Amaoti

Food for good thoughts

Goal – To feed the hungry children in our peri-urban schools, churches and crèches and supplement nutritional well being of learners where the government are not feeding vulnerable children.

This update is from Cath Whittle who heads up Nutrition in North Durban.

“We really want to send a massive thank you out to all our business partners who make this programme so effective and nutritious. Our morning meal is a high protein porridge from Jam SA, on the sandwich front we partner with Cheval Eggs, RCL Foods (Peanut Butter and Mayonnaise), Isiqalo Food (Margarine) and Premier Bread, and are so grateful to the Unilever office team and our many amazing volunteers for making 5,810 delicious, healthy ‘samies’ for school learners. In addition many of our partnering Early Childhood Development Centres also make soups, and we get a power packed soup mix powder from Unilever, high protein legume mix from Container Ministries and beef bones from Ellis Park Butchery. This is incredible community collaboration for the benefit of healthy children” says Cath Whittle who heads up Nutrition in North Durban.

And Cheryl Dann shared her news from Nutrition in South Durban (Amanzimtoti)

“School nutrition continues to take place, although two schools have dropped off the programme, making space for two new ones. Collection of updated registers, ID documents and paper work continues to be a very slow administration process but does not dampen our spirits as we have a team of amazing volunteers who love to make sandwiches in support of the work we do and they earnestly pray for every child too!

In Quarter One we made and delivered 6,984 sandwiches and are absolutely delighted to have Amanzimtoti High School come back on the programme with 4 children who we are grateful to send food for. We also distributed monthly Relief Hampers to partnering churches, schools and community centres i.e. Cedar Hill Church, KCI Church, Holy Sabbath Church of God, Young Stars Development and Qinselani Primary School.

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Stories from the crèche: 4th Quarter 2016

For children to reach their full potential it’s crucial they receive Early Childhood Development, a chance for them to grow mentally, physically and emotionally within a safe learning environment. With that purpose in mind our ECD programme aims to improve the quality of learning and to increase preparation for school readiness for children under the age of seven; a task we’ve taken to heart over the past three and half years.

As we’ve worked alongside 23 crèches in the Amaoti community we’ve watched them grow and gain essential skills to better the lives of pre-grade R children within the community.

During the 2016 year we slowly started phasing out in the crèches in the Amaoti area, testament to the success of the programme. With crèche owners now empowered and equipped with the necessary tools to improve active learning within their ECD centres, they have the opportunity to stand on their own and become self-sufficient, small businesses. We will still continue to feed the children in these crèches.

This year has also been an incredible time of expansion and we’ve assessed a number of crèches in two new areas, opening up opportunities for future involvement. We look to the new year with excitement and anticipation for what it holds, our dream of seeing children reach their full potential continually pushing us forwards.

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Stories from the crèche: 3rd Quarter 2016

We dream of seeing active learning taking place in crèches around South Africa, where Early Childhood Development centers are not just a baby-sitting service but a place for young children to learn, develop and grow.

For the past three years, we’ve been working tirelessly into 23 crèches in Amaoti through empowering ECD center educators and owners with essential education and enterprise skills. There have been great successes and as we prepare to slowly step away from them we look back at the programme through the eyes of our ECD mentors.

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“Firstly, I would like to say it is a privilege and honour to serve the Amaoti community through ECD. Working with little ones gives me the reason to serve God to the fullest. Through The Domino Foundation I’m now a qualified ECD educator with ECD NQF level 4 and am able to assist and mentor ECD teachers in the community to implement active learning in their ECD centers. I have seen a lot of improvement in the crèches we’re working with, with some being registered with the Department of Social Welfare, some in the process of registering. For all the crèches we’re working with I see active learning taking place.”

Zanele Gumede

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“ECD in Amaoti has been a very exciting experience for me. It has shown me the potential I have to influence the people around me to take education seriously from a young age. There has been transformation in the teachers and it has improved the children’s skills and learning abilities. Active learning now takes place in many of the crèches and teachers are passionate about teaching learners and developing them in all areas.

In the last year, there have been some exciting developments. Two of our crèches have undergone registration and are well on their way to registration – which has been one of our main objectives. One of the crèches also had a challenge where they had to close down due to another day care operating nearby causing many learners to leave. By God’s grace they decided to operate in a different area and have managed to continue working in their church building and now have a larger amount of school learners.”

Nauleen Luthuli

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To continue positively impacting the ECD programme we’re looking for these items:

  • learning resources for ages between 0-6 years (skipping ropes, puzzles, play dough, stencils, big lego blocks)
  • bright, funky material for our bean bag project (squares of 16cm x 16cm can even pre-cut)
  • Stationary (fat kokis, crayons, powder paints, colouring books/ pages, paper, chalk)
  • scrap paper collections (children can draw on the back of them)
  • nappies, wet wipes, toilet paper
  • cleaning materials to wash floors, tables/chairs, dishes etc.
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Working together for a better future

Members of Gap Capital and SAICA gathered together for a special site visit organised by the Light Trust, to experience the philanthropic work of one of its beneficiaries, The Domino Foundation.

The group were made familiar with some of The Domino Foundation’s youth-focused programmes by taking a tour of the Babies’ Home, a loving home that has cared for over one hundred abandoned babies over its decade-long existence, and the Sandwich Kitchen, which prepares and delivers over 4 000 sandwiches to underprivileged schools in and around Durban per week.

Wesley Smith, Executive Director of Gap Capital, Chartered Accountant and member of SAICA, has known about the Durban North based NPO for at least ten years. Through Gap Capital he hopes to stand in the gap between the rich and the poor and use capital for good.

“Our model is to create storehouses of wealth to sustain the poor not through charity and giving but through investing in businesses. Gap Capital’s role is to find great companies that we can earn equity stakes in and gain back territory for the poor through the Light Trust. We offer financial, strategic and operational support to a range of charities, just like the Domino Foundation. Can you imagine if millions of millions cold flow every month into charities?”

Naaem Asvat, Regional Executive of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), joined the group who toured the Domino Foundation. He believes that business and professionals, like accountants, have a crucial role to play when it comes to doing good.

“There’s a lot of good work being done by chartered accountants and if other chartered accountants could see this good work it will also encourage them to play in that space of social entrepreneurship as the Domino Foundation and Gap Capital have done. Our intention is to get chartered accountants involved in the community with a simple reason of benefiting our communities.”

With so much good to be done, it makes all the difference when businesses join arms with non-profits.

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*ABOUT SAICA

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 40 000 members who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)], and hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development

 

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Stories from the classroom: 3rd Quarter 2016

As a teenager, it’s crucial to continually hear words of affirmation. Phrases like: you’re special, irreplaceable and unique. A large part of the Domino Foundation’s Life Skills lessons cover these values that help build self-esteem and raise leaders.

Recently, the Grade 6 girls from Zakele Primary School were treated to an uplifting day called “Fire and Grace” at COGS Church. This gentle time on a Saturday morning was an opportunity for learners to hear encouraging words, enjoy some fun sessions learning etiquette and enjoy some tea and scones.

A big thanks to Cox Yeats Attorneys for generously donating Subz Washable Pads and panties to the Grade 6 Girls at Zakele Primary School. They welcomed twenty learners into their Umhlanaga Ridge offices to enjoy some delicious treats and listen to a talk on adolescence led by a Domino Foundation Life Skills mentor. Cox Yeats Attorneys also shared their own career journey with the learners, introducing new careers and inspiring the learners to think beyond high school. Not only was the afternoon a wonderful time of sisterhood and bonding but it was a valuable opportunity to answer any misconceptions surrounding becoming a woman.

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The Girls Club has been busy this past term with a number of fun and educational events including a DIY day making ‘lock boxes from cardboard and gift paper and a Hygiene Day presented by two experts, Kathy (Dental Hygienist) and Thabani (Hair Stylist at Unilever). Kathy was amazing and showed the girls how to really look after their teeth and Thabani wowed everyone on his knowledge about Afro hair and how to care for it. The learners loved their hygiene packs (soap, loofahs, deodorants, shower gels) and toothbrushes and Colgate kits that were handed out too.

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The Life Skills team is always looking for gifts to add to gift bags for the Girls and Boys Club or Life Skills learners. In particular, the Boys Club is looking for soccer balls. If you can donate useful products please email us!

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Stories from the classroom: 2nd Quarter 2016

Life orientation, for all South African school learners, is the only platform from which learners can acquire life skills, democracy skills and vital knowledge about our diverse country and the world.* It’s a safe and engaging place where leaners can be taught how to make motivated life choices.

Which is why the Domino Foundation has a whole programme dedicated to educating learners about themselves, their identity and their role in greater society. For the past few years the programme has worked into three schools in Amaoti and helped hundreds of learners navigate these tricky issues. At the recent AGM it became clear that these life skills lessons were making a difference in individuals lives – they were equipping learners with knowledge about themselves and empowering them with the skills to lead a successful life.

They say you have to see it to believe, well here is a video of some of our learners from the Life Skills Programme sharing their views on how the programme has changed their lives.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8RcYVqJxeg&w=560&h=315]

*http://www.ngopulse.org/article/2016/06/02/preparing-learners-future

 

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#KnowYourNPO #Domino

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If you’ve ever wondered what the Domino Foundation actually does… here’s your chance to #KnowYourNPO! This quarter we’re unpacking what the Domino Foundation does on a larger scale.

#1: We are a group of like-minded individuals that believe in the power of a changed life. We have a range of community outreach programmes that focus on the individual, to empower, uplift and transform their lives so they too can impact the nation and others around them. We currently impact the lives of just over 4000 individuals every single day, ranging from 0 to 18 years of age.

#2: We seek to assist and empower the neediest in communities to pave the way for a brighter tomorrow. Our dream is to equip individuals physically, emotionally, socially, cognitively and spiritually to enable purpose-filled lives.

#3: We manage focused interventions and initiatives operating into the spaces of education, nutrition, injustice, child support and business development. So depending on your company’s CSR policy and specific area of impact, we have a diverse offering across multiple geographic locations to suit your needs with the ultimate goal being the same: to empower, uplift and transform our communities.

#4: We believe that for effective social change to take place within communities, we need to work effectively in three key areas. Namely social charity, social justice and social entrepreneurship to holistically transform communities.

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#5: Over the years we have witnessed changed lives, changing other lives and we’ve termed this #TheDominoEffect. As we have impacted, uplifted and transformed an individual’s life, they have gone and transformed their immediate family’s lives, and they have gone on to impact and transform their community’s lives and so a beautiful ripple effect, or #DominoEffect of changed lives takes shape. We believe that you change a community, by changing an individual!

#6: We rely on support from a host of like-minded businesses, individuals, partner organisations, schools, churches, international supporters & activists and sporting enthusiasts. So if you know of any, start your own #DominoEffect and share the love!

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#7: We couldn’t do what we do without an AMAZING team. These people LOVE doing what they do and what nothing more than to uplift, encourage, support and transform people’s lives. Dedicated, inspired, driven and fun, our teams are truly the best around!

#8: Ways to support ALL

There are SO many ways for EVERYONE to get involved. Whether you’re in school, a group of interested staff members, corporate’s looking to satisfy your #BEE scorecard or simply an individual with a heart for others, there is space for YOU to join the #DominoEffect.

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#9: Our support process is super simple. SUPPORT > RECEIVE DOCUMENTATION > FEEL GOOD. Repeat!

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New season, new roles

With a new season comes new leadership. As the Domino Foundation increases its capacity to reach more communities there have been some internal shifts to ensure that the hands who do this work are passionate, skilled and ready to impact lives.

At the beginning of the year Mickey Wilkins stepped down as CEO of the Domino Foundation. After twelve incredible years of leading the non-profit Mickey has now decided to look after the sustainability of Domino and has started Domino Business. As of February 2016 the Domino Foundation welcomed in a new CEO, Richard Mun-Gavin, lead pastor of Cogs Church. Not only does Richard bring a wealth of pastoral experience but his passion for people means he’s more than ready to take Domino into a new season of growth.

Shaun Tait has officially moved into the role of  COO and is overseeing the day to day operations of all the programmes and its staff. Although a tall task Shaun has slid into his role with effort and ease.

After heading up the ECD team since its inception Toni Wilkins has decided to focus her attentions on the Life Skills programme and counselling at the Door of Hope Counselling Centre. The team is now been led by the capable Jessica King, who moved over from donor relations. Jessica is more than qualified for the position and brings her unique learnings from her studies, a Bachelor of Social Science in Organisational Psychology and Industrial Sociology and a Foundation Phase Teaching qualification and is currently Clinical Psychology. Jessica also handles the Domino volunteers.

And in the feeding programme Cathy Whittle has taken over the reigns as Programme Manager. Cathy comes from the cooking industry and has the heaps of experience needed to steer the many Domino feeding projects in the right direction. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s our Sandwich Kitchen, Soup Kitchen and Relief Kitchen. Past Project Manager, Brenda Scheepers has moved onto an exciting venture with Domino Business, which you can read more about here.

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Life Skills Effects 4th Quarter 2015

For the Domino Foundation’s Life Skills team 2015 has been a year of expanding minds, equipping hands and exercising bodies.

The Life Skills team teaches primary school learners from a cluster of schools in Amaoti, KwaZulu-Natal. These lessons are vital as they’re a platform for conversation around crucial issues like sense of self, adolescence and dating, something the national curriculum doesn’t cover. Learners have loved having the opportunity to chat through these issues as home isn’t always a place to speak and ask questions. Testament to the impact of these weekly classes the team has witnessed many success stories as learners’ perspectives change.

The Boys and Girls Club have had an action packed year of exciting activities too. These clubs offer fun and stimulating activities for high school learners after the final school bell rings for the day, a time when learners have very little to do. Pilates, a ‘no bake’ bake day and talks on adolescence, sexualy transmitted diseases and HIV Aids were just some favourites from the Girl’s Club. For the Boy’s Club soccer was certainly the standout activity. A big thanks to Vopak for organising regular soccer training and a fun soccer day as well as offering science and maths tutoring for the grade 12’s. They also provided career guidance and helped some learners set up Gmail accounts and taught them how to use the internet.

The Life Skills team asks for prayer for some difficult challenges they’re facing. They no longer have a car, making traveling to schools difficult. The team’s health has also been an area of worry this year. And lastly, prayers for continued innovation and creativity for classes and after school clubs are welcome. With a shift towards lessons on careers the team hopes learners will become inspired to think even bigger and set higher goals for themselves.

These programmes would not have been possible without the generous support from a number of organisations and individuals. Thank you to everyone who has contributed, you have been invaluable to the team and ultimately the learners.

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ECD Effects 4th Quarter 2015

Early Childhood Development 4th Quarter 2015

“Our children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.”

These great words from Nelson Mandela inspire the Domino Foundation’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme, an initiative that hopes to empower unequipped and under-resourced ECD centres to build a stronger foundation for young learners.

One of South Africa’s greatest education challenges is access to quality learning from a young age and even those that do go to foundation phase learning are often scared by the social ills of a broken community. The Amaoti area is marked by poverty and child-headed households and the reality is that what’s happening at home affects the school day – making teaching difficult and requiring teachers to double up as counsellors too.

The Domino Foundation’s ECD team walks alongside 16 ECD centre owners, monitoring the crèches weekly. Educational and enterprise assistance is provided to help meet the nutritional, cognitive, social, behavioural and educational needs of children in their formative years.

Even though the programme has been implemented for a few years it has been a joy to see the suggested improvements being cemented in centres’ routine. All the crèches now teach the same themes and work in tandem together, whereas before the teachers worked in silos isolating themselves from peers. Through the guidance of Unlimited Child and the continued support of the Domino Foundation’s crèche mentors, crèche owners and teachers are empowered to not just care for the children but actually teach them too.

The Sibaya Community Trust have generously funded the programme for the past three years and have been so encouraged by the improvements in the crèches that Domino works into that they are extending funding to cover 15 more crèches in the Waterloo area. Crèche assessments have already been well under way as life skills workers rate the Waterloo crèches on their standing on the registration process, their hygiene, teaching methods and infrastructure.

As a thank you for the teachers’ selfless dedication the Domino Foundation threw an awards ceremony for the crèche owners and teachers complete with holidays hampers and gifts to acknowledge them for what they have done.

The ECD team is excited to unroll what they have set up this year; a season they feel is full of promises and miracles. 2015 has been a year of strengthening and laying the foundations to make an even bigger impact on vulnerable children in the Amaoti community in 2016. As God opens doors into government the team prays for the completion of all the crèche registrations, an accomplishment that brings life and security to the creches and a stepping-stone to a brighter future for our children.

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