Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you. Walt Whitman (American Poet 1819 – 1892)
What a month it has been! We must start this newsletter with a huge
to everyone who helped us through the chaos of the hailstorm on the 10th of November and the 5-day power outage at the same time. The weather and cable theft left us with seriously damaged roofs and a frantic shuffle of deep freezes and fridges so that we could save our food. We took a deep breath and dived in at the deep end to cope with our crazy situation.
Then we entered a month-long marathon of insurance-related discussions and back and forth negotiations until finally last week, we received confirmation that the Insurer would cover repairs on the roofs of two of the three houses badly damaged at the Village along with all the interior ceiling repairs and re-painting. Kids Haven had to go ahead to fix the roof of Rainbow House before the finalization of the insurance process because it was inhabitable, and we needed the space for all the little people who live in Rainbow House.
Thank you to everyone who helped us with donations large and small to get us through this time. A special mention to the NuSkin Foundation and the Old Mutual Volunteers Fund Trust who have given substantial donations to cover the costs of roof repairs at Rainbow House along with repairs to the Community Preschool, main administration building and offices and our hall. We would also like to thank Macsteel who are donating material towards this project. We are grateful that we can get back to the state we were before the hailstorm with this support and funding. While we have an annual risk review and plan, along with building insurance, we didn’t anticipate such a big hailstorm that could find every weakness in our Village houses and Cranbourne Avenue buildings. Your support, caring messages and practical help have been a silver lining throughout these weeks. It feels impossible that these few words THANK YOU can sum up the care that we have felt. The 10th of December is VERY different to the 10th of November!
One of the things that we are MOST grateful for is our children who live here. In the typical way of children everywhere, they just ‘got on with it’, sleeping wherever we put them, on makeshift mattresses in any available space. It may have helped that we had to empty our deep freeze of all the CAKES and treats we had been storing up so that we could save the more important food like meat during the five days without power. Cake always makes us happy!
Our children also carried on with the usual activities planned for the end of a year. Swotting, EXAMS, the nativity play and concerts, and prize giving assemblies. We are proud of them all. It has been a real treat to be invited to many awards events at schools so that we can celebrate the achievements of our children.
Our annual nativity concert and preschool play went ahead without any hiccups. Our children are examples of living in the moment and just enjoying every activity. Their enjoyment and enthusiasm made sure that our staff took a break from worrying about the storm. We could get on with the business of childcare because they demanded our attention, and we had the support from you so that we could cover the costs of all the repairs.
We are finishing strong in 2022. Nineteen children have been able to leave Kids Haven permanently and re-join their families or extended families. More than fifty children have been able to take a few days to visit someone who is important to them whether a granny or a host parent. Our social workers have been hard at work to put the plans in place so that these visits could take place. It is an important step in the long-term building of relationships so that children can have a sense of belonging and attachment to their families.
“The social worker contacted the receiving external social worker to find out how the trip to Limpopo had gone. The external social worker said that they only arrived at the home around 11pm but they were so much welcomed. The grandmother and the father were so happy, they couldn’t stop shouting and called the neighbours to come and see the child even though it was so late. The child was happy to see her relatives especially her father who reported that he had last seen her when she was just two years old.”
It is all about the children. And families. And young people.
We are looking forward to 2023 and especially seeing growth in our new projects of the Teen Hub and the planned Youth Hub.
The Teen Hub opened on the 16th of June to provide a safe space in the afternoons and on Saturdays for teenagers living in town. There are now 68 teenagers who are attending regularly, and we are growing every month. The children, their parents and their teachers are telling us how much school marks are improving. They also love the drama, dance, art, and other activities. We are loving the integration of children living in care at Kids Haven with the teens at the Teen Hub. This is important to us.
We look forward to opening the Youth Hub in 2023 – modelled on the Teen Hub, it will be a place for young adults to gather to access online resources, receive mentorship and coaching, and to attend skills training. Kids Haven wants to create a space where youth can get what they need to secure decent jobs. This means getting life skills necessary to fit in at work, getting technical skills required for fulfilling different work requirements or learning how to create your own business to make a future for yourself. We are excited to welcome Socionext to Kids Haven in April 2023 to run their five-day bootcamp for young entrepreneurs. Highly regarded by the SAB Foundation, Kids Haven is very happy to bring such quality training to youth in the Kids Haven aftercare programme. Watch this space for stories of success in 2023.
Finally, our Donation office in Bryanston is moving into a busier retail centre a few meters away from the current office. Please pop into Shop 24 at the Cramerview Shopping Centre (opposite Tiger Wheel and Tyre) at 277 Main Road, Bryanston. The telephone number 011 706 7959 and WhatsApp line 071 860 0505 stays the same. Drop off donations are welcome, or we collect from your home or office.
Thank you to everyone who cares for Kids Haven and upholds our vision to protect and care for children. We want to see all children being safe and nurtured. We want to see families capable of looking after their own children, in safe communities. We want to see young adults being able to make a future for themselves with decent work. Thank you for doing this work with us for the sake of the children.
Happy holidays. Stay safe.
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.