durban

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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And the Effect Keeps Going

Durban North-based non-profit organisation Indlela has unveiled its new name, The Domino Foundation, together with a new corporate identity and website, www.domino.org.za

However, the outreach programmes that have positively impacted the North Durban community under the Indlela umbrella over the past eight years will continue to assist and uplift the needy in our local communities, confirmed Mickey Wilkins, Chairman of The Domino Foundation. The four major programmes managed by The Domino Foundation are: The Domino Foundation Babies’ Home (previously Fairhavens); The Domino Foundation Feeding Programme; The Domino Foundation Early Childhood Development Programme; and The Domino Foundation Life Skills Programme. All these interventions aim to empower individuals in every facet of their lives and equip them to lead purpose-filled lives.

The need to re-brand our organisation stemmed from two main reasons. First, there are now a number of different NPOs using the name ‘Indlela’, which has caused some confusion in the Donor Community. Secondly, when we started in 2004 the name, Indlela, was relevant to what we did then, (i.e. our community in need, and in need of assistance) but today we are seeing the fruit of that work i.e. large numbers of changed lives and communities that are changing quite significantly. And so the creative re-branding process began.

“We wanted to ensure that our image and name accurately reflect what we do,” explained Wilkins. “We noticed that by working with individuals – be they homeless babies, hungry children, or disadvantaged school-learners – the positive changes we helped to effect in their lives had a domino effect on the lives of their families and, ultimately, their communities. Our new name and corporate identity encapsulates that ripple effect.” Wilkins was quick to add that apart from that, nothing has changed! “Our passion for, and commitment to, communities in need, our management team, the partners we work with, our solid reputation, and our work ethos remain the same. The Domino Foundation will continue to rely on partnerships with private and corporate donors to effectively impact beneficiaries of its programmes.”

To play a part in the Domino Effect, go to www.domino.org.za and view the online video.

Or catch us on: Facebook 
and Twitter: @DominoRSA

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Are you ready to adopt?

                                                        Seeing the smile on the face of a baby as he recognises his mother in a crowded room…

Adoption - Giving life & hope to children

Adoption – Giving life & hope to children

That same child’s crying face as he’s scared to take his 1st steps through the gate at pre-school…

The sense of achievement as he finishes first in his schools sports day…

These are moments that parents cherish with their children as they experience the different stages of life as a  normal child…

So why should a child miss out on these moments, purely because he was abandoned and left up for  adoption. Adopting a child is an adventurous journey of giving someone the experiences that they would not otherwise encounter…

So you’re ready to adopt, you’ve made the brave decision to open your heart to an abandoned baby, to give them the chance at a ‘normal’ life…yet where do you begin? Where do I go? What is the process that I have to go through? Do I have to be married to adopt? Is there an age limit?

We contacted the Child Welfare Durban & District to answer some of the numerous questions surrounding adoptions. There are 2 branches to the adoptions process that run simultaneously, that of the adoptive baby and that of the prospective parents.

From the baby’s side, there are two ways as to how he/she can land up on the adoptive list. On the one side, a mother can consent to giving up her baby for adoption and so the required medical procedures begin as soon as possible, after birth. On the other hand, the baby or sometimes even toddler may be left abandoned by its parents. Now in this case, when the child is reported, the child is placed at a babies home but is not up for adoption as of yet. The welfare has to post notice of the missing child in the area where it was found and the search for the child’s family begins. If after a certain period of time, someone has not arrived to claim the child, or if no suitable relative is located, the police will close the case and file a report stating that the child becomes ‘property of the state’. Once this occurs, the baby is placed on the Adoption Register, pending the results of the required medical tests. Depending on the length and results of the babies medical procedures, as well as the search for ‘next of kin’, the baby will likely take 3 months before being ‘ready’ for adoption.

On the branch of the prospective Parents, the process is slightly more in-depth. When a person has decided to provide an infant with a loving home environment, they would need to contact the Child Welfare Durban and District, where they would be invited to an orientation programme. On the 1st Monday of every month, the Welfare holds an orientation programme, detailing the adoption process, the types of babies available for adoption and the required application forms to be completed. Once the programme and required forms have been completed, the screening process begins. A social worker will be assigned to the prospective parents and together, they will carry out the relevant checks (Marriage, Police, Background checks, bank statements, assurance of job stability, references etc.) and review the motivation for adoption. Both single parent adoptions and nuclear family adoptions are accepted, although 1st preference is for a complete family unit for the child.

A panel meets once a month to review the findings of the prospective parents. Here the social worker presents the cases to the panel, where they view potential challenges, discuss documentation and supply additional motivations. If approved, then the prospective parents are added to the Adoption Register and the matching process begins. Depending on the background clearance checks, sufficient documentation needed and outcomes from the panel, the duration of this leg of the process can be anywhere from 3 to 6 months before being placed on the Adoption Register.Once both the adoptive baby and prospective parents are on the Adoption List, the social workers begin the matching process. Where possible, they will try to place the baby in a similar culture, but dependant on availability of adoptive baby’s, this is not always possible. A preference of the welfare is for the prospective parents to not have a particular child in mind when applying for adoption, before the matching has been verified. This is due to families bonding with babies that may not yet be cleared for adoption, and have the opportunity to be reunited with a relative. For the welfare, the child’s needs come before anything else, and they prefer to see which applicant can best suit the needs of the child.

Adoption Process Tree

Adoption Process Tree

Regarding an age limit, the cut-off age for adopting newborn babies, is 45 years old. Prospective families and parents that are in their 30’s and older, are encouraged to adopt toddlers and older children rather than newborns. However, the age limit is not set in stone as each case is unique and will be brought before the panel and treated accordingly. All will depend on the individual’s motivation and supporting documentation.The adoption process is brought to a close, when a match has been found and approved, and the paperwork has been completed. By this time, the bonding process between parent and child has already occurred and the adopted baby is whisked away to its’ ‘happily ever after’.

All in all, the length of the entire process from beginning to end will vary between  6 to 12 months, according to possible challenges during the registration of birth (baby’s side), the screening process (parent’s side) and the matching process.

If you’re looking to adopt or would like more info, please contact Nashina/Jasu at the Child Welfare Durban & District on 031-312 9313 or you can email to homefinding@cwdd.org.za

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