Skills Development

Spread the bread to meet the need

It was a flurry of activity as the young men of Grades 10 and 11 involved in Durban High School’s Community Engagement class deftly wielded knives to produce a small mountain of peanut butter sandwiches. Each morning, during their daily Elective Period, pupils engage in various activities ranging from sport, language studies to robotics, amongst others. The Community Engagement elective provides the students an opportunity to learn the importance of community-building and how to make a worthwhile contribution as part of their social responsibility.

Several years ago, Drama and Art teacher, Giselle Joshua, who is in charge of any community service-related aspects at the school, made contact with The Domino Foundation, the Durban North-based NPO which impacts some 13,500 beneficiaries each day.  She directs this elective, having initiated an ongoing relationship with the foundation’s Nutrition Programme which provides a daily meal to over 7,000 children in ECD (Early Childhood Development) centres, primary and secondary schools in several Ethekwini communities.

The DHS young men have exercised their culinary skills several times since then and Giselle’s plan is that this will become a monthly activity at the school. Those involved in the bread-and-butter activity source all the components of the sandwiches needed and have a planning session before the actual day of manufacture so that all their commitments are met. One of the sandwich-makers, Grade 11 pupil, Saharsh Rambaran, commented, “I think all of us are aware that every sandwich we make will make a difference to a fellow pupil at a school we may never visit.”

He went on to challenge other schools in the Berea/Musgrave and Glenwood areas to join in DHS’ effort to meet the nutritional needs of children who might otherwise have nothing to eat during their school day.

For further information on how schools are able to use their community service hours to benefit the vulnerable members of Durban’s communities, interested people may contact Domino’s Volunteer Co-ordinator, Esther Madikane on 031 563 9605 or volunteer@domino.org.za.

#volunteerheroes #sandwichsupermen

Caption: DHS pupils on the school’s Community Engagement elective busy making sandwiches for The Domino Foundation’s Nutrition programme (left to right: Wyatt Rose; Avela Gwala; Hariv Pillay: Tarao Naidu; Keshan Pillay).

 

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RESCUE, RELIEF & RECONSTRUCTION

Business magnate, Steve Jobs, said: “It’s not the tools you have faith in…It’s the people…”

The Domino Foundation realised its Enterprise Development Programme was a powerful tool to meet critical needs exposed by last July’s civil unrest. Small and micro enterprises desperately needed assistance to resume trading.  Domino Foundation and Domino Business Development adapted the programme, and the latter’s Khulisa Business Development Programme for Small to Medium Enterprise Development (SME) to meet the contingency plan.

Domino Foundation, CEO, Shaun Tait, commented: “We worked with the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, VumaFM and Tencent Africa to support these SMEs. Through assessments, site visits, mentor-coaching and financial grants, we aimed to get businesses trading as quickly as possible.”

The programme used leads from the community and other NPOs in affected communities. Ten businesses were identified as potential recipients of grants of between R20,000 and R50,000.

Pre and on-site assessment, Domino Business’ Mickey Wilkins explained, validated the businesses as legitimate enterprises. The damage and what was needed to resume trading as soon as possible were assessed. Validations, timelines and projected areas of expenditure were signed.

Funds were released in two tranches. The first permitted businesses to start re-establishing themselves. With invoices paid, stock ordered, agreed repairs completed and security in place, the second tranche was released. Mentoring sessions and surveys over 6 months ensured ongoing development.

Recurring themes called for ongoing mentorship and a development programme. Some asset-rich businesses located in high-risk areas were uninsurable. and owners had little understanding of insurance. Domino’s business-training workshops provided information and network-support bases.

The programme grew into 10-weeks of coaching/mentoring with focused videos and professional think-tank input-sessions. Steps to be taken emphasised grant-income-generation and investment. A workbook series was developed for the entrepreneurs to reflect and update on the changes to their businesses.

The ability to pivot was critical in the process. Mentoring helped owners rise to new entrepreneurial levels, identifying unsustainable business operations, jettisoning muddled business practices, unclear target-market understanding and unhelpful branding.

At the end of 2021, Old Mutual contacted the Durban Chamber of Commerce about the group’s support grants project. With Shaun chairing DCC’s NPO forum, Domino’s relationship with the Chamber was strong. The DCC knew of businesses struggling long after the unrest eight of which received Old Mutual grants.

Many immediate needs had been met, but Domino saw the violence had severely traumatised entrepreneurs. Before payment of the second tranche, Old Mutual added the Centre for Mental Wellness’ 3-day trauma-processing workshop to help entrepreneurs deal with personal trauma and its impact on their businesses.

Domino is looking for partnerships to extend the project so more SMEs can re-establish themselves and come back better-equipped to face the future.

Photograph: Gavin Simpkins, Theo Brown and Mickey Wilkins, facilitators of the Khulisa SME Relief programme.

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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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Clearing the way through Computer Complexities

For many for whom pen on paper is the most formalised way of communication they know, the avalanche of tech terms in the world of computers is simply (or not so simply) daunting. The ten ladies from the staff of The Domino Foundation who are in the middle of their three-month adventure into the world of querty boards, UBs and mouses (surely that should be mice?), are on a journey into IT-savvy. The computer-literacy course, which is being facilitated by The Clothing Bank, and was developed in collaboration with non-profit training and skills organisation, Enza Empowering Women, includes an introduction to computers, MS Office skills, email and internet.  Jane Naude of The Clothing Bank’s Umbilo Road, Berea-based Durban offices says, “It is critical for everyone to have computer skill. They open so many opportunities and make effective communication possible in today’s technology-centric world.  We are working in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Number 5 which aims at women and girls being empowered to take control of their lives by giving them skills to compete in the job market. With computer skills in hand, they also gain a sense of confidence that they have a worthwhile contribution to make to their families and to their communities”.

Zanele  Nzimakwe, who leads Domino’s ECD team, is one of four on the course from her own team, with the others being members of the Nutrition and Life Skills team and the Babies’ Home programme’s staff. She commented that her ability to use her laptop was previously very basic. ”Now, I understand so much more of what I can do with this machine…I feel free! And, when things go wrong, I don’t have to run to our IT man for help!”

At the end of the course, the bevy of eager computer-literate ladies will receive certificates proving they are ready to launch into the world of spread-sheets, search-engine navigation, word-processing, and computer security and privacy.

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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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How can we B-BBEE of added value to your business right now?


DO YOU HAVE A FEBRUARY 2021 FINANCIAL YEAR END?
 
Great! Then this is a helpful reminder, to all our corporate business partners, who are preparing for your February Financial Year End, that we are here to support you, as you invest in the communities we serve together.
 
We would love to assist you to finalise your B-BBEE spend, and align your CSI Strategy with some/all of our existing community programmes. Added to that, 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 Team, Karen Brokensha on karen@domino.org.za or Tarin Stevenson on tarin@domino.org.za or or call the office on 031 563 9605 today, so they can help you!

YOU ONLY HAVE A JUNE/DECEMBER 2021 FINANCIAL YEAR END?

That’s also awesome, our Donor Duo would so appreciate the opportunity to connect with you over Zoom, a telephone call, email or better still a socially distanced coffee (in the open air of our coffee shop) to help you navigate these COVID CSI waters, discuss your up and coming business B-BBEE requirements, and assess how The Domino Foundation can be of benefit to your organisation for the good.
 
DON’T PROCRASTINATE – DOMINATE!

Kind regards, Shaun Tait
CEO of The Domino Foundation Team

The Domino Foundation can assist you with a number of elements on the B-BBEE scorecard, providing sustainable transformation throughout our nation and they are:

1. SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (SED)
2. ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT (ED)

3. SKILLS DEVELOPMENT (SKILLS)

As your community centric transformation partner, we are committed to a process that gives you the business advantage by maximising your B-BBEE spend, as well as aligning to programmes that speak to your hearts and values.
 
THIS IS DEFINITELY A WIN-WIN!

DOMINO supports over 13,556 vulnerable individuals in communities and we rely on donor/partners like yourself to help sustain our transformation initiatives.

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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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Learning online …

Life for most of our tertiary/bursary beneficiaries continued with a seamless ebb and flow of the ease and proficiency of online learning  

Below is a list of our current ten beneficiary’s and their various tertiary education profiles:

  1. Adult Based Education – Matric
  2. Aviation – Commercial Pilots License
  3. Commerce – 3rd Year
  4. Construction – Arc Welding
  5. Construction – Quantity Surveying
  6. Education – 4th Year
  7. Education – Foundation Phase NQF4 1st Year
  8. Law – 1st Year
  9. Mechanical Engineering N5
  10. Performing Arts – 1st Year

The beneficiaries receive a monthly Living and Travel Allowance (February – November) and in addition all Tuition and Text Books are paid for directly to their respective institutions.

In turn, they submit Quarterly Progress Reports to The Domino Foundation, engage with external Mentors for leadership development and accountability, and are on a WhatsApp Group with Shaun Tait, CEO of The Domino Foundation, for additional support and insight.

During COVID-19 Lockdown all students studying online were given additional data to assist their learning online. The Technical Colleges have been closed.  

Have you allocated all of your Enterprise and Skills Development budgets for 2020/21? If not, can we help you to equip and support these students? Please connect with our Donor Relations Team Karen Brokensha karen@domino.org.za or Tarin Stevenson tarin@domino.org.za to help you make that commitment come to fruition.

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