Back to school

Starting ‘big school’ for the first time

Back to school

At the beginning of the year, we welcomed no fewer than 18 new children to our Home – seven of them have just started school for the first time. We also had two children starting high school. They grow up so fast!

As you can imagine, early January was a whirlwind of activity … enrolling the new kids in school, sorting out uniforms, making sure everyone has sharp new pencils, erasers, pens, crayons, rulers and notebooks.

A big thank you to our wonderful friends and supporters for helping to make sure each and every child has everything they need to succeed in the classroom and on the sports field this year.

Message from the Director

What happened … where has 2019 gone? It seems that every year at this time we ask the same question – where has the time gone?

2019 has certainly been a year that overflowed with all sorts of challenges – from blocked drainage systems to late payment of subsidy from the Department of Social Development. Each challenge required a well-executed response that is easier said than done when financial and human resources are already stretched. And then almost in the blink of an eye, it is the end of the year and as we reflect we see how our mindful responses to each of the challenges has resulted in positive outcomes, from cleared drainage systems to intensive advocacy with provincial Department of Social Development on behalf of Child and Youth Care Centres in KZN.

The support received from so many different quarters has certainly kept our spirits high and our focus fixed firmly on our priority; the care and treatment of the children placed into the care of our Centre. When 20 children are reunited with their family and community you can be assured that the child care team has worked with a sense of purpose and determination throughout the year to ensure that the goals of families Care Plans are met.

I am so grateful for the commitment of our Board members who set the benchmark for good governance, for the heart that our staff have for vulnerable children, and for the generosity of our friends and donors.

It is the combined effort of all these wonderful and special people which carried this organisation through 2019. Dare I hope that 2020 is a little less challenging but as successful? Knowing that God’s grace is sufficient, especially when we are at our weakest, is all the encouragement I need!

Siyakhula Rehabilitation

Siyakhula Rehabilitation Centre celebrates 20 years

Siyakhula Rehabilitation

20 years ago, this organisation took a leap of faith and opened the Siyakhula Rehabilitation Centre offering an in-patient treatment programme to young people struggling with drug addiction. This was a ground breaking development at a time when in-patient treatment for children was only offered by rehabilitation centres that provided services to adults.

20 years on and this organisation remains the only child and youth care centre in the country offering this treatment option to young people. This unique child care response to substance addiction in young people has been refined over the years and in its current form ensures that young people from economically disadvantaged communities in this Province are able to access therapeutic support for substance addiction.

Whilst a number of factors have contributed to the longevity of this programme, acknowledgement must be given to the centre’s social worker, Andile Biyela. In holding this programme with the ‘best interest of each young person’ at heart, she has settled for nothing less that the highest standard of professionalism from her child and youth care team and other social service professionals who provide services to the Centre.

During the past year;

  • 36 children were admitted for in-patient treatment.
  • 27 completed the 12-week programme; an 75% success rate.
  • 27 children who had completed the in-patient treatment programme had access to the 12-month Aftercare Programme.
  • 541 young people benefitted from the structured awareness and prevention workshops.
  • 44 children were provided with motivational support in relation to accessing support to stop abusing substances.

The success of this programme is a testament of the Durban Child and Youth Care Centre’s commitment to providing relevant childcare responses to children who struggle in hostile and unyielding communities, having to cope with a multitude of challenges with little or no support.

Wishing Former Treasurer, Chris Yuill, a Happy Retirement

Chris Yuill took over as Treasurer of the Durban Child and Youth Care Centre during 1991, and held this position until 2017 when he handed over the reins to Grant Fincham.

Over the years that he served as the Treasurer, and then a general member of the Board, Chris made sure that the finances of the organisation were carefully administered to ensure the sustainability of the organisation. His integrity and attention to the smallest detail resulted in our ability to withstand some challenging financial storms.

It is not only Chris’s astute mind, financial expertise and general knowledge of the workings of this organisation that have made him an invaluable asset, but also his heart for children, concern for staff and genuine love for the Children’s Homes that will be missed.

We are pleased that he will continue to be involved in advising the organisation on a range of matters, as an Honorary Committee Member.

Thanks to Grobank

Early this year, our organisation was amongst many others that were affected by the heavy rain storm. Our reception area was flooded, causing damage to the flooring and some equipment.

Grobank came to the rescue with financial assistance to attend to this need. Thank you to the awesome management and staff of Grobank for being our Partners in Care of Youth and Children.

31 Club – thank you

Special thanks to the wonderful ladies from the 31 Club for their incredible kindness and generosity to our organisation.

Soon after the children moved into Saunders House, we discovered that the burglar bars that were installed had wide gaps in them that posed a safety threat for our children. In August this year, we appealed to the Club for assistance to adjust the burglar bars, and without hesitation they granted us the financial support to attend to this need. Thank you!

Friendship Day Celebrations

On Saturday, 2 November we hosted our Annual Friendship Day Programme.

The goal of the programme is to empower our young people and teach them leadership skills. Our young people spent much time practising with assistance and support from our dedicated Child and Youth Care Workers.

The event was a huge success as our children performed a variety of songs, drama and dance. Special thanks must go to Maggie Pelkofer and Madison Seeger, our foreign in-service students from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, for raising a total of R9000 for this event through Go Fund Me, an online fundraising site.

We would also like to acknowledge one of our loyal donors, Mrs. S Madaree, for donating the refreshments for the day.

President’s Awards

In September this year, 13 young people completed the gold hike to successfully complete their level and achieve their Gold Presidents Award. In addition 8 young people also graduated from Silver to Gold in August.

Well done and congratulations to our young people for their hard work and determination. A special thank you to Christine Wyngaard and the President’s Awards Team for their commitment to supporting our young people through this journey.

Thank you Glen Parent Youth Group

A big thank you to Glen Parent Youth Group for all that they have done for us over the last two weeks.

This is our second visit from an Irish Youth Group this year. We really do feel special that they love visiting our organisation.

Whilst spending time with us, they helped with painting some of our offices and the pool area, as well as spoiling our children which included lots of soccer games.

Another great Mandela week – thanks to you!

Grateful thanks to everyone who volunteered, visited or donated to help make Mandela Week 2019 unforgettable!

We started the week with the Gogos from Issey Geshen Old Aged home, who shared stories and gave out handmade soft toys for our little ones.

The Glenwood High School 1st Rugby team showed us their talent off the field when they helped us clean, paint and setup our laundry room.

Companies such as Lee-Chem Laboratories, Wits Health Consortium and Accenture Operations helped give various areas of our Centre a facelift with general cleaning and painting. We also received an overwhelming contribution of non-perishable food items and wishlist items from individuals, schools and corporates. A big thank you to you all!

Special thanks to Dr. Nkosinathi Shabalala for spending 67 minutes with us! Our Siyakhula Group enjoyed your informative talk and were truly grateful for your free consultation.

On Tuesday, 16 July we hosted our very own Corporate Amazing Race Challenge as part of our Mandela Week Programme. Facilitated by Beach and Bush Teambuilding as part of their CSI initiative, the event encouraged corporates to assist with maintenance projects around the home, whilst raising funds towards the care of our children and youth.

Teams of four enjoyed a day of fun team-building activities and low impact maintenance projects such as gardening and painting. Participants were from the following companies:

  • Pro Print (Pty) (2 teams)
  • Accenture Operations
  • Astron Energy (Pty) Ltd (6 teams).

Tasks were completed in a rotation format and teams were judged on their thoroughness of completing the projects. The top three winning teams were : 1st Place – Pro Print, 2nd Place – Astron Energy and 3rd Place – EBM-PAPST.

We are grateful to our sponsors on the day, who included The Barnyard Theatre – Suncoast, Chateau Gateaux, Waltons Glenwood, Stella@Glenwood, Innovative Methology, KZN Athletics Club, Deals on Wheels and Beach and Bush Teambuilding Company.

Collectively all ten teams that participated helped us give three of our cottages a facelift, developed ten mini gardens with creative settings and painted 40 bright and colourful tyres for our obstacle course. Through the entry fees, they helped us raise some much needed funds for our care programmes!

This event was a success only through the amazing support and charitable spirit of all our participants and sponsors for the day. Thank you!

Pictured above are the winners, Pro-print and runners up Astron Energy. Third place went to the team from EBM-PAPST (below).