in house psychologist

Hard work and determination the key to Ntombenhle’s success

in house psychologist

Our Child Care Manager, Ntombenhle Mkhwanazi has a BA (HSSS) in Psychological Counselling. Obtaining her qualification was a journey that lasted 14 years. And every one of those years required commitment, dedication, patience, determination and flexibility.

It all started when one of Ntombenhle’s colleagues who was studying at UNISA asked her to go with her when she went to register.

“When we got there, I saw 50 year old grandmothers on campus,” says Ntombenhle. “I asked my friend what they were doing there and she told me that they were also students. It was so amazing; I could not believe my eyes. I felt encouraged and filled with the possibility that it might not be too late for me to get a university degree.

Financial struggle

“But finances were a problem. I am a single parent with three children; how would my salary stretch to cover their needs and mine, as well as university fees? That was the worst, highest mountain to climb. I told myself, ‘God will be with me – I am doing this’.

“I chatted with my manager explaining my challenges. Her advice was to go and speak to our director, Mandy Goble. I was afraid, as I was employed as a child and youth care worker. But I had this belief that Child and Youth Care Centres should have a psychologist on the team. There would be less queuing at the hospital, or waiting months for an appointment.

“So I went to speak to Mandy. After sharing my struggle with her, she told me, ‘Ntombenhle, if you want to study we will support you.’ And, ‘Once you have completed your qualification, we will be the first Child and Youth Care Centre with an in-house Psychologist.’ I never lost sight of those words.

Study Loan

“Mandy told me that a study loan was available. The organisation would loan me the money and I could pay back what I could afford monthly. There was no time limit in terms of repaying the loan. But I was careful about borrowing money from the organisation. Sometimes I would feel like it’s too much, and I would take a gap year while I saved up. I needed to pay back one loan before taking another.

“It was worse when my children started high school. I was totally drained. I would ask for the loan at the beginning of the year, hoping I would be able to cover the rest with my salary, even though I was struggling. I didn’t receive results like the other students at the end of the year; I would get them at the beginning of the following year, after I had paid the outstanding amount, including registration, with the next year’s loan.

“Being employed full time made it harder to study. I would come back from work and feel that my body needs to rest. Later, I would sit studying from 10 pm til midnight. Or I would be sitting doing my work early in the morning from 3-5 am. I would then rest a bit and be up by 6 am, getting ready for work. When it was time for exams, Mandy would authorize study leave. That is how I achieved my goal, and it is like I am dreaming. I don’t even believe it myself that today I have completed my BA(HSSS) degree in Psychological Counselling.

Make hard work your friend

“What I can say is that you have to make hard work your friend not your enemy. And you can’t be a winner if you are afraid to fail. I failed so many times, but I never gave up.

“This is not the end of my journey. This year, I am continuing with my studies through DUT, registered as a Postgraduate in Health Science. Soon I will have Masters in Child and Youth Care Work.

“I humbly express my appreciation to Mandy Goble and the Board of Management for believing in me and walking with me on this journey. They have been my pillar of strength. Without their support, I was not going to reach where I am today. I am who I am because of them. Thank you.”

Dis-Chem Shopping Voucher

Dis-Chem dash … every month!

Dis-Chem Shopping Voucher

How amazing is it to be gifted with a R3 000 Dis-Chem shopping allowance every month?

Thanks to the Dis-Chem Foundation’s generous donation, we can start off every month with a supply of basic medicines (headache tablets, plasters, Dettol, ointment, etc) and purchase cleaning products or toiletries when donations are low.

Thank you Dis-Chem! We value and appreciate your amazing support of the children and youth in our care.




New flooring funded by Ironman 4 the kids

Floored by your generosity, Ironman 4 the kids

New flooring funded by Ironman 4 the kids

Like all our buildings, the hall at Durban Child & Youth Care Centre is old. And the years have taken their toll. At the beginning of 2022, we were fortunate to receive funding from two donors, which allowed us to repair the roof and fix up the ablutions. But the state of the flooring literally had us ‘floored’.

Broken and worn tiles were becoming a tripping hazard, as well as unhygienic. But we couldn’t stop using it, because the hall is the heart of our Home. It’s a central meeting point for the children from all the units … a place where they can get together for educational, developmental and recreational programmes, as well as various activities and events. Staff, too, use the hall on a regular basis for team meetings and training.

We are thankful to Ironman 4 the Kidz for coming to our aid and donating the funds needed to renovate the hall flooring. There was even enough left over to renovate the showers at the Amaqhawe Care Centre. Talk about being showered with blessings! A huge shout out to Ironman 4 Kidz for their wonderful generosity and caring.


Time in the garden is food for the soul

Thanks to the Matthew 25 Company, in partnership with KL Nursery, our children enjoyed a fun and educational morning learning about plants and gardening.

Special thanks to all involved for donating their time and resources to ensure that this project was a success. Our children had an incredible time and our garden looks amazing!

Premie Pillay

Farewell to Premie Pillay

Premie Pillay

On 31 January 2023, we bid farewell to a special and remarkable woman, known to our children as Aunty Premie. After almost 20 years of service as one of our residential social workers, Premie Pillay is starting a new chapter in her life.

When we asked her what were some of her best moments at DCYCC, she said there were far too many to remember. “But what stands out the most is when we found a family of children who had been abandoned, and were able to reunite them. That was undoubtedly the best feeling ever! Children belong with their family and should never be in a child and youth care centre for long unless they absolutely need to”.

Premie went on to say that she will miss the laughter, the energetic singing during our team activities and the amazing resilience of the DCYCC team . Above all, “I will dearly miss all the little ones who so generously offer their unconditional love to me. I will miss all the precious children!”

My advice to present and future children that come to DCYCC is that, “All children can heal from their past trauma. We all have the inner strength and capacity to improve our future. We just need to believe and trust that we can achieve anything if we really want to.”

Premie was an exceptional social worker, who did a splendid job helping our little ones heal and become stronger.

Premie, you will be sorely missed. Thank you for you all the years of service excellence to our organisation. We’re sad to see you go, but we know that now is the time for you to blossom in something new. On behalf of the board of management, children and staff, we want to wish you all the very best in your new venture!


We are hiring – social worker vacancy

The Durban Child and Youth Care Centre has a vacancy for a resident Social Worker.

Duties associated with the position are case work, group work, community work and statutory work.


  • Four-year Bachelor of Social Work degree.
  • Minimum of five years work experience as a Social Worker within the child protection field, with experience in residential child care being an advantage.
  • Registration with the South African Council for Social Service Professions.
  • Clearance against the Child Protection Register.
  • Valid code 08 driver’s license, with active driving experience.
  • Computer literate on Microsoft Office; Excel and an ability to load information on an online database.
  • Fluency in English, with proficiency in IsiZulu being an advantage.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and project management skills.
  • Strong administration skills.

To apply, please submit a CV with details of three contactable references and a motivation letter to the Director at Please note that only short-listed applications will be contacted. Consider your application as unsuccessful should you not be contacted before the 31st January 2023.

Visit from Tafta

Visitors bring the fun

Visit from Tafta

On 5 November we welcomed residents of Tafta for an Intergenerational Fun Day. Special thank you goes out to the awesome residents of Tafta who enthusiastically joined in the various games, dancing and face painting, and provided delicious treats for the little ones.

We know our kids enjoyed spending time with you as much as you enjoyed spending time with them!

fun visitorsMore special visitors turned up on Saturday 11 November to spend some time with the children. We had a wonderful day with Miss Nikita and family. Thank you for choosing to spread love and joy to our children. They enjoyed the fun games and treats.

If you are interested in arranging a visit and bringing a little joy into the lives of our children, please contact Nicolette Modika by emailing

Extra lessons help children catch up academically

Many of our children struggle to cope with certain subjects at school. Before being placed with us they may not have attended school regularly, missing crucial lessons and making it difficult for them to catch up.

When the team from Chester Group heard about this, they generously offered to sponsor the cost of extra tuition for children in need. Thanks to their donation, we were able to employ the services of Diko Tutors.

Initially, we decided to focus on the senior grades, with Matric being the most important of them all. Sinabo, the tutor, has been spending the most time with our Grade 10-12 learners, to ensure they have all the support they need to pass their end of year exams.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we can’t wait for the school to issue reports so we can measure our learners’ progress. Unfortunately, reports will only be available in Term 4. However, we have already seen much improvement.  Nolwazi was able to get 78% for her accounting assignment, Sbonga obtained 76% in her business studies assignment, and managed 54% in the exam. Simphiwe, who is in grade 11, has also done well with her assignments.

Thank you Chester Group and Sinabo from Diko Tutors for helping our children.

Mandy Goble

Message from the Director – Mandy Goble

Mandy Goble

‘Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude’ is the topic of our most recent blog. In it, I shared ideas on how we can develop and instill this important attitude in our children. And now a few weeks later I find my own ‘attitude of gratitude’ is being challenged, and it is hard!

I find myself looking for justification for why I do not feel an overwhelming sense of gratefulness. It stems from the damage done by state capture and the ongoing pilfering of funds meant to be used to lighten the burden of the most vulnerable in our society. Having to make do with less than what is necessary to provide everything our children need and deserve makes it extremely difficult to be grateful.

As I wrestle with this feeling, I am reminded of these wonderful words I read recently. ‘A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.’

As I reflect on the many miracles of all shapes and sizes that Durban Child and Youth Care Centre has experienced, I realise how much I have to be thankful for.

It is YOU, our friends and donors, who have a hand in these moments and to whom I am truly GRATEFUL!  It is through YOUR  generosity that we manage to keep the doors to our home open to vulnerable children, year after year. It is YOU who respond to our urgent calls for aid with open hearts.

So thank you. Thank you for the many blessings YOU shower on our child and youth care centre and the children who we are called to serve.

‘Back to our roots’ on Heritage Day

For this year’s Heritage Day celebration on 24 September, we chose the theme “AZIBUYELE EMASISWENI” (Going Back to our Roots). This gave everyone the chance to celebrate their culture.

Our children and youth were encouraged to wear traditional dress, and each unit offered a number of different activities. There was Iscathamiya, Indlamu, Zulu dances, poems, Tswana dances, and more. We never cease to be amazed at how talented our young people are. It was a joy to watch them put their circumstances behind them and enter wholly into the spirit of the celebrations.

We were delighted to have visitors from Boys and Girls Town share the day with us, and to have a wonderful guest speaker, Sanele Khoza, from the Arts and Craft filming industry.

The day ended with a variety of cultural meals sponsored by a generous donor. A special thank you goes out to all those who helped make this day so special.