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Carrington Primary School Cares

Carrington Primary School reaches out to our children

Carrington Primary School Cares

Educators and learners from Carrington Primary School with their amazing donation of clothing for our children.

Imagine our surprise when the principal of Carrington Primary School, Mrs Kunene, visited our child care centre on Friday 16 September to hand over a substantial donation of clothing for our children.

She brought with her three of the school’s educators and three learners, who were among the many who collected the clothing as their Mandela Day initiative. We were not only impressed by the generosity of the staff and children, but also knocked out by the way the school provided the opportunity and encouraged everyone to show their caring concern for children who are less fortunate. Sincere thanks to all concerned.

At a time when the cost of living has risen steeply, and many people are struggling to make ends meet, we are so grateful for the ongoing, generous support of our local community and friends.

 

angel paws

Doggy visitors make our day

angel paws

On Saturday 18 June, we welcomed some very special visitors to our Home from the non-profit group, Angel Paws. Two therapy dogs and their handlers spent the morning interacting with our little ones. There was great excitement as the children enjoyed petting and playing with these new furry friends.

Many of our children have had little contact with animals, and some are afraid of dogs. So this was a wonderful opportunity for them to play with well trained, friendly animals.

Pet therapy is scientifically proven to stimulate the release of ‘feel good’ chemicals – improving our mood. On top of this, the children learned about dog behaviour, how to read an animal’s body language, and what to do if an unfriendly dog approaches them.

Thanks so much to Pam Dimond, president of Angel Paws, and therapy dogs, Frankie and Edgar Allen, for an entertaining and enjoyable visit.

 

Youth Day

Youth Day celebrations

Youth Day

Youth Day, on 16 June, saw our young people participating in a special programme in our Hall. They took turns in performing individually and in groups with a variety of song, dance, readings  and drama. Grateful thanks to Feed the Nation and Pick ‘n Pay for sponsoring eats and juice to round off the day.

Meanwhile our teenage boys enjoyed a friendly soccer game at Valley View Place of Safety. Special thanks to Glenwood Superspar for their kind donation of gift vouchers to the value of R800, which allowed for us to buy snack packs for the boys to enjoy on their trip.

 

Youth Day Donations

Flood Relief

Giving back to the community, thanks to the Hollywood Bets Foundation

Flood Relief

As a registered Child and Youth Care Centre, we are accustomed to being on the receiving end of charity. So it was a real joy for us to be able to give back for a change.

This came about when the Hollywood Bets Foundation selected DCYCC as one of their outreach partners for the  Hope is Power – Disaster Relief campaign. Launched in response to the recent floods in KZN, the campaign focused on getting help to where it was most needed. We received R30  000 to help families of our children (past and present) who lost their homes and possessions. We were able to visit these families, bringing much needed gifts of food, blankets, drinking water and toiletries.

Thank you Hollywood Bets Foundation for this wonderful donation – and for choosing us to be one of your outreach partners!

Nokhanyo graduates from university

Broken crayons can still colour

Nokhanyo graduates from university

An uplifting story from one of our ‘old girls’, Nokhanyo, pictured above on the day she graduated with her Master’s degree in Population Studies

When Nokhanyo was 6 years old, her mother died, leaving 5 children behind. Their father then became an alcoholic and abandoned the children. They had nothing but sorrow and poverty. But Nokhanyo tried her best to love and care for her siblings.

Their world changed for the better when they were placed at the Durban Child and Youth Care Centre. For the fist time Nokhanyo experienced how it feels to be loved and nurtured.

“I didn’t have parents, yes,” she says. “But I went to one of the most prestigious schools. And the love and care I received gave me the gift of childhood. I had the freedom to dream, and to believe in myself and the wealth of potential within me.”

Heart warming love and support

“I’ll never forget the love and congratulatory messages I received from the office staff and child care workers when I was awarded trophies and merit certificates in primary school. They were so heart-warming. I also remember my first laptop and a R1000 gift voucher I received from a lovely sponsor, in recognition of my hard work.

As a result of the support and opportunities I received, I matriculated from Durban Girls’ High School in 2014 with a bachelor’s pass and two distinctions.”

While many kids from her high school had options, Nokhanyo knew she had to get the best results in order to go to university. And, knowing that her siblings were being well cared for allowed her to concentrate on her studies.

First in her family to matriculate

She was the first in her family to complete matric and to attend university.
She wanted to be a Psychologist, and was accepted to study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology and Sociology, she did her Master’s in Population Studies. Now aged 27, Nokhanyo has this advice for today’s youngsters at DCYCC:

“I learnt that life doesn’t give you what you deserve but what you fight for. We might come from poor, broken families and our parents might have failed us. But wealthy, stable, united families can come out of us. Broken crayons still colour and give meaning to a drawing. No matter how broken we may have been in the past, the little we still have left in us can change our lives for the better.”

Human capacit for burden

Message from the Director – Mandy Goble

Human capacit for burden

How does one even begin to comment on all that has happened over the past few months? The devastating flood of April will certainly remain etched in the minds of all in KZN for decades to come.

We were blessed that our children, staff, and their families survived the ordeal with minimal loss and damage to property and personal belongings.
And although our grounds took a beating, our aged but solid buildings stood firm against the torrential rains.

We were however saddened to hear of the passing of a woman who spent her childhood in our care. Over the past 30 years, she had built a successful career and life. But in the early hours of that fateful day, she lost her life when her home collapsed on top of her, her partner and her son. I recall her as a feisty 16-year-old, who faced her truth with courage, and never used her years spent in the Centre as an excuse for not giving her best.

Nokhanyo’s story is another such testimony to resilience in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulty and challenge. We know there are many more stories like this still to come. This – and the amazing generosity of our friends and supporters – is what encourages us to face tomorrow with hope.

Thank you!

Mandy Goble – Director Durban & Child Youth Care Centre

Mandela Day Volunteers

Spend Mandela Day with us

Mandela Day Volunteers

Monday 18 July is Mandela Day! Why not start your week off on a good note, by volunteering to help make our Child Care Centre bright and beautiful with a new coat of paint and other maintenance projects?

Get a team together from your workplace – or gather a bunch of friends together and book now for one of these Mandela Day opportunities:

Sand down window frames

All our window frames in the office, Khayelisha House, Amaqhawe Care Centre, Saunders House, SAWA House and the hall are in need of a little TLC. We need 5 enthusiastic volunteers for each venue (total 30 voluteers). Please bring gloves and sandpaper with you.

Supply and install lace curtains

We need 12 white lace curtains (size 2m x 2m), together with stretch wire and hooks for our hall. 5 volunteers needed for this task.

Set up Mini Library for Teenage Girls Unit

Three volunteers needed to supply and install bookshelves and arrange books. You will need to bring bookshelves and gloves, please.

Varnish jungle gyms

We have two sets of jungle gyms that need to be painted with water based wood treatment and varnish (if necessary, depending on the instructions pertaining to the treatment product ). Two sets of 5 volunteers needed. Each team to bring 2 x 5l water base wood treatment and 2 x 5l varnish (optional), plus 5 paint brushes.

Pavement clean up & weeding

A total of 10 volunteers needed to pull weeds and clean up the paving. Please bring gloves, bin bags and rakes.

Clean up and replant vegetable garden

5 enthusiastic gardening volunteers needed for this task. Please bring gloves, spades, rakes, compost and vegetable seeds/seedlings.

Paint TV Room and Security Gate

5 volunteers needed to sand down and paint the security gate and TV room. Please bring sandpaper, 20l paint and paint brushes.

Paint Saunders House front entrance walls

5 volunteers needed for this task. Please bring sandpaper, 10l paint and paint brushes.

For more information or to volunteer for any of these tasks, please contact Nicolette Modicka  by emailing nicolette@dch.org.za.

You could also choose to help out by donating items on our Wish List. Or make a cash donation online right now! Thank you!

New computer rooms and skills training – thanks to the Chester Group and Activate Academy

At the beginning of the year, some members of the Chester Group visited our Home. As they toured the facilities, we mentioned the need for a study/computer room for our children. A month later, the Chester Group contacted us to let us know they wanted to renovate and set up not one, but two computer rooms for our children – one on each property – so that our children would have safe and easy access to these facilities whenever needed.

Needless to say, we were overwhelmed by this wonderful news! At last, our children wouldn’t have to queue up at our reception area and ask our receptionist for help with assignment research, printing, etc.

But more was to come. We were also offered the Activate Academy online learning programme, which is designed to grow the capacity of youth through self-led and blended learning programmes.

Activate Academy

Jacqueline Joshua, a facilitator of Activate Academy, now comes on Tuesdays and Thursdays to run the training sessions. Our young people started with a course on leadership, which they are thoroughly enjoying. They receive a certificate after completing each course.

Thank you Chester Group and Activate Academy!

As an added footnote: one night during loadshedding some neighbours drove past our Home and noticed that the place was mostly in darkness. They came to us with an offer to help by donating portable rechargeable lights for each of our houses. What a difference this had made! Thanks to these two members of the community, we now have sufficient lighting in and around our home during loadshedding.

 

 

School bus hijacked

Our School Bus has been hijacked – children and staff traumatised

School bus hijacked

Yesterday at 15:20, we received a call from the child care worker accompanying our driver on his school pick up route. She was hysterical. The news that our new Quantum School Bus, full of children who were being collected from school, had been hijacked at gun point outside a local school was almost unbelievable.

Whilst the hijackers eventually dumped the children and staff physically unharmed on the side of the road, the emotional trauma runs deep.

Thanks to Umbilo SAPS, who kindly escorted our other driver into the area to pick up the abandoned children and staff. Our social worker and child care team were on hand to provide everyone with trauma counselling.

But, finding words to express our feelings after this heinous act is difficult. Our previous vehicle was stolen from out of the locked up garage on our property just 19 months ago. This caused great inconvenience, as we struggled to get 74 children to and from the 23 schools they attend, whilst working tirelessly to secure funds to cover the difference between the insurance pay-out and the cost of a new vehicle.

We have been left us discouraged beyond words. We know that incidents such as these have become a common occurrence. The fact that our experience has happened during South Africa’s observance of Child Protection Month, makes it even more compelling for us to refuse to accept the lawlessness that has gripped our country.

family is everything

Nompilo finds her family

family is everything

Every child deserves to grow up in the warm heart of a family. Sadly, it’s not possible for so many of today’s little ones.

Nompilo’s mother died shortly after she was born, and she was placed in a children’s home. A few years ago, the home closed down and Nompilo came to us.

But this young girl never believed she was an orphan. She remembered visits from her father when she was little. She also remembered the visits coming to an abrupt end, although she didn’t know why.

Thus began our search for Nompilo’s dad. Our social worker made contact with an agency social worker in the area where Nompilo was born. We asked her to go to the hospital to see if she could find out the name of Nompilo’s father … and there it was in the hospital medical file. It was a huge blow to find out that he had died in 2008.

Seeing Nompilo’s disappointment, our social worker asked the agency worker to go to the father’s last known address. She hoped there might be other family members still living there. Sadly, it was not so. But a neighbour recalled having seen two family members in the town. She promised to keep an eye open and pass on the agency worker’s number if she saw them again. And so it was that Nompilo finally made contact with her paternal aunt and grandfather.

They were beyond grateful to have found their ‘lost’ child. Nompilo, who turns 18 in a couple of months, has decided to return into their care.

Although we strive to give children placed with us the best possible care and attention, the truth is that there is no substitute for a real family. We are always so excited when it becomes possible for a child to return to his or her family. And we strive to work with family members to make reintegration possible, wherever it is in the best interests of the child.