“When we see the face of a child, we think of the future. We think of their dreams about what they might become, and what they might accomplish.” Desmond Tutu
Sitting down to write to you now, at the end of The Year to Remember, we thought we don’t want to dwell on all the difficult moments we have been through but rather sit back and reflect on our reason for being. Without doubt, Kids Haven has remained true to our vision to protect and care for all children – even in the middle of a global pandemic.
Desmond Tutu reminds us that in every child there is hope – what is coming around the next corner? Who can I become? Regardless of whether the world is shifting at their feet. It has been our jobs as the adults in the room to take charge, do our best and keep children feeling safe and loved. This is what matters the most and this is what allows our children to remain resilient, optimistic and looking forward to 2021 – whatever that may look like.
We have not been alone. This year, although the economy has been at its worst, and every single industry, family and individual has felt the effects of lockdown regulations, Kids Haven has experienced a warmth of care that we have never felt before. You made sure of that. No matter which month, or lockdown level, Kids Haven has received your kindness, thoughtfulness and help to meet the needs of our children, our Staff, the Organization and the increasing numbers of our community beneficiaries.
In April, we called for your help to feed families severely impacted by the hard lockdown. Our teams found parents and children who were missing two to three days of meals because they could not work and had no access to secure food for themselves. We found foreign families scared to come out of their homes or receive gifts of food in case their local neighbours accused them of taking food meant for South Africans. It was devastating.
But you responded to our call for help, many of our major donors offering help and resources before we could even ask for them. Our numbers climbed from 152 families in March to 580 families in July. Every single family received food support through the donation of food parcels, electronic vouchers and store gift cards. Kids Haven assisted all families in need, regardless of origin. We worked with small community based organizations that we know to distribute food parcels to groups of families. Our team moved into a new area outside Springs called Marikana Informal Settlement. Our staff have remained healthy throughout, their energy reserves fuelled by the constant support and never-ending supply of food and donations for us to share. Dettol from Reckitt Benckiser is all over the East Rand along with Kellogg’s cereals and masks, masks, masks.
We are settled supporting around 307 families each month now, and have added food gardening and advice to reduce future vulnerabilities.
#7Colours Christmas Campaign
Our #7Colours Christmas campaign continues to grow with new donations being added almost every day. There is important cultural context to gather around a special meal on festival days, religious events and special occasions. In local townships, all families recognize the value of “eating the rainbow” to celebrate a special event. This means enjoying a colourful, healthy meal of chicken or meat, potato, rice, pap or pasta with a dazzling array of five or more salads and vegetables alongside.
In the last two weeks leading up to Christmas, the Kids Haven community team is distributing gift cards pre-loaded with an allocation of R55 per person so that families in the community may also stop and enjoy Christmas in 2020 – pandemic or not. We have an ambitious goal of raising as much as R90 000 towards providing enough #7Colours meals to all our families around Kids Haven and for our own 154 children living in care at Kids Haven. So far, we have received a generous R 65 870 towards #7Colours Christmas, including a generous donation of R 10 000 from Ricardo Capazario, with extra snacks, sweets, meat and treats from Diane Stuart and even more from Ricardo.
Children earning community hours continue to donate Dessert Packs of custard, jelly powder and tinned fruit to go out with the #7Colours vouchers.
Please join us in these final weeks to get a special Christmas meal to as many families as we can by clicking on this link https://www.givengain.com/cc/7colours-for-christmas-2020/ and making your donation; or directly to Nedbank, 1948 063 824 Kids Haven. Please use your name + 7Colours as the reference.
You may also drop off your Dessert Packs at the Donation Centre at 300 Main Road, Bryanston or at the Home at 34 Cranbourne Avenue, Benoni.
Our audacious goal to grow in 2021
In 2021, Kids Haven is extending our childcare programmes to meet the needs and extend the dreams of inner-city teenagers in Benoni. The new Kids Haven Youth Hub is a joint venture of the US Ambassador’s self-help grant, Kinderfonds Mamas and Air Menzies International who will be supplying the prefabricated classroom to run the hub.
“What a joy to read your well-structured plan. It makes perfectly clear how greatly the Youth HUB is needed. And how it matches the DNA and objectives of Kids Haven…Although I have not yet had the pleasure to visit your site, I can totally paint myself a picture of how the HUB will be used.
With youngsters coming from one of the nearby schools dropping in. Hesitant maybe at first, but once they realize they can find the support they need, they will surrender to the loving care and support Kids Haven provides them. Sam, I remember the first time you spoke to me about this plan in our virtual visit in August and you got me excited straight away. I love how this plan came together and trust you will make it a huge success and a meaningful project” Marita Pruijser Kinderfonds Mamas
The programme is starting with a survey of inner city teens to best match their needs to our services. We will be guided by their needs, but will also offer opportunities for expression and learning based on our knowledge of young people.
We are currently running a programme aimed at preventing Gender Based Violence with girls living incare and girls living in community. Running a programme that cuts across our pillars of care shows us just how important it is to provide services to teens in families living around our Centre in Benoni. There are huge gaps in knowledge and a deep desire from teens to have more control over their lives and to collectively see a better society for all.
“One of the methods used to facilitate the programme was Experiential learning, it allowed us to draw from the girls’ experiences in a non-threatening manner and a lot came out. We could hear that most of the comments were coming from what they have experienced.
What came out quite strongly during the Child Abuse and Neglect sessions was “WHY” – the girls wanted to know why parents abuse and neglect children; the “HOW” they wanted to know how to support others, showed more understanding and support for the victims and the “WHAT” they focused on what to do to protect themselves from Child Abuse and Neglect.” Annie Maboea – observations from Kids Haven GBV programme 2020.
The site of the new Teen Hub, Therapy Centre and playground for the children living in Cranbourne Avenue on adjacent land leased from the Ekurhuleni Metro. Kids Haven signed this lease on 31 August 2020 and is applying for approval of the site development plans at the moment. For now, the site is secure, clean and being used daily as a wonderful spacious hard-court playground.
“As people we must be allowed to take risks but then there should an adult person to guide you through out those risks because without an adult person you will never get anywhere. Sometimes as teenagers we tend to think that we can get anywhere we like, we can get everywhere without adults but you always need an older person to guide you in those risks you take.” Kids Haven Child – GBV programme 2020
Looking inward – Let US know what YOU want to know…
Kids Haven has an active Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kidshavenhome and is reasonably active on Twitter, Instagram and Linked in. We are grateful to see our posts liked, shared and to read your comments or answer your questions.
You can find our website at www.kidshaven.co.za with copies of all past newsletters, details of our current programmes and any campaigns we may be running. There are also many options to choose from if you would like to donate money or time to Kids Haven.
But to end the year and prepare for 2021, we would be grateful if you would give five minutes to take this short survey which will help us to direct our communication next year so that we keep you informed.
Click on this link to go to our short survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B56FYVT
And the Final Wrap – saying goodbye to Moira Simpson and remembering our child, R.
“She is my hero because she has raised a nation. She has touched so many lives, girls, boys and families. Things can be falling apart around her, but she remains so consistent to care. She has been a great teacher who lives out her lessons. She never forcefully instructs, but teaches me and all of us simply by the way she acts and does things.” Sam Mokgopha newly appointed CEO of Kids Haven
Moira Simpson saw the dreams of children on the streets of Benoni in 1992 and it is our privilege to continue to protect and care for children in the years to come. Kids Haven started during a time of great upheaval, uncertainty and constraint. Apartheid was still in force and the black child was the most vulnerable. Moira Simpson was not deterred by the environment and mood around her. To Moira, there were children whose faces showed fear to dream and hopelessness to expect anything better in life. Things had to change.
Moira’s dream has been that EVERY child should receive the best opportunities to be able to become the very best version of themselves. There should be no distinction between children and every child deserves to be loved, protected and nurtured.
We take this moment to also remember our child, R. She joined us at Kids Haven as a little girl, just four years old, following the earlier placement of her brother, who came in 2014. They came from an unstable home but at Kids Haven they both found stability, care and kindness. Sadly, little R passed away on the 4th of June following complications arising from her chronic illness. We miss her every day. It is a fitting tribute that she should be the narrator of Tsietsi’s beautiful video on Children’s Rights https://youtu.be/f0QVimt5MLA .
It is our greatest pleasure to commit the Organization to maintaining Moira’s heartbeat in the years to come while confirming our determination to deliver on the rights of EVERY child. Moira remains on the Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Board member and will also volunteer her time.
Thank you to Moira, all the staff, the children, our community networks and especially you for your commitment to Kids Haven and your dedication to the care and protection of vulnerable children.
The Kids Haven Management Team
P.S. Our Donation Centre remains open until midday on 23rd December and re-opens on 4 January 2021. Contact 011 706 7959 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange collection or drop off your donation at 300 Main Road, Bryanston.
The Children’s Home does not close but is on reduced admin staff over Christmas. Call us on 011 421 4222 or email email@example.com . Unfortunately, we are still restricting visitors due to Covid-19 and especially now during the so-called second wave.
If you would like to help us to protect and care for children every month with a small cash donation, please click on our link here https://kidshaven.co.za/monthly-debit-order/
You can get involved by volunteering, donating money or second hand goods.
If you think your company could help make a difference please contact us.