What did we do in 2009-2010?

Working in partnership with: -

CHILDLINE

Childline – Limpopo

  1. Continued to fund the stipends of 4 volunteer workers and 1 cook in a crèche for 75 children living in very poor rural surroundings for the 2nd year
  2. Funded half the costs of a Jungle Gym for the children in the dirt play area – the rest of the money was raised locally. The Gym is now in place.

This Limpopo crèche goes from strength to strength keeping safe and developing over 70 children every day. The Headmaster from the primary school receiving these children is very positive about the impact of ‘our’ crèche on both children and families.

Childline Mpumalanga – Caring for Crèches [C4C]

Completed the training of 280 crèche workers through the 6 day C4C programme.  The feedback to date is very positive

Childline NW – C4C

Completed the Caring for Crèches training for 96 crèche leaders. Again, enormously positive feedback.

The Caring for Crèches training programme continues to impress and astonish us – we know that for every crèche leader trained at least 4 children are subsequently identified as being abused, and that the crèche leaders continue to impact positively on the lives of at least 50 children EACH … and this influence just continues month after month.

CHILD WELFARE, LIMPOPO. PROJECT ASIBAVIKELE

We funded the training of 98 rural volunteers already working for Child Welfare and trained through PEPFAR monies to act as community health workers – they and Child Welfare identified the need for these volunteer workers to have a much greater understanding of child health, child protection, and child development and how some cultural mores relating to children can be challenged.  The training was for 6 days pp and finished in June 2009. It was well evaluated and visited by EW & LR in August 2009 – we were very impressed with the level of knowledge and commitment towards children shown by the workers

THE TEDDY BEAR CLINIC

We funded the travel of 25 seriously damaged children for therapy and help through the prosecution/witness process. Without this money these children would not be able to access therapy as they have no funds for travel.

OPEN UNIVERSITY – JOINT PHD PROGRAMME

We are jointly funding, with the Open University, a PhD programme. K, our student, had 6 months off sick and is now back doing her fieldwork in Limpopo.

BIG SHOES

  1. A new service to us in 2008 run by two of our friends from the Teddy Bear Clinic. Most of their work is done with children homes or communities who care for very sick abandoned babies/children.  We part-funded the training programme they run for many volunteers/workers in children homes to understand and help abandoned children with their physical, psychological, and emotional health issues.
  2. In 2009 we funded a one-off bursary for Luke Lamprecht [Head of Big Shoes] to undertake some university guided research into the reasons for the high infant mortality in urban areas – he is looking at four things:

Neglect   -   Negligent death   -   Traumatic death   -   Medical death

… and will give us access to his research and public acknowledgement of our support.

EKUPHOLENI MENTAL HEALTH CENTRE

  1. We part-funded a drama teacher to work throughout 2009 with the damaged young girls who are not responding to talking therapies
  2. With our football friends we collected and delivered [my suitcase was very heavy that time!] some second-hand football gear for the children in northern Pretoria.

JOHANNESBURG CHILD WELFARE SOCIETY

Several programmes:

  1. AGANANG - Auxiliary Social Work Programme
    The course was very delayed during the first course. The three bursaries we granted were all for people who are now Social Auxiliary Workers in Soweto.  In the light of the delay they started the new course in January 2010.
  2. Child Abuse Treatment and Training Service  [CATTS]
    The course on child abuse awareness for the traditional healers was completed in June and very highly evaluated. The new programme that we funded for foster carers is complete and now going through validation.
  3. CATTS
    Level One training and Level Two training were completed with 15 people on each course. As ever, it was very highly evaluated.
  4. CATTS
    We offered support and mentoring for those who have completed Level One and Level Two training: we find that very often those workers who have been through the Levels One and Two CATTS courses are then expected to be experts. Whilst it was tremendously appreciated with our pinch on funds for 2010 it will not be funded again.

IMISEBEYELANGA

This is our single most expensive project/partnership. They provide accredited training for home based carers, crèche workers, centre leaders and, this year, those community volunteer workers who speak no English. All the learners are volunteer workers, and most earn nothing but tiny grants.

The accreditation is extremely important as it gives the learners a valid and accepted vocational qualification – the first steps out of poverty in an area where there is simply no employment and at least half the local folks are HIV+. The death rate in these communities, of AIDs, is horrific.

Training was completed for 60 people and again very greatly valued. There were two courses of particular note in 2009

  1. For older and slightly slower learners – this was for those ladies who have been working in their communities for years, who have not been near a programme [probably ever ..] and who do some excellent work. The aim was to highlight value and enhance their community work. It was very moving to hear how they have learned, progressed, and spoken about their own experiences – which were, as ever, horrific.
  2. The community leaders have, over the 18 months we have been funding Imisebeyelanga, found their community workers know more and are more assertive with their communities than they are – so we funded a short 5 day development programme for community leaders. It has had an amazing impact. Each leader [apart from one who has since died] is expanding their services; they feel valued, reinvigorated, and valuable.   

COPESSA

A community service working with orphans, vulnerable children, and families in need. We fund the stipends and training of 6 volunteers including their supervision and the cost of training the supervisor at one of the advanced courses at CATTS.

We helped fund the equipment for their amazing new play park where there was once a rubbish dump full of broken glass.

 



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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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