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Mandy Goble

Message from the Director

Today I was reminded that, no matter how dire the situation, we should never write off a child.

Sipho left our Centre two years ago. He had just failed matric and was returning to a home beset with poverty. Apart from his academic challenges, he also struggled with social skills, having been raised by a granny with psychiatric challenges.

But, instead of being defeated and sinking into hopelessness, Sipho chose to redo Grade 11 and then matric. And today he came to show us his results: a Bachelor pass with 1 distinction and 2 ‘B’s’!

How amazing, how wonderful! A story of determination and resilience, which saw this young man overcome so many obstacles to succeed against all the odds.

This story reminds me how important and worthwhile our services are to vulnerable and at-risk children. It is an honour and privilege to do this work. The responsibility is great and often overwhelming; however, the reward is priceless.

Sipho’s beaming face is all the encouragement our child care team needs to face 2022 with the courage that will surely be required as we navigate the many obstacles that are sure to come our way.

I hope that we can count on you to continue your journey with us this year.

Fun with Lego

Lessons from Lego

Fun with Lego

Creativity, puzzle solving and fine motor skills were just a few of the  lessons learned by our children during a fun morning building with Lego. Sets of the popular building blocks were kindly donated by World Sports Betting.

Our Child and Youth Care Team identified that when they gave a child a limited number of blocks to complete their project, they learnt that each piece counted! They began to understand that, regardless of the colour, shape or size, each piece is crucial to completing a whole puzzle.

In the same way, each one of our children counts, and is important to our Centre, our community and our world.

Fun with lego

Back to school

On your marks, get set, go … back to school at last!

Back to school

How exciting it was for the children to go back to school at the beginning of the year, given all the disruptions of the past two years! There was a flurry of activity as uniforms and shoes that fitted last year were found to be too small to squeeze into now. And the long lists of required stationery items seemed never ending!

Thank goodness for our wonderful friends and supporters, who never fail to open their hearts and hands to make sure the children have everything they need.

In particular, we thank SPAR Glenwood for donating new school shoes and Ethekwini Caterers who donated new school bags. Chester Butchery, Pro Print, the ladies from Mildene Clinic and We Buy Cars all chipped in with stationery items, and we received cash donations from various individuals towards new uniforms. Thank you, one and all!

Your kindness not only enables our kids to start the year, fully kitted out – it also carries the unspoken message: you are worthy and just as important as any other child in your class.

As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Our future generation deserve the right to access quality education for a bright and better future. Thank you for giving our children an opportunity to learn, grow and excel!

Donations of school shoes and stationery

New Roof from Victor Daitz Foundation

New roof over our heads – thanks to the Victor Daitz Foundation

New Roof from Victor Daitz Foundation

Thanks once again to the generosity of The Victor Daitz Foundation, our historic Baumann Hall now has a new roof – and a new lease on life. Broken tiles have been replaced, and years of moss build up removed. Adding the finishing touch are the spick and span new fascias. Now, the roof not only looks good, but is completely sound and weather proof.

The generous R188 522 grant we received from the Foundation was enough to cover the cost of replacing the boiler at SAWAS House as well. This completes some of the urgent repairs and renovations needed at the Durban Child & Youth Care Centre. Thanks to all concerned, for giving our children a safe and comfortable home they can be proud of.

Thanks to you, our children are on the way up!

Weeks without being able to go to school during 2020 – and then the rotational system for school attendance that was introduced when schools finally opened again – have highlighted the learning challenges of our children.

Although these challenges existed before the pandemic, reduced face-to-face teaching has compounded the problem. At DCYCC, we introduced an academic support programme last year, and this identified reading and writing as the main areas where most of our children struggle.

Thanks to HSBC Bank, and many other donors who responded so positively to our appeal, we received the necessary funding to provide educational and emotional assessment and treatment for the most critical cases.

German Embassy steps in to aid with our Covid-19 Risk Reduction

Exciting times, as old tiles and sanitaryware are removed from our bathrooms, and new spaces created to create beautiful modern ablutions facilities for the kids!

We are so grateful to the German Embassy for their incredible donation towards our Covid-19 risk reduction need, which has enabled us to make a start on upgrading ablution facilities and isolation rooms.

With the basic guidelines and preventative measures necessary to protect children and staff against Covid-19, came the realisation that our isolation rooms and old ablution facilities simply weren’t good enough.  A risk assessment was done and a number of areas were identified as risk areas. With finances already stretched to the limit, we were not able to plan the necessary upgrades, until the German Embassy stepped in. Thank you for your caring and generous support.

 

Level 5 Leadership Qualification

Back in 2019 we received notice that the HWSETA was offering our child and youth care workers an opportunity to improve their qualification. In addition, we were able to extend the training for the practical section of the qualification to another 13 unemployed learners.

Then along came Covid-19 … wreaking havoc with the timeline for this training. However, our trainees persevered and will complete the Level 5 Qualification in Child Care by the end of this year.

As we worked with the HWSETA to provide both employed and unemployed learners with the best possible learning environment, a relationship developed that has resulted in the HWSETA entrusting the coordination of another Level 5 qualification training programme to us. This programme will be available to 50 employed child and youth care workers from other Child Care Centres in and around Durban.

We are very excited by this partnership and are grateful for the opportunity to contribute towards the professional development of child and youth care workers.

Mandy Goble

Message from the Director

In reflecting on this past year, I am saddened by the pain so many people have had to experience. The loss of loved ones, livelihoods, and life as it was pre Covid-19. The looting and unrest here in KZN was another moment in time that will forever remain etched in our memories. The intense emotions linked to these experiences seem to swirl around us with unrelenting force, leaving us spent.

The beautiful thing about working with children though is how they remind us, every day in so many ways, why we cannot lose hope. Hope for our future, for our families and for our country. This little four-letter word, H O P E is so much bigger than what it looks like on paper.

Hope is not pretending that there is no hardship or sorrow. It is rather the quiet still voice that whispers that our troubles are for a season. It is the inner strength we can draw on to sustain us now and tomorrow. Hope is an amazing feeling.

It is hope that has kept so many of us going this year. As lockdown levels eased, we saw how hope rose in our children. Hope for more meaningful contact with family and community, hope for regular school attendance and hope for a future.

The generous support of so many of our donors kept hope alive as we struggled to raise funds in an environment that has become progressively more hostile and barren – as the after effects of the pandemic and, more recently, the looting took effect. As we draw close to wrapping up this year, let us hold tightly onto the light and promise that hope fosters in our hearts.

A sad goodbye to our trusty Yaris

Sadly, our trusty Yaris was written off by our Insurer after being damaged in a minor accident recently. We are grateful to be insured, however the R30 000 settlement is nowhere near enough to cover the cost of another vehicle.

Over the past 14 years, this little car proved to be work horse. It was used by child and youth care workers to attend parent meetings at schools during evenings and weekends when our drivers are not available … to transport very ill children to hospital after hours and on weekends … to transport social workers, senior child and youth care workers and admin staff to training sessions … to the bank, and to the shops for small items.

In February 2019, the Yaris became indispensable as the means to transport food from our central kitchen at 222 Lena Ahrens Road to the 265/267 Lena Ahrens Road property over weekends and public holidays.

At a time when we are already finding the fundraising space so hostile, this unexpected expense is crushing! If you know of anyone within the motor industry that could help us with a vehicle sponsorship please email nicolette@dch.org.za

Des-ign Group to the rescue!

Our buildings are over 116 years old. Which means that they require considerable maintenance and, in some cases, renovation. We need them to provide a safe and secure environment for the children in our care. But, when you are operating on a limited budget, meeting the day to day basic living needs of the children has to take priority.

We are currently facing a shortfall of R 4,9 million on our operating budget for the year, which is why we are so grateful for all and any donations. In particular, we wish to thank Des-ign Group for their kind and generous donation to attend to critical flooring repairs at Khayelisha House.

The flooring was in a bad state and when the contractors started pulling off the old carpets, we were able to see just how bad! Extensive repairs and renovations were needed and Des-ign Group generously undertook the repairs, and prepare the floors for a vinyl finish which will be completed by the end of October.

Thank you for helping in this practical way.