August - November 2006

What’s been going on …..

Since the early summer we have made two visits, been able to start eight new projects, kept developing ourselves as an organisation ‘fit for purpose’ and continued to raise funds apace. We are now working throughout the Johannesburg and Soweto conurbations, in two other centres in the Gauteng region, in Mpumalanga Region and just into North West Region – these cover a large range of differing urban and rural townships where the only common factor is the poverty and deprivation.

The very good news first ……..

Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks out [1].

‘Is it not horrendous to an African, even before Black Consciousness came on the scene, for what ever reason for an adult man to rape a 9 month old baby? What has come over us? …… What has happened to us? …… We should not abuse our children, our womenfolk’.

Desmond Tutu is the first man in high authority in South Africa to speak out on this issue of the abuse of small children. We can only hope it makes a difference and that people will listen.

Visits
In August Liz Williams and I visited South Africa visiting our existing friends and possible new partners. We met with 6 existing and 4 possible new partners – details are on our website.

Projects
In December 2006 our activity will have reached the point where we:

Project reports
These reports are producing some gems – here are just two:

‘I work in the community and was visiting this family regularly. After this course I knew that something was wrong in the family so I went to talk to the social worker. She investigated and now that child has been removed to a place of safety as she was being badly abused. Without this knowledge the child would still be at home.’
A community worker funded by the infant trust to do the training

‘What I really like is that every Friday we have supervision and cases are presented and even when your case is difficult they will help you where they can’.
A volunteer worker funded by the infant trust to have a monthly stipend, to do the training and to have supervision.

In planning

Organisational Development
We have polices written and approved at our AGM in July. The policies cover:

We completed the annual report for April 2005 – March 2006 which is lodged at the Charities Commission, and I have written a review of our first year which is posted on our website.

All our work is underpinned by Service Level Agreements where it is agreed that money will be paid in tranches, and only be paid on receipt of regular reports of activity. All our projects are time limited and we state that all the volunteers we fund must be screened and supervised so aiming for the highest standards of behaviour with already damaged children. This is born out, in part, by 2 of our volunteers already having secured their first permanent posts with their local social services.

Fund raising
This is going to be an ongoing worry and we have so much more work we could do if we had funds, however I won’t promise what we can’t deliver. We are extraordinarily grateful to those who do support our work through personal donations, standing orders, fundraising activities and offers of help. Small charities like ours are always in competition with other large and high profile organisations – Vis Children in Need [it only works in the UK, I’ve checked] – so we just have to keep working harder. It costs relatively little to fund what we do, so everything helps.

Spreading the word about our work is a great help, so please do …. and thank you so much for any assistance you can give us.

The future
I visit again in late November-early December, and plan to go again in February2007; on this second visit I may be visiting Cape Town and will certainly go to the two neighbouring provinces of Limpopo and North West to source new services and possible projects there.

The next report on our projects and work will be in March 2007.

Ultimately we need much more money to build on all this work – there are so many children abused and at risk, and SO much we can do to help BREAK THE CYCLE.

Lesley Rudd
Chief Executive
the infant trust

[1] Steve Bantu Biko Memorial Lecture University of Cape Town. 26th September 2006.

 



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Our project locations

Map of South Africa

To date, with the help of DHL, we have sent from the UK to South Africa, over 2,500 soft toys for vulnerable children. The outpouring of love and donations of beautiful soft toys has been quite amazing and we thank every child and parent/guardian who have donated. Each and every toy that we sent will be cherished in their new home. We are now stopping accepting toys because those lovely people at http://theteddytrust.wixsite.com/home do this all the time, again with DHL, and send toys to children all over the world. Any kind people who wish to donate will now be referred to them.

Click here for more information

We are proud and honoured that our work has been recognised by the UK Prime Minister, and that he has given Lesley his Point of Light award, stating
With the Infant Trust Lesley has empowered thousands of women across South Africa to protect and safeguard children in their communities. The education and training she has provided has helped to improve the lives of over 800,000 children, tackling the violence and abuse that affects too many of them in their early years. As we mark International Women’s Day this week I am delighted to recognise all that Lesley has done.”
You can find the full story at https://www.pointsoflight.gov.uk/2268-2/


Why are so many small children abused by male perpetrators in South Africa? Our researcher interviewed 27 perpetrators in prison in South Africa; all are in jail after being found guilty of some of the most terrible crimes against some of the most vulnerable children – some as young as a few days old. Those interviewed are all men aged between 16 years and 84 years old, and all have brutalised and raped at least one child. But the findings aren’t maybe what we might expect – it makes interesting reading.  We have been funding research into this for 5 years and it is finally finished and published – you can read the summary here

Our flagship Caring for Crèches programme has reached into some of the poorest communities in five of the nine provinces in South Africa and we have crèche leaders everywhere clamouring for the training. We have now trained over 2,200 people and they in turn have already positively impacted on the lives of over 160,000 children … and will continue to help many hundreds more children for years to come


Just once in a while, amongst all the amazing work that is done to help children in South Africa, we come across a shining star. One such is Wilhelmina who determined to setup a refuge for abandoned children.
Newsletter The report from our most recent visit to South Africa

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