COVID-19

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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#LockdownLove Mask Campaign

Today is #Day50 of lockdown in South Africa, so we thought it would be apt to launch our Shwe Shwe Mask #EachOneReachOne Campaign.

The intention is to kick start this initiative with an early bird special* of R50 to purchase two #DominoEffect branded cloth face masks from The Domino Foundation. However one mask will be delivered** to you the shopper to wear and the other mask will be donated to a beneficiary on our programmes. That way we double the joy and impact of caring for one another during this COVID-19 pandemic.

So if you identify with the love of our Mask Models as posted on our social media platforms, please purchase your masks online OR simply click her to zap R50 payment https://zapper.com/url/eoKQQ-BdEu to share the #DominoEffect of #EachOneReachOne.

Remember to include your delivery address or you can email your details with proof of payment to karen@domino.org.za and we will arrange the rest!

T&C’s:

* Early bird special ends on Thursday 21 May 2020

** Free delivery within a 10km radius of Durban North

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Q&A – How can you help in the COVID-19 crisis?

WOW, we have been amazed at the commitment and support of communities in action and our hearts are to continue working as one body with many parts.

Therefore we thought it would be useful to you to help field some of your pressing questions, so we can all be as effective as possible, in these unpredictable times to assist with good intentions and efficacy.

Suggested Schools Response

With all schools currently closed and the Government/School Nutrition Programmes out of commission/action, this is the time for local school families to help other school families in need, if you can, please.

Most schools have a ‘Moms who Care/Prayer’ committee who may already be aware of and are currently helping, vulnerable families in need. Or if you don’t know the families you can contact the school Administrator to find out who needs help/support.

A simple suggestion would be that for every school family in need, 3 – 5 other school families could divide and conquer to support with a few additional basics to meet those needs on a weekly basis? We suggest you have one champion co-ordinating those efforts (Ideally someone from Moms who Care/Prayer Committee instead of reinventing the wheel)

It is NB not to move, but as many families are already going to the shops for their own basic needs, the idea is to simply add a few extra items into your basket. And the reality is there will be parents who work in Essential Services and will have a driving permit, who could help collect and deliver aid if/where necessary #eachonereachone.

In essence, everyone has something small to assist with to help school families in need #manydropsmakeariver

Suggested Church Response

Churches looking inward: Pastoral Care

As with the above, if each Small Group, Life Group, Connect Group and/or Home Group Leader is aware of the needs within their congregation and liaises within the group themselves to help meet those needs, that is first prize!

Secondly appealing to the Mercy Ministry within the church structure for a coordinated effort in responding to ensure that there are none in need among us (Acts 2 Church in action)

Churches looking outwards:

Please call the other churches within your areas (Anglican, Charismatic, Methodist etc) and identify what each of you has in your hands to serve your collective community (someone in your congregation will have a driving permit, some will have funds to donate and some will join and lead intercessory prayer groups etc). Please connect, collaborate and crack on!!

Suggested NGO Response

Now more than ever is a time to meaningful collaboration and partnering all feet on the ground.  It is imperative that NGO’s are mapping those working in the same Geo-locations as themselves and are communicating daily as to the needs within those communities to strengthen the reach and not overburden resources.

The basics in relief work is to identify the three BIG W’s

WHO is doing WHAT, WHERE?

Compile lists of skills and services and then co-labour to meet the needs of those you are called to serve. NB Please make sure you have permits to do so!

Suggested Individual Response

Please this is not the time to start another project, NGO or Food Hamper Collection Drive without supporting those already in motion.

There are so many people in desperate need (people who live alone without family, the elderly, widows, orphans, single parents and foreign nationals) and the demands can be crippling and overwhelming if not managed steadily and wisely.  You don’t want to take a shotgun, spray approach.

When individuals/families/couples contact you for support or help, direct them to their local church/Pastoral Team who will find out their needs and ways to assist if possible (Do people need someone to help with shopping, collecting medication, meals, data or money, etc)

For some, it is simple a listening ear and some love and encouragement that they are not alone and we will get through this #bettertogether

Suggested Homeless Response

The City has set up 15 (and counting) Satellite Homeless Shelter Sites, where individuals are screened for COVID-19, TB and other medical requirements and then referred to a suitable site or directed to a hospital/healthcare facility.

The homeless are provided with shelter, blanket, a daily program of suggested activities and 3 meals a day.

We understand that most homeless people are not used to boundaries and it is tough to adjust to a regular schedule and structure when being so independent on the streets. Please continue to refer them to Moses Mabhida to receive assistance.

We welcome your questions so please do email us on admin@domino.org.za

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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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