“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” Albert Einstein
January is over and we all realise that 2021 is HERE and we are back in a New Year to continue to protect and care for children. We thought that 2020 was a year like no other, but we feel the pandemic continuing to grip our country and deeply impact her people. We all know someone who has lost their life to Covid-19 and it feels as if the virus is more real than ever. We want to take this opportunity to honour our frontline healthcare workers who are making such a difference. And we look forward to good news about vaccines and the roll out to combat this disease.
Kids Haven learned so much in 2020. What may be surprising to read is that we have gained many new opportunities out of the constraint and levels of lockdown we experienced as a result of the pandemic. We are optimistic in 2021 and looking forward to growth and extending services.
Kids Haven remained open throughout all lockdown levels. Every activity has been affected, but we have been able to pivot to meet the needs within each of the three pillars of care – PRECARE, INCARE and AFTERCARE.
Food Support became an emergency response under our four priorities of Protection, Health, Care and even Education when school feeding schemes were closed.
- Kids Haven’s precare team delivered 2 932 substantial food parcels between April and December 2020. Supporting 326 families on average per month collectively feeding at least 1303 family members monthly.
- 300 families are being actively supported to grow food gardens, starting in November 2020. There is a small competition involved and we look forward to congratulating the home gardens with the highest yields and the best farmers in the community, amongst the elderly and the youth.
- A small farmer in the community of Mogoba is growing seedlings for Kids Haven to distribute to these food gardens. He is growing wonderfully healthy vegetable plants for all. This picture shows us collecting his healthy seedlings.
- The soup kitchen closed in April and May but reopened in June to serve 85 homeless youth and adults on average every week.
Our #NoKidGoesHungry campaign remains an important part of our work in 2021 – and we are asking if YOU can help us to keep food on the table this year for our most vulnerable families. Are you able to take the R 2 021 challenge in 2021 and make a regular monthly donation of R168 for the year? We have a range of different food parcels that we provide – our most substantial box costs R700 per box but contains all of the staple foods for a family of 4 – 6 people for a whole month. Now that many of the families are also growing their own vegetables, we are also able to supply smaller boxes containing essential dry ingredients for between R250 and R350 a box. Kids Haven works directly with small community based Organizations and churches to ensure that these food parcels reach those who are most in need. Fill in the form online at https://kidshaven.co.za/monthly-debit-order/ or set up a recurring EFT from your account to ours at Nedbank, code 198765, account number 1948 063 824 in the name of Kids Haven using the reference 2021 + Name and Surname. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can prepare your tax receipt.
We are also in need of school sponsors for specific children in formal school. Our major funder of school fees is unfortunately no longer able to cover these costs and Kids Haven needs your help, or the help of your company to sponsor a child at school. Please contact Lindiwe email@example.com if you would like more information. Costs range from R 7 700 per annum to R 14 450 per annum and include transport (unless the child walks to school), uniform, stationery and textbooks. We are grateful for Company sponsors, individuals or groups who are able to maintain one of our children in their formal school for the year.
There is always something that you can do! Right now we would love you to join us in motivating our children through Love notes for lunchboxes – choose your top motivating quotes and messages, transfer them to a small card that can fit in a lunchbox, LAMINATE them so that they don’t go soggy next to a sandwich and drop them off at Kids Haven at 300 Main Road, Bryanston or 34 Cranbourne Avenue, Benoni.
A word from our new CEO, Sam Mokgopha:
“The COVID 19 crisis situation became an opportunity for Kids Haven to make inroads in other new communities around Ekurhuleni. Under normal circumstances the institution would have taken a long time to access some of these communities. We met the residents of Marikana informal settlement (Springs) for the first time mid-2020. Initially providing food relief, Kids Haven could further establish food garden projects while rolling out Save the Children’s Vikela Nwana project to combat violence against children. In small groups, we were able to implement the positive parenting programme and children’s rights programme and have linked almost all these participants into the food security project. Another 20 teenage girls from Marikana are included in Kids Haven’s GBV programme. This meant taking support from three funders and combining programmes, opportunities and resources to meet a broad range of needs in an area that we had not worked in before. While doing this work in these communities, we came across some of the worst poverty situations that prompted Kids Haven to intervene beyond parent training or child-specific programmes. Kids Haven stepped in to help in building and buying building material for one family living in a shack, building a toilet, donating clothes and issuing food parcels. Our list of late birth registrations is growing and we await a full service Department of Home Affairs to begin resolving the crisis of paperwork for many families.
Sadly, migrant and undocumented children were the worst affected during full lockdown and we became deliberate in assisting them with food parcels, especially as they were found to have less network and support during that time. Residents directed violence at these families and youth for being the recipients of food parcels and they had to withdraw themselves to their houses. Their fear of being identified by the authorities prevents them from reporting incidences of violence against them.
Kids Haven ensured that we worked with the whole community, and especially identified small community based organizations (ECD’s and churches especially) knowing that they were the closest to the ground. Attitude change and behaviour modification is a process and therefore, consistent support is needed in order to make these changes. We aim for communities to maintain these changes whether Kids Haven is in or out. Violence in communities will be reduced if we only have strong and consistent partnerships. It is our expectation that the crises in 2020 have developed and built relationships in many communities with Kids Haven and that all of these relationships will deepen the positive impact that Kids Haven is planning in 2021.”
Our new projects in 2021:
Kids Haven has been able to secure funding during 2020 to extend our services to impact more children, their families and communities.
“There is no mystery to fundraising. If we get more, we can do more. We use what we get, to do the work that we say we will do, and we do it. Every Rand is appreciated and every donated resource makes a difference. It is a privilege to be the hands and hearts of our donor community in reaching and meeting needs of vulnerable children in our country.” Susan Daly, Fundraiser
- Kids Haven has finally leased the property next door from the council. It is a playground for now but will be the site of the new YOUTH HUB recreation centre for inner-city children, and the Kids Haven Therapy Centre extending therapy into our community.
- Kids Haven is an implementing partner for the University of Johannesburg’s Sihleng’ imizi family strengthening programme. This evidence-based programme builds on our Positive Parenting workshops to a deeper engagement over 14 weeks with families.
- The construction of a stand-alone Education annex started on 25th January 2021 and will accommodate the Bridging School and improve spaces for learning. It frees up space in the Centre where the teen boys live.
- Kids Haven enters a research and implementation initiative with the University of Leicester and the University of Johannesburg to train and support communities to meet the mental health needs of vulnerable children.
Pathways to documentation – building a case for identity.
Kids Haven is hosting two introductory webinars on the road to documentation for careworkers and social workers responsible for protecting children. This will be a springboard for our own advocacy to expedite late birth registrations for children in care.
Moira modestly says that the ‘secret’ to Kids Haven has simply been GOOD parenting – loving the children, providing for their needs, treating each child as an individual and expecting children to make mistakes along the way but to learn from them. Moira has always led by example and we are confident that Sam does too.” Stanley Botopela, Chairman
Thank you for sharing our optimism for 2021.
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.