March 2023 – Join Kids Haven in protecting and caring for children
“An Oak tree is a daily reminder that great things often have small beginnings.” Matshona Dhliwayo
Kids Haven protects and cares for children and youth and empowers families and communities to protect and care for their own children too.
On the 4th of March, the Department of Social Development invited Kids Haven to participate in a large career information day in Daveyton, just outside of Benoni. Our team set up early and then waited for visitors. Many visitors, department officials, adults, youth, and children came to our table and were surprised to discover that Kids Haven has grown into more than a children’s home. We told them about our THREE PILLARS of CARE that s t r e t c h child-care and protection into as many families and communities that we can.
Let us share this with YOU too. We also have suggestions of how to get involved. You can join Kids Haven to keep children safer, families stronger and get youth working.
Let’s start with the work we are doing in communities around Kids Haven – right here in the CBD of Benoni and stretching as far as Marikana Informal settlement on the edge of KwaThema, Alra Park close to Nigel and communities of Daveyton, eTwatwa and Windmill Park in Boksburg. We call this Precare.
We see this as our “Upstream work” – empowering families to have strong healthy families so that children and youth don’t need CRISIS care in our children’s home further downstream.
How to help:
Preschool – Can you knit jerseys or teddy bears for our 34 pre-schoolers? Can you sew a batch of beanbags? Do you have second-hand books and toys for our inner-city preschool? We are also looking for Easter eggs to enjoy an Easter egg hunt at the end of term on 24 March 2023. Please chat to email@example.com or WhatsApp us on 071 860 0505.
Children at school can earn community hours for helping us with Easter egg donations. These are Our Community Hours ideas
Teen Hub (Benoni CBD) – we need tutors for school subjects, skilled artists, musicians, chess players, dancers – any fun activity to inspire, teach and stretch the 70+ teenagers who come to the Teen Hub every week. Our own children who live at Kids Haven are included on Saturdays. We need helpers on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons or on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm. If this is YOU, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Khethiwe and lets chat.
Food Gardens – There are 526 home growers scattered across eight different communities. We are helping each grower to become more food sustainable, moving towards sharing and selling excess vegetables if possible. Do you have any garden tools, packets of seeds or even seedlings that you can share? There is a community garden champion who helps 25 growers in her community. This helps Kids Haven to monitor how everyone is doing and where help is needed. Please send us an email to email@example.com if you can help us with these donations. Please also let us know if your Company is interested in supporting food gardens.
***This is also a good way for Kids Haven to build relationships with families in their homes and ask how their children are? Kids Haven moves from Food Gardens to empowerment workshops in the same communities.
Empowering through workshops – Kids Haven’s dream team of May, Mabel, and social worker, Shiluva, are always hosting workshops on positive parenting, combatting gender-based violence, mental health, and finance and nutrition. Communication is key and these workshops offer a safe space for adults and children to explore what is working for them and what is not. Together we arrive at practical ideas to shift attitudes and behaviours. We know that the trauma caused by adverse childhood experiences of neglect and abuse is still felt in adults long after they have grown up. Offering dialogues and sharing in the concerns of the community breaks the cycle of trauma from extending into another family in another generation. This is our story about Mabel in the Dream Team on our website last year.
How to help: Can you donate R50 or R 100 every month to cover the costs of the Dream team? There is no short-cut to this work and tech-solutions are no match for a real person sharing in real experiences and offering practical ways to change mindsets and behaviours. We need regular reliable donations to keep the Dream Team talking. This is the heart of our child protection and care work in our communities – going upstream so that children do not end up in our Children’s Home. Sign up to help us every month here
Earn Community Hours by making up meal-in-a-bag nutritious meals. These are gratefully received by families, including soup kitchens deep in the heart of communities.
We share donations of toys and books with the Ekurhuleni Welfare Forum – a collective of 40 small community-based preschools and after school centres. Help us to help them.
- Blanket Drive for Winter
– There is simply no other way to keep warm in a shack in winter unless you have a thick blanket. Every blanket we receive is immediately given to families in need. Please donate any warm blankets you may have, or knit, and crochet warm knee rugs. You can also donate specifically for blankets to Nedbank, account number 1948 063 824 (code 198765) and reference it BLANKETS. If your company can make a donation of a bale of blankets or two, please chat to Connie at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will arrange to collect them and provide you with the necessary receipts and paperwork.
The Children’s Home protects and cares for 150 children from as young as three years old, right up to a handful of twenty year-old youth who are completing schooling or just finished school but don’t have family to go to. Every child who is here has a story of severe neglect, abandonment and abuse often boiling over into challenging behaviour in the early teens. Kids Haven offers resilience-building opportunities for each child to feel safe and protected. They experience care through kindness and compassion. They have enough to eat. Every child goes to school. Counselling, therapy and old-fashioned routines help to stabilise behaviour and reminds every child of how special and unique they are – building optimism for the future. Where possible, Kids Haven is able to reunify some children with their (extended) families while other children remain here until adulthood. Our Kids Justice programme makes sure each child has an identity document and the right to a name and nationality – the very essence of protection.
We have a of things we need for our Children’s Home with a current need to collect EASTER EGGS for an Easter hunt on Sunday, 9th April.
We always need clothing for children and adults and are happy to collect from you. You can WhatsApp us at 071 860 0505 to collect or drop off at the Donation Centre in Bryanston – now at The Cramerview Shopping Centre.
- Community Hours – Make a mac n cheese meal, bake biscuits or muffins – these will earn you two hours of service hours while helping us to show great care to the children. We always need birthday treats.
Can you volunteer in person at Kids Haven? Khethiwe would love to hear from you. There are many ways to help with the children here in Benoni. It definitely suits local helpers who find it easy to travel to our centre in Benoni town.
Your Company is always welcome to join us for a special day of activities with the children. There is always something worth doing. Our children appreciate visitors. Chat to us if you would like to set aside a special day to support Kids Haven.
We are always sharing news of our children and other activities on our socials. Please be our social media CHAMPION for Kids Haven and press SHARE on all our posts – broadening our reach and influencing your friends and family. Feel free to add a comment, we love to hear from you.
- We have a LOT of children in a LOT of different schools – 124 kids scattered through 24 schools to be exact. THIS is where we have a very big need for your help. Please chat to Khethiwe to see exactly how you can help to support a child in school, helping Kids Haven to manage the school fees, transport and school supplies each child needs. You may be able to help or introduce Company sponsorship for schooling.
Our final Pillar of Care is AFTERCARE – continuing to support youth who leave the Children’s Home together with other youth in need of help.
We are very excited by our new YOUTH HUB opening next month. So much needs to get done to empower young people to get decent work. Read about John – a young man who is now a permanent employee at Decathlon. Our child, Angel, starts a short-term contract at Exclusive Books next week.
Mentoring and sharing information plays a huge role in influencing youth to make better decisions about what to study, how to approach job searching and how to land that first job. Can everyone open their own micro enterprise – do you run your own small business? Can you share ideas and experience to help our budding entrepreneurs become more successful?
The YOUTH HUB needs your input in person, or through an opportunity that you can share. We want to hear about learnerships and bursaries that your company offers. Do you participate in “take a girl to work” Day? Can we send a young man too? Experiential learning is a powerful tool. Youth need to build social networks to support their process of finding decent work.
Contact Tshepo at email@example.com to chat about opportunities for career advice, mentorship, training and more.
Kids Haven will be hosting a Career Expo later this year. If you would like to participate, please let Tshepo know, and he will book space to exhibit for you. There is no charge to exhibit.
Some Last Ideas…
- You can have Kids Haven as one of up to three beneficiaries on your My School card. If you are a WOOLIES shopper, then this is one for you. If you already have a My School card, please ADD Kids Haven as a beneficiary www.myschool.co.za/supporter/update/ (you can have up to three beneficiaries) or get a new card here www.myschool.co.za/supporter/apply/ and hand it to the teller whenever you shop. It costs you nothing but My School/My Village pays over a percentage of your spending to Kids Haven.
- Do you have extra STUFF? Donate your second-hand clothing, books, toys, or anything really! We have boys and girls of every age, including youth and share with the community. We have a charity shop to turn the extra things that we receive into money to cover some bills while helping micro-entrepreneurs to on-sell clothing and goods to feed their own families. We are happy to collect from your home or office – call us on 011 706 7959 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book the bakkie. Calvin and Bethuel are strong and capable of carrying and lifting whatever you can share.
WhatsApp 071 860 0505 to book your collection quickly and easily.
- Can you donate today?
Choose to make a once-off donation today, just because you can! No obligations or strings attached. This is a very welcome gift to us because there is always something that crops up every month – like a new school bag or fixing some broken windows or saving up to buy new computers for our social workers. You can make your donation safely online at Donate Money via Payfast, MasterPass or directly donating into our bank account from our bank details on this link. Please let us know when you do an EFT deposit so that we can be sure to thank you and send you your TAX receipt – pop us an email at email@example.com
Thank you for the opportunity to share the breadth of Kids Haven with you. Join us in protecting and caring for children. You will make a difference!
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.