When the reality of the Covid 19 Virus dawned on us at Kids Haven we did everything we could to find out how best to manage the situation. Our children and our staff were and still are our priority. We went into lockdown early, starting with the children, then non-essential staff. Our care workers committed to living in for the 21 days of lockdown.
We closed the charity shops, and stopped all visitors from interacting with the children. We did not know whether any of us had been in contact with the virus. We practised social distancing, and we took special care of those who might have compromised immune systems. Only the most senior staff came in on a daily basis. As time passed we became hopeful that none of us was affected by the virus.
And then the lockdown was extended. Our care workers were tired. We had to bring in a new team of care-workers. We transported our tired staff home, and brought back the incoming staff, avoiding public transport as much as possible. They were so happy to come back to work, they were missing their children!
Our children are fine, we are keeping them busy by dividing them into smaller groups and doing fun things together. They are also having school time every day, and helping with chores like cooking and gardening.
They understand the Covid19 threat, and feel safe at Kids Haven. This has helped them to manage their behaviour better, and while we are having a few meltdowns, it is better than before.
Some children are missing their families, and are worried that they might not have food. And they miss going to school every day and socialising with their friends.
Our outreach team is very concerned about the communities they assist, the need for food is so great. They are following up with families we know are at risk, the families of our crèche children, our aftercare children, and the people who usually come to our soup kitchen.
When you receive a message from a past child saying ‘Mummy I am hungry’ your heart feels like it will break. Or a street person sitting dejectedly alone says ‘thank you Mummy’ because you ask how they are, and give them some bread or a few rand, tears flow.
We are grieving for all the people out there who have nothing, who may succumb to the virus because they do not have the means to keep themselves safe.
We are grieving for all the little children who may be left alone once this virus is gone. We will be there for them when this is over.
Thank you for caring for our children and communities