Report of Lesley's Visit to South Africa, July 2007:
I visited again in mid July with a visit that was timed to fit with the arrival of two new and totally amazing grandchildren, but also with interviewing for our research student, making a film and taking some professional photographs.
We have been very fortunate to gain sponsorship for the film so, having never done this before I set out, with a very professional company to make our first film. Well, it is done, we have it here in the UK and I think it is really great. Anyone who is interested in seeing the finished DVD, I will be posting how to obtain a copy soon.
I visited all our old friends and each time I see how well the projects are developing and how much we are working in partnership. In particular our partnership with the Child Abuse treatment and Training Service is just brilliant. They have now developed 2 courses for us, based on their expertise and the trials and pilots of last year. So this year we are funding two level one and two level two courses for volunteers and community workers to inform and help them when identifying possible abuse. At the end of this report I have put together some figures of how well we are doing – take a look, it makes good reading.
We have two new projects developing with Childline SA; one in Limpopo where we are trying to get together all the local women who run the crèches for small children to help support and develop their work – Limpopo is a province where there are so many children at high risk – the other one in North West province where we are also working to support the women who run these early crèches, often on a complete shoestring and with no support. Yet in both these two provinces alone I have been told that the crèche women can’t afford to let small children go home alone, even 5 minutes away as they may well be raped and killed. I heard a story of the previous week where a 6 year old had collected her 2 year old sister. They were both abducted, raped and killed. They live half a mile from the crèche.
These are some of the children we want to try and protect
I have become more and more aware of the impact of HIV/AIDS on this visit; not just because of the miles and miles of fresh grave, also because of the numbers of children who are left unguarded by adults and left to their own devices. They are just so vulnerable.
So much to do, but we now have many willing and responsive partners and are consolidating well. It is now one year since we began our first real projects. This is our tally of work and results for our year – as I said, pretty impressive I think!
|Successes July 06 – July 07||Approximate numbers|
|Additional ‘at risk’ families supported||283|
|Volunteer  workers in stipend work||31|
|Volunteers now gone to permanent paid work||3|
|Workers/volunteers trained  at level 1||65|
|Workers/volunteers trained at level 2||12|
|Children newly identified as being abused and now in treatment||69|
|Already identified abused children now able to travel to access therapy and support||22|
|New safe haven places for small children||12|
……. and if you have contributed to our work, this is where your money has gone. If you haven’t contributed yet – why not? You can do it now through our donate page
We do email updates every 6 months and have newsletter that go out by pigeon post every other 6 months. If you would like to be on the mailing list for either [or both] bits of information then do contact me at:
the infant trust
 Volunteers are all working with either vulnerable children/families or already damaged families/children
 The training is all about how to identify, deal with and counsel potential abuse