Christmas is a time of giving: of faith, hope and love. We celebrate by buying gifts for family and friends, sharing a special meal and enjoying the holidays.
This year we're asking you to add an extra gift (or more!) to your list.
On the 25th November, Christmas will come to Crossroads and Philippi early, as we invite all our children to a fun-filled party.
We want to celebrate these children and we need your help! Please make a donation today. Choose one of the gifts or give your own amount in any currency.
Our social worker and the family strengthening team have been doing workshops in the community, training on Parenting Skills and "Let your light shine", which is about HIV/AIDS and takes 6 weeks of training, one day a week. This time both workshops were held in Philippi community.
Usually, the majority of participants are women, but this time we had 3 men participating in the workshop. This is an improvement and we hope to get more men involved in these trainings in future. The participants had a graduation ceremony where they received certificates acknowledging their participattion in the training. The theme of the graduation was Heritage Day and everyone wore different outfits representing different South African cultures.
We are proud to continue these workshops in the future with the support of our donors.
Bra Joe is in his 40's and he is the only man participating in the Isibindi project at Beautiful Gate. Bra Joe is a proud father, children from the community call him Bra Joe. He has a children's soccer team where boys and girls play and he says the children are so dedicated to soccer that they even go to his house to fetch him for practice. Bra Joe started attending the Isibindi project with no knowledge he was the only man in the project, and when he found out, he had his doubts! He attended the project introduction and saw that the women in the project didn't treat him differently because he is a man. They are all trainees in the project together.
The trainees in the Isibindi project also recently received Persona Doll training. Persona Dolls are a creative, interactive tool used around the world in anti-bias work with children and adults. The Persona Doll approach offers a practical and unthreatening way to ‘unlearn’ prejudice, challenge discrimination and develop psycho-social skills. Persona Dolls offers diversity training and materials on how to use Persona Dolls in anti-bias inclusion work, and a range of hand-made Persona Dolls. and everyone including Bra Joe were a bit skeptical at first when they saw the dolls but as the day went by everyone started seeing the purpose of the Persona Dolls, even Bra Joe had presentation time where he had to demonstrate the use of the persona doll during class. We are encouraged and inspired by Bra Joe!
Isibindi is a partnership between Beautiful Gate, the Department of Social Development and NACCW. Through the model, trained child and youth care workers are deployed within identified households to provide much needed support services to orphaned and vulnerable children. These may include assisting them to get ready for school in the morning, meal preparations, assistance with homework, registration for social grants and psycho-social support, to name a few.
Linathi (10) and Abongile (12) are orphans. Both their father and their mother have passed away. Although they were taken in by their maternal grandmother, she did not care for her grandchildren properly. She was receiving their child support grants every month, but the children were often hungry and didn't always go to school. She was misusing their money for her own needs.
Their other granny, Ntombizodwa, was worried about her grandchildren. She took them home to live with her. The problem was that the maternal grandmother wouldn't cancel the grant and Ntombizodwa was struggling to provide for them on her own. In August 2013, she went to the SASSA office to explain the situation and to make an application. But every time she went to the office to follow up, officials promised her that they were trying to deal with her case.
It was then that she heard about Beautiful Gate and came to visit our social workers.
Our social worker wrote a referral letter to SASSA, explaining the situation and asked them to cancel the grant in favour of the maternal grandmother. Each month Beautiful Gate supported her family with food parcels while she was waiting. We also helped with follow ups, taking the matter up with the SASSA branch manager.
After a long wait, Ntombizodwa was rewarded, with a back payment of cash, and the monthly grant being paid to her.
Some interesting facts...
Beautiful Gate's Family Services includes providing access to grants, short term food relief, advice and referrals for 240 families each year to help them stay together and find long-term solutions. Every year we run a number of workshops to help equip parents, caregivers and the general community with important life skills and information. Read more about our programme.
SASSA (The South African Security Agency) is tasked with administering social security services. Beautiful Gate is pleased that they have decided to open an approval office on our site. This will further assist our community members to access the support they can get from government.
In 2012, there were approximately 3.54 million orphans in South Africa. This includes children without a living biological mother, father or both parents, and is equivalent to 19% of all children in South Africa. Many children in South Africa do not live in the same dwelling as their biological parents. The proportion of children living with both parents decreased to 35% in 2012. Twenty-three percent do not have either of their biological parents living with them. Just over a quarter (26%) of all African children do not live with either parent. If you are interested in finding out more about statistics relating to children, you can read more here.
The names have been changed to protect the family. The image is a stock photo.
This article first appeared as part of our April 2015 newsletter. Read the full newsletter here.
Welcome to a window into the lives and issues facing children in the Crossroads community on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Most of these stories centre around the children and families we work with at Beautiful Gate South Africa, a Christian non-profit organisation whose mission is to show God's love as we care for and protect children, empower and preserve families and mobilise our community to do the same.