From City Lodge With Love

The ladies who call The Domino Foundation’s Red Light programme’s safe house ‘home’ are human-trafficking survivors who have had little luxury and comfort in their lives. The house is called “Othandweni” meaning ”Place of Love” and unconditional love is a key element in the residents’ journey into wholeness. The world they lived in before were usually marked by ugliness, violence and a general absence of comfort. The generous donation by City Lodge of fluffy towels and other household linen was greeted with huge appreciation. Domino’s justice Co-ordinator, Natal, commented: “We are very focused on restoring the ladies to a place where they know they have intrinsic value as human beings and not as objects to be bought and sold. City Lodge’s donation of quality linen tells them they are special.”

Johna Pillay, Duty Manager at City Lodge, uMhlanga, added: “We have partnered with Domino over the years and have seen the impact they have on the lives of so many marginalised people in our communities. The human-trafficking survivors are possibly among the most marginalised of all, coming from a world of shadows. We hope our donation will tell them we care.”

“Othandweni” is sharing the gift with the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Regional Hospital, Eastern Cape. Natalie explained: “Each time we are blessed with a donation by City Lodge, we use our networking to see who else is in need of linen

For those interested in finding out how they can be part of “Othandweni’s” residents path to restoration can contact Natalie at justice@domino.org.za.

Caption: Mbali, a house mum at Red Light’s safe house, packing City Lodge’s donation of towels into the linen cupboard.

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Dignity, Justice, Hope and Purpose

26 years after the establishment of a democratic South Africa, with its lofty ideals scripted in the constitution and marked as one of the world’s finest, many of the country’s citizens find themselves far from having those ‘theoretical suggestions’ as a stark concrete reality in their lives.

Nonetheless, there is every reason under the sun for us to celebrate National Human Rights Day again on Monday 21 March 2022. The Christian perspective, which undergirds The Domino Foundation and it’s eight programmes, is that each and every South African is made in the image and likeness of God. 

Natalie Ogden, the foundation’s Social Justice Co-ordinator, is adamant when she says: “Domino’s mission is to see all people living with dignity, justice, hope and purpose. These convictions align with the constitution’s affirmation of:

  1. equality before the law for all,
  2. that every one has an inherent dignity to be respected and protected, and
  3. that everyone has an inalienable right to life.”

Natalie elaborated that, two of Domino’s Programmes, address the core critical human rights issues:

  1. The Domino Fairhaven’s Babies’ Home, where the youngest and most vulnerable of our fellow citizens (babies and children) are rescued from abandonment, nurtured and loved until they are either reunited with their biological families or are adopted into what are called their new “forever” families;
  2. The Red Light Anti Human Trafficking Programme sees survivors of human-trafficking reached out to, rescued, restored and released into new lives, where the brokenness of their former lives is gone and wholeness opens a wonderful future for them.

She underlined that the basic dignity of every one of Domino’s 13,500 beneficiaries is affirmed in whatever the foundation’s response to their plight may be. The highest form of love is agape love which Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 13:8:  “Love always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres”.

This Monday, our community as a whole and Domino in particular needs to respond to the call to collective action to see that what our constitution declares does become the reality experienced by all our fellow citizens.


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