Coronavirus

Hope in the face of disaster

The Disaster Response Team is intentional about being prepared to respond to a disaster at any time, collecting non-perishable food items, blankets, tarpaulins, toiletries and basic essentials all the time. As an ongoing support unit this intervention sends relief buckets monthly to different families in need through the local churches and partners, but it is always a short term action, so as not to create a long term dependence.

Of course as at 25 March 2020, nothing could have indicated the massive devastating pandemic that was facing this unit within Domino, more than the global, Biological Disaster called COVID-19. It has been an insanely tough 9 weeks as the fear, insecurity, instability, economic crisis and demanding needs and logistics have at times been overwhelming but in partnership with the KZN Disaster Response Team we have managed to exceed our best efforts to support vulnerable families in KZN and all the updates and stats can be found on our COVID-19 Page

There is still so much to be done so please continue to reach out and invest if this concerns you!

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COVID-19 In response to our Staff

STAFF/TEAM:

As a large proportion of our staff live within the communities that we serve, a number of our staff are at risk of infections as well. While we as a civil society role player exist to serve our beneficiaries, we as an organisation also exist for the benefit of our teams. The team’s health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance and as such we have implemented a Work from Home (WFH) Policy up until 14 April 2020, when schools and programmes are scheduled to resume.

Field-based teams – As per our usual protocol during school holidays, field-based teams will break for the extended holidays (18 March – 14 April 2020)

Office-based teams – The team will have remote access, utilise Zoom technologies for Virtual Meetings and schedule regular Telecommunications Meetings as needed while working from home.

Our team will continue to support our Stakeholders and Partners effectively and efficiently during this period. We have instructed all staff to practise essential social distancing techniques, increased hygienic practices, strict immune support programmes as well as self-isolation should any symptoms materialise over the next few weeks.

MEMBERS:

Finally to our Members, we are responsible to you for ensuring that The Domino Foundation continues to serve our Stakeholders, support our communities, influence our city and achieve our objectives for 2020. We have conducted a Risk Assessment, combined with an Environmental Analysis of our macroeconomic impacts and are developing a strategy to ensure our continued success throughout this period. Our focus during this period, is to continue with our core programme objectives and ensure the well-being of our Beneficiaries, Partners and Staff/Team.

Kind regards,

Shaun Tait

Chief Executive Officer

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COVID-19 Response to our Partners

PARTNERS: Donors | Volunteers

Financial and Non-Financial Donors:

We will increase our communication with donors and continue to serve their needs for documentation, paperwork, reports and feedback, remotely. To reduce unnecessary exposure we have decided to implement the following:

  1. Staff impact days – Both off-site and on-site Staff Impact Days/Team Builds have been postponed for the foreseeable future to minimise risk of infections.
  2. Connect Tours – Scheduled Connect Tours for Management to view programmes in action have been postponed got the foreseeable future
  3. We-Share gatherings (Corporate presentations) – scheduled We-Share gatherings with Donor Staff Teams have been postponed for the foreseeable future.

Although our programmes have been adapted to ensure that we meet our beneficiary’s needs during this period of uncertainty, our Donor Relations Team is confident that we will still support our partners CSI, B‑BBEE, National Development Plan (NDP), Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Funding Objectives for 2020.

Volunteers:

  1. Community Service Work Weeks: We have taken the decision to postpone our 1st Community Work Week for 2020, with plans to add an additional week during the second half of the year.
  2. Regular Volunteers: As programmes go on a break during the extended school holidays, volunteer’s shifts will be postponed for the break. We will review this policy once we have a clearer picture of how long this pandemic will last.
  3. International Volunteer Programmme: Based on the travel ban and quarantine period, we have taken the decision to cancel/postpone our International Volunteer Programmes that were scheduled before 30 June. We will liaise with each group accordingly.

In essence, we are placing a moratorium on all Programme-Orientated Volunteer Opportunities for the foreseeable future.

Kind regards,

Shaun Tait

Chief Executive Officer

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COVID-19 Response to our Beneficiaries

BENEFICIARIES:

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.

Disaster Response:

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.

Kind regards,

Shaun Tait

Chief Executive Officer

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COVID-19 Response from our CEO

18 March 2020

THE DOMINO FOUNDATION – COVID-19 RESPONSE

“We are all members of the great human family, created in the image of God” Genesis 1:17

The Coronavirus has arrived on South African shores and one aspect that it has certainly highlighted, is our equality as humanity. This virus has no boundaries, does not discriminate and does not respect national borders. It is OUR virus, and together, in unity, we can stop the spread through a calm, well-informed and planned response.

In preparation for the expected arrival of the COVID-19 virus, The Domino Foundation conducted Awareness and Education Training with our staff and implemented enhanced hygiene and cleanliness procedures throughout our organisation on Friday 6 March 2020. Through distribution packs of hand wash, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes, our team began implementing heightened cleaning and hygiene protocols within our office work space, vehicles, kitchens and the Baby Home. Following the address from our President on Sunday night 15 March 2020, and the declaration of a National Disaster, we met as a team to discuss the way forward to ensure the safety of our stakeholders.

While we do exist to serve our 12,351 beneficiaries in times such as these, leadership requires that we have to make decisions regarding the health of our Beneficiaries, Partners and Staff to ensure that our actions reflect the best interests of our stakeholders. Due to the nature of our work taking place into local communities, a large portion of our beneficiaries represent the ‘high-risk population’ having underlying health challenges (HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis etc.) as well as serving an aged beneficiary group.

As such, as of Tuesday 17 March 2020, the following additional measures have been put in place to ensure the safety and good health of all our stakeholders. We have separated our response into 3 categories, pertaining to the impact on each stakeholder respectively, namely;

  1. Beneficiaries,
  2. Partners: Donors & Volunteers
  3. Staff and Members

Each subsequent attachment shows steps taken for each stakeholder, summary is provided below:

BENEFICIARIES: Click here to read how this impacts our beneficiaries

  • Baby Home – closed to volunteers and external visitors until further notice.
  • Nutrition, ECD, Literacy, Life Skills & Skills Development – following standard protocol of closing during the school holidays (18 March – 14 April 2020). To resume in April 2020 pending Government updates.
  • Red Light Anti-Human Trafficking Programme – Off-site protocols will be implemented and curriculum and counselling to continue digitally via cellphone communication.
  • Disaster Response – Prevention Education and Training Campaigns to run as usual. More details of how you can support to follow on Friday 20.03.20.

PARTNERS: Click here to read how this impacts our Partners

  • Donors – We will continue all support and donor relation services, but will operate remotely. Postponing all Staff Impact Days, Connect Tours and In-person Presentations.
  • Volunteers – moratorium on all Volunteer Opportunities (CommServe Work Week #1, Regular Volunteers, Schools Programme and International Volunteers).

STAFF AND MEMBERS: Click here to read how this impacts our Staff & Members

  • Field-based teams – As per our usual protocol during school holidays, field-based teams will break for the extended holidays (18 March – 14 April 2020). To resume in April pending Government updates.
  • Office-based teams – Continue to work remotely, utilise Zoom technologies for Virtual Meetings and schedule regular Telecommunications Meetings as needed.

We stand with Government and implore every citizen to adjust their current lifestyle to apply strict:

  • Social Distancing Techniques
  • Immune Building Practices and to ensure increased
  • Hygiene Sanitation and
  • Self-isolation, should the need arise.

The above measures will be in place until 14 April 2020, and will be reassessed in consultation with Government communication updates.

South Africa, we continue to pray for you and stand in solidarity during this time of need. Our prayers are with those who are high risk individuals as well as the small and medium businesses, and those organisations that operate in the Tourism, Hospitality and Service Industries who will largely be affected by the downturn of socialisation and will face longer lasting economic impact.

While these are times of global panic and uncertainty, they are also times of incredible opportunity, innovation and potential. We will continue to serve our stakeholders to the best of our ability and ask for continued support, grace and flexibility to adopt methods of best practice during this time.

It is another great day to change a life and to partner together for the future of our country!

Kind regards,

 

 

 

Shaun Tait

Chief Executive Officer

 

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