The Domino Foudation

Why should we sign all this paperwork when we’re only here to help?

This question often pops up when volunteers decide to volunteer at The Domino Foundation… Why should we sign all this paperwork when we’re only here to help?

We love it when volunteers are willing to pour their time, talents and treasures into the Domino Foundation. It’s thanks to the generosity of others that our programmes can continue running. However, our first priority always lies with our beneficiaries. So in order to protect them and protect the integrity of our programmes we have a few policies in place.

  • Every volunteer is required to sign an Indemnity Form.
  • Babies’ Home volunteers are required to sign and submit a ‘Form 30’ which is an inquiry form that is sent to Department of Social Development (DSD) to verify if an individual is on the ‘offenders’ section of the register. If they are in the ‘offenders’ section they are not allowed to “work with or have access to children”. All our Babies Home staff submits these yearly.
  • Babies’ Home volunteers will also notice that we have a strict photography policy as we want to ensure the children under our care, as well as the eventual adoptive parents, are not exploited in any way and that their privacy is closely guarded. With a few simple guidelines, outlined before any visit, children and volunteers are protected and everyone can enjoy time together.

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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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My 10 little lightbulb moments about volunteering at a non-profit

Annelize Muller shares her journey of volunteering at an NPO and the valuable nuggets of wisdom she’s learned along the way.

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Enlightening. That’s the word that comes to mind when I tell you about my last 5 months. I’m a Product Development Manager at a big corporate and have been in the corporate environment for the past 11 years. A seed was planted in my heart a few years ago of giving back to our South African community, to do something more, be part of the change, share, learn and really understand our people, especially those who are not as privileged as I am. Although in saying privileged I sometimes feel that our poorer communities are much richer in true life value than what we could ever be in our individualised world’s, big offices, nice running cars and comfortable houses.

My company graciously approved my request for a 7 month sabbatical to go and learn about the needs of our communities, understand how a NPO works, how corporate and non-profits can hold hands to create a brighter future and to revive my soul so I can come back and be the best leader I can be.

So I share my 10 lightbulb moments I had in the hope that someone can either learn from them or be able to share their own lightbulb moments that will make for a better South Africa today.

Lightbulb #1: The REAL need vs YOUR need to give:

For anyone who knows Maslow’s Hierarchy, he hit the nail on the head. Our poorer communities’ needs are really really basic. Food and security (safety of a home) are what they need and once that need is consistently filled it will release them to start thinking about things such as education, working etc.

But often we give on the level we’re sitting on. For example, when I joined the Life Skills Girls Club team, where I helped facilitate extra-mural activities for teenage girls, I first organised pilates classes. This was an epic fail because it was not aligned with the REAL need but only with my own.

To put it more in perspective, have you ever had a day at school or work without food? Or calculated a maths sum on an empty stomach?

Lightbulb #2: It can’t be about pity or charity, it’s got to be a win-win

In no way is this point supposed to make you feel guilty for having a nice car and a comfortable house. I have got mine.

My question is, what are the factors that got you where you are today? A good education? Books to read? Parents that were happy to talk about the birds and the bees? If you think back about the little things you take for granted that made you a success, I believe those are the small things that YOU can give to the others if you want to see our whole country succeed. And in doing so you might just learn something mind blowing in return…..

Lightbulb #3: Our country is full of potential – harvest it!

At The Domino Foundation’s AGM we had the privilege of listening to 6 youngsters who came through our life skills programme in Gr4 -7 and who are now in their final year of school. I was totally overwhelmed with their hard work ethic, what beautiful leadership quality they displayed and how much they attributed their success to the Life Skills programme. We have endless amounts of talent in our country that just doesn’t have the opportunity to be nurtured or receive guidance from an adult. It’s unforgivable that we let these beautiful people slip through the cracks

Lightbulb #4: Sustained input = sustained output

Just like your car needs to be continuously filled up with fuel to run at its optimum, it’s very much the same with us as human beings. We need consistent input, environment and care for us to really flourish. The talent I spoke about above has been really guided and molded by our youth workers Jomo, Sifiso, Nonte and Thobile, who are amazing, committed and big-hearted individuals. They’re in these kids lives every single week, having conversations with them on a big brother/sister basis and building trust and the type of relationships that change lives. The once a month visit I made to the school cannot come close to the change these young people are making through continually investing their time and energy. 

Sustained input really gives visible sustained output.

Lightbulb #5: Domino has well trained, capable and experienced staff – so empower them with resources to succeed

For a very long time I’ve been living in my ignorant bubble that success (at a corporate) means that the value I add everywhere is equal. For example, that any NPO would need my skills to succeed. This is NOT TRUE!  I was so pleasantly enlightened when I started working at Domino to see that they have all the right skills for the job, are just as committed and skilled as any corporate animal, but with a different purpose in mind. So if we have the right people in place we should really just give them the resources to execute their purpose exceptionally well.

How can we expect them to feed the hungry, educate our country’s kids and care for the needy if we don’t give them the resource to do it? I always thought that just donating money was an easy way out but now I see it (the donation) as an enabler for nonprofits to make the change we don’t have the time or skills to make. ( Lightbulb #4: sustained input = sustained output)

Lightbulb #6: Cost and value are not directly related

This phrase has been floating around for the last few months at The Domino Foundation, about how the price of something simply can’t be equated to what value it brings. For example, one 5 minute conversation (at no Cost to you) can lead to a donation of 100kg’s of soap powder which has a value of 4 months’ worth of clean linen and clothes for our babies in our Babies home.

Or, one 30 second conversation and a person in my network spreading the word (at no cost you or them) can lead to 4 brand new single beds to help out 4 families in need after the floods, which has a value of keeping them off sleeping on a cold damp floor so that they’re able to go to work every day.

So what it costs us to just have conversations and spot opportunities can NEVER translate into the value it can bring to someone else in need. The cost is small but the value is HUGE!

Lightbulb #7: People want to help so give them the opportunity to do so

I’ve been amazed at how gracious all my colleagues at work and my friends have been and how they’ve all given in their own way. Whether it is funding for one of our Girls’ Club sessions or coming to help at Amaoti and pushing aside fears of going into unfamiliar territory – I’ve not once had to beg for the support. Sometimes people just need the opportunity and the giving just overflows.

Lightbulb #8: People need leadership to give sustainably and in the right way.

If the giving is so easy for people then why does it not happen all the time? I now realise that just like anything else, like a personal trainer at gym or a leader of the mom’s group, you still need someone to take up the reigns, give direction and impart knowledge to make sure we give continuously and in the right way. This doesn’t take a huge amount of leadership, skill or cost – just a bit of time, some guts to ask questions and the desire to make a difference. The reward is immeasurable. (See Lightbulb #6: Cost vs Value)

Lightbulb #9: Be connected on both ends

Spending time at Domino was completely different than I originally imagined. I thought I would be out in the field grinding it out but I ended up spending more time in the office sitting in the middle of the NPO cog and listening to conversations and sometimes adding my 2 cents. Hearing the needs inside Domino and being able to respond to relevant opportunities outside Domino to immediately fill their needs helped me understand the organisation so much more. When you have a foot in both worlds magic truly happens. Gold comes from conversations and it’s turned into uplifted lives.

Lightbulb #10: Purpose = drive, motivation, energy, determination, guts & tenacity, which leads to LIFE

I honestly didn’t think I would be going back to my corporate job but I have a new purpose in mind, a new understanding of what opportunity sits within corporate to support NGOs and a salary which can be used to fund and empower these amazing people and the value it can bring to uplift others. I can’t wait to have more conversations, inspire others to think just one step further with what they have, see how corporate can truly support NPO and be a part of a team that I can be proud to say cares about the world and its people. 

Here’s to a lifetime of creating brighter futures!

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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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Babies Effects 4th Quarter 2015

This year the Domino Foundation’s two Babies Homes were able to provide a safe, loving and nurturing environment for twelve abandoned babies and toddlers. That means that twelve little lives were rescued from unfair circumstances and cared for by caregivers. We celebrate the four children who found their forever home and the one precious life who was restored to his family.

One such story of joy is about Baby Senzo’s international adoption. Because his parents were from Denmark they only had two weeks of bonding time before they flew to South Africa to take him home. To get Senzo ready for his adoption they gave him a storybook for house mother, Precious, to read to him every night. This helped him become familiar with his soon to be pet dog and family and brother, who is also adopted like him. What innovative parenting!

Another amazing story from the Babies Home has been the restoration of a brother and sister. The both arrived at the Babies Home at the beginning of the year with blotted pasts. Through some ingenious investigation from Child Welfare it was discovered that they were in fact brother and sister, and unbeknownst to everyone had been placed in the same home. At the end of this year they were both adopted by the same family, a testament to God’s bigger plans.

The Domino Foundation Babies Homes would not be able to continue running without the generosity of gifts and time by this community. Thank you to everyone has contributed in some way or form – you have made us shine.

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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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Competition Time – SMS and WIN!

Competition time! Yes – non-profits can run competitions, and this competition is possibly the BEST WIN-WIN there is! Not only do YOU stand a chance of winning an awesome getaway for two, but the child’s art that’s voted the best, will be kitted out for school next year (school shoes, uniform, stationery etc. whatever is needed!) KA-CHING!!!

So what’s the situation:

Win a trip for two to Umkhumbi Lodge!

The prize:

Win 2 nights dinner, bed & breakfast for 2 people at Umkumbi Lodge worth R3960.00. Umkhumbi Lodge is in the heart of Zululand and is a superb base from which to explore nearby cultural and historical landmarks, as well as fantastic animal encounters including Africa’s Big 5. Umkhumbi offers luxury accommodation in comfortable air-conditioned lodges in unspoilt natural bush. Go to www.thewetlandpark.co.za for more information on this magnificient getaway.

Vote to Win:

The Grade R learners of Zuzukuhle School (one of the beneficiaries of The Domino Foundation), have created beautiful artworks reflecting the theme “Anything you can dream of”. YOU are invited to vote by sms for your favourite artwork to qualify for the exciting chance to win the unbelievable getaway prize. This competition runs for the month of November 2012, so vote now to stand a chance to win this fabulous prize!

Sms DOMINO and your selection of your favourite artwork e.g. ART1, or ART2 or ART3 and your NAME to 41911 (sms cost of R1.50).

 

eg. DOMINO ART1 [full name]

 

We will call the winner on 1 DECEMBER 2012! All proceeds go toward The Domino Foundation projects!

The young artist whose painting is voted most favourite will be fully kitted for school next year. – HOW COOL?!

ART1 : Nomcebo dreams of a big house and car
To vote for ART 1, SMS; DOMINO ART1 [your name] to 41911 (sms cost of R1.50)

ART2: Nosihle dreams of a house and an aeroplane
To vote for ART 2, SMS; DOMINO ART2 [your name] to 41911 (sms cost of R1.50)

 

ART3: Wandile dreams of a bus full of people
To vote for ART 3, SMS; DOMINO ART3 [your name] to 41911 (sms cost of R1.50)

Competition Partners:
The Domino Foundation is a non-profit organization that assists and empowers the most needy in communities to pave the way for a brighter tomorrow. The Domino effect is achieved through focused interventions which include : The Domino Babies Home, The Domino Feeding Programme, The Domino Early Childhood Development Programme and The Domino Life Skills Programme. These programmes equip individuals physically, emotionally, socially, cognitively and spiritually to enable purpose-filled lives. More information on the Domino Foundation can be found on www.domino.org.za


Angel Projects works in conjunction with various non-profit organizations and manages fun team building events for businesses to allow them practical outworking in underprivileged communities. These team building activities counts toward companies CSI / B-BBEE scorecard points. More information on this opportunity to impact can be found on www.angelprojects.co.za

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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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