Heeding the call of our government, our immediate goal is to ensure that the delivery of our interventions do not require our beneficiaries to put themselves at risk of exposure to COVID-19. The steps we are outlining below, have been designed to
- minimise the use of public transport
- provide safe social distancing practices and
- ensure that our programmes are still delivered and objectives met, where possible.
Social Justice Programmes: Abandoned Babies Home | Red Light Anti-Human-Trafficking
At our Baby Home, the 24 hour care and protection of vulnerable children remains our highest priority and so we have increased hygiene methods through enhanced cleaning routines and staff decontamination measures. We have also consulted with our care team and have adjusted our staff roster to accommodate overnight stays during this period to reduce external travel. We have also taken the decision to reduce volunteer interaction and will prohibit non-staff visitors to the home for the foreseeable future.
With regards to our Red Light Anti-Human-Trafficking Programme, we have taken the decision to explore the opportunity of running our programmes online. This means beneficiaries will be given data bundles and our counsellors will continue to follow and encourage our weekly sessions via video calls and WhatsApp counselling techniques. Devotions, case work counselling and recovery modules will continue to be offered digitally and activities and assignments will be submitted online
Education Programmes: ECD | Literacy | Life Skills | Skills Development
With the majority of our Education Programmes being school based, we will follow our usual protocol of pausing for the school holidays for our Early Childhood Development (ECD), Literacy and Life Skills programmes. Based on the decision taken by the Department of Education (DoE) to extend the first term holiday by 10 days (18 March – 14 April 2020), we will extend our break and regain these ‘lost days’ later in the year as per the DoE’s plans to shorten the June/July holidays.
Our Skills Development programme will continue to support our bursary students during this time and assist candidates to follow the relevant university guidelines and online, distance learning study methods adopted by each institution. Mentors will continue to connect with students remotely through WhatsApp, video calls and electronic communication methods as needed.
Nutrition Programme: Sandwiches | Soup | Porridge
In line with standard holiday protocols, our Nutrition Programme will also close as usual during the extended school holidays and our Relief Feeding Programme (Nutrition Hampers, Food Parcels etc.) will continue with distribution to vulnerable families each month as needed. Our drivers and office-based staff will continue to implement enhanced hygiene routines and standards ensuring that hampers continue to be distributed to designated distribution points.
Our response team have already been active in the weeks leading up to the announcement by our President of a national state of disaster. We have met with the eThekwini Disaster Response team for a co-ordinated effort and are working together with the SA Red Cross, City Hope & Zoe Life. Through education training workshops with our beneficiaries and the dissemination of preventative information and hygiene packs (sanitizers and disinfectants) our team is focusing on prevention techniques and directing individuals to national hotline numbers for treatment and further information.
Chief Executive Officer