, partners and B-BBEE consultants which
3. has allowed us to align the donor funding to their corporate social investment and community development initiatives.
4. the core benefit being that Domino has a variety of programme offerings/interventions within the beneficiary life cycle from 

  • Education
  • Social Justice
  • Humanitarian Aid
  • Economic Development
  • Nutrition

5. From a systems perspective we are able to channel resources, products, in kind donations and finances
6. and all our initiatives build towards achieving some of the Global Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the National Development Plan

So please contact our Donor Relations consultants, Tarin StevensonElaine Chetty or Navin Bahadur or call the office on 031 563 9605 today, so we can help you!

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Looking back | Flying forward

REFLECTING ON 2021

Musing on the year that the world has just left behind, Domino CEO, Shaun Tait, described the past twelve months as “a wild ride.” Balancing all the vital elements of Domino’s work – cash flow, emergency relief, staff and beneficiaries’ welfare, among others – had been a challenge. The journey through 2021 had seen the contingencies thrown out by the ever changing Covid protocols and then the devastating civil unrest in July 2021, adding a disproportionate level of uncertainty through KZN and Gauteng.

But, the demands of the unexpected and unprecedented landscape saw far greater collaboration and partnerships with other Non Profit Organisations, which enabled Domino to punch far above its weight. “We found that we had much greater reach and impact working together. Each organisation bringing its own strengths to the collective effort, and so we could achieve more than if we had tried to reach out on our own, in order to help so many people in desperate need.” Shaun said, that the NPO had realised that it is undoubtedly true that “Domino wins, when its partners win”. It was very clear through 2021 that, through partnering with other strategic NPO’s and working closely with each other, there was elimination of needless duplication and wastage, and many more beneficiaries were helped to move out of the cycle of poverty and hopelessness, into dignity and hopefullness.

Throughout 2021 we engaged with over 230 organisations from across KZN to co-ordinate and provide support in the most efficient way, to thousands of beneficiates across the province. From a beneficiary point of view, the table and graph below shows the expansion of our programme, tracking back from 2014 through to 2021. We noticed steady, incremental increases between 2016 – 2019, with higher growth from 2020 onwards, which was maintained and expanded on in 2021.

Figures in brackets count indirect beneficiaries i.e. Additional household members supported), Domino focuses on counting only direct beneficiaries for totals supported (e.g. If a food hamper can support 4 HH (household) members, we will record this as 1 beneficiary and make a note of the additional 3 in brackets.

 

 

From a Volunteer perspective, we had a 58% increase in volunteerism in 2021, when compared to 2020. If we track our volunteers over time, although we are still below 2019 figures, we are gradually recovering from the lockdowns that prevented people from engaging directly with our programmes and in 2022, we are aiming to surpass 2019.

 

 

Lastly, looking at our pre-audited financial results, the trend of decreased community development spending continued into 2021 as donors shifted funding towards Nutrition, Humanitarian Aid and Business Relief (largely due to the riots in July 2021).

Our goal for 2022 is to increase support of our Social Justice programmes (Abandoned Babies Home & Red Light Anti-Human-Trafficking) as well as going to drive the importance of quality education.

All in all, 2021 was an exceptional year, wrapping up a 2 year ‘wild ride’, which, thanks to our partners, donors and volunteers, provides an incredible spring board into 2022.

RE-VISIONING 2022 – 2025

During the annual Domino Visioning Week, which took place at the start of 2022, the team revisited the challenge of what its mission in the year ahead should look like. The trajectory which had been established the previous year was one which Shaun described as one of “building and muscling”.  Significant growth had happened despite, and maybe because of, the enormous challenges faced and all the programmes had been expanded and Domino’s reach significantly extended. None of this has been taken for granted and it is acknowledged that it would not have been possible without the crucial role donors, sponsors and partners played. The ‘stronger together’ mantra remains vital in 2022 as Domino moves forward to its long-term goal of doubling its impact by 2025.

Concrete steps must be taken this year towards the targets of the:

  • elimination of abandonment and
  • zero hunger and malnourishment
  • eradication of bondage, slavery and exploitation, and
  • provision of quality education for all and
  • access to decent employment for all in South Africa

Shaun emphasised that Domino is committed to working with communities to build a resilience into those communities and the ability to withstand and navigate the fallout disasters bring. Vulnerable people need to be supported as they are empowered to throw off a victim mentality and find they have the capacity to rise above their circumstances. “We want to push ahead with our vision to ‘Add One’ in every area of Domino’s activities as we embark on our “+1 CAMPAIGN” one more donor, one more volunteer, one more beneficiary, one more partner. That’s the way we will see this year being a vital step in moving towards having twice our present impact by 2025.”

Currently, as we sit and forecast income and efforts in 2022, we have secured commitment from existing partners to the value of R7.3M (which we are trusting and praying that these partners can fulfil these commitments and are also extremely thankful for their pledged support) The outstanding funding required. for the rest of the year, across all programmes, sits at a further R5.1M needed in 2022.

“Domino wins, when its partners win” Shaun Tait, CEO, The Domino Foundation

We will be sharing more programme secific goals for 2022 in the coming weeks as the teams hit the ground, ready to ‘build muscle’, continue with acts of mercy, fight for justice and see more people living with dignity, justice, hope and purpose.

*These totals are pre-audit figures and may change slightly once our audit is complete. Our audits are currently underway and these figures will be updated when complete.

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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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