The Domino Foundation Life Skills Project is a comprehensive intervention into three schools in the Amaoti area to empower learners to make wise life choices, instilling in them a sense of self-worth and purpose and offering them hope for the future.
The programme comprises of a four-year HIV/AIDS prevention programme which runs at primary schools as part of the Life Orientation lesson. Work is done with children from 9-13 years assisting with their physical, cognitive, emotional and relational support and development. A team of youth workers teach life skills lessons to students, providing a much needed support system for teachers and opening up classes for important discussions on health and emotions.
This past month the youth workers have been teaching learners about expressing and identifying feelings and value influence and behavior. A favourite session for the learners has been centred around friendship between girls and boys.
Life Skills also fills the gap in schools for vital but often overlooked needs, and has recently sent two learners to get their eyes checked with Joanne Kahlil, a special needs optometrist on Broadway. One learner in particular is in dire need of medical attention as it is feared he may go blind if he doesn’t get his eyes checked urgently. Joanne has helped a number of our learners over the years.
Boys & Girls Club is another avenue in which The Domino Foundation provides support for learners. Every week Grade 8 & 9 learners gather after school to engage in healthy and fun activities like aerobics, topical talks and soccer. Underpinning this project, and all the other programmes, is a theoretical background called the ‘Resilience Theory’.
People have an incredible ability to thrive in difficult situations and by utilising an otherwise wasted opportunity in the afternoons leaners have the chance to learn new skills (movies, talks, exercise) with the hope that will bring leadership skills in them and encourage them to look beyond the environment that they are in. Through small changes the Domino Foundation hopes to make a big difference in these learners’ lives.
A big thank you must be said to a Swedish exchange group who donated goodie bags filled with toiletries that was handed out to the Grade 7 & 8 ladies from the Girls Club.
The Life Skills Team is looking for teachers, especially trained in the remedial field, to be able to help with the large number of learners who battle with learning in class. An amazing teacher, has been taking a remedial class of about 30-40 learners every week and will be leaving us in July. We are hoping to replace her with a whole team of dedicated and inspired teachers who can fill her big shoes and work with the Grade 3-7 kids on a rotational basis (once a month). If you are interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. We would love to have you!
Another component of the Life Skills Programme is the ten UNISA social work students who regularly see children from the Life Skills schools. They have done incredibly well both with their coursework and on the ground. Between them they have seen 74 cases in the schools ranging from abuse to trauma. During the year they facilitate one-on-one engagement, which are more in-depth counselling sessions and therapeutic groups, which work with common themes like orphans and children in foster homes. These groups provide support and help with coping mechanisms. The social work students are in the process of each developing a community project at their schools.