Today marks the first day of the school calendar year 2024. We are so excited and looking forward to another year of development filled with progression and successes.
Last year saw more than 100 children graduate from our programmes to start Grade R in mainstream schooling this year. This is such a milestone!
Although our work of laying the foundation may seem to be over, our Social Workers and Fieldworkers are out and about in the communities looking out and ensuring that all those Graduates are enrolled in different local primary schools.
Sikhula Sonke would like to encourage all our young learners across all Grades, up to those who are starting Matric this year, to stay focused and ask for assistance when they encounter hardships in their journey towards their development.
Parents, please be supportive and in touch with your children at all times. Reach out to your children when the going gets tough. Know that we are here for you!!!! Please use Sikhula Sonke Early Childhood Development as your local resource and our Team will do their best to assist you and/or refer you to suitable resource organizations or government agencies in our database.
All the best for 2024 with love from the SISO team and Director!
Read of our work in the last year! Good news, great communities, giant steps forward... click here to view online (right click > save as to download to your computer). Our Annual Financial Statements are also available here: https://www.sikhulasonke.org.za/newsletters--annual-reports.html
The second quarter has kept us on our toes within the organisation. It was exciting to see all the new developments all over around the programmes.
We experienced the Emthonjeni team putting their fully fledged learning programme into fruition after so many years of using materials from different partners. This quarter has also seen the development of a basic computer course to support our Imbewu Basic Teacher Training, an exciting developmental milestones for this project.
This quarter didn’t go without challenges. There was an attempted break-in to our offices and we saw the fence surrounding the office being stolen, but by the grace of God, we managed to get a top class fence which has now secured our premises. Unfortunately losing our fence around our offices led to a delay in the construction of UT Gardens Emthonjeni classroom structure, but we are glad to announce that this project will soon be completed and is scheduled to start operating in the second week of July.
The new Emthonjeni site opens up huge possibilities in serving UT Gardens. A safe sheltered space means that we can continue our programmes despite the rain and cold winter weather. We also look forward to running FCM programmes like First 1000 Days for mothers and babies for this area.
From the Executive Director’s desk, I must say that I am impressed by the progress that we have seen in the organisation despite all the challenges that we have encountered. I think it is important to mention our highlights which include:
Q2 is a testimony of the impact of our work in Khayelitsha Community. I am particularly grateful to all the fathers who continue to participate in different fatherhood programmes conducted in partnership with FAMSA.
A biggest thank you to our funding partners who have made all this work possible. We salute you. Because of your support, children living in the shacks of Khayelitsha are meeting their developmental milestones.
Mdebuka Mthwazi, Executive Director.
The SISO Social Work team is mandated to create safe spaces for the families that we work with (internal and external). We intervened in cases related to child abuse, neglect, issues of hygiene, late registration of birth certificates, misuse of Child Support Grant (CSG) and more. Some of these cases were resolved and some are still in progress.
The Social Work team also assisted families with their children’s school online applications for the year 2024 which was a success as many learners were admitted to schools. Sikhula Sonke, in partnership with different stakeholders around Khayelitsha, ran an awareness campaign through community dialogues during Child Protection Week, empowering communities with preventive measures to ensure the safety of children.
This year seems to be fast-paced and has resulted in a lot of pressure on our Social Work Department. Our department has been hard hit by so many delays in our case work. Various government departments slowed some of the processes to obtain identity documents for the families so that children could benefit from their children’s rights. The challenges won’t deter us from our mandate of upholding children’s rights.
Moreover, the Social Work Team - in partnership with FAMSA - provided psychosocial support to vulnerable families via one-on-one sessions, at parenting workshops and GBV support groups. This investment into the wellbeing of families has paid dividends and we see that some of the families have become more resilient.
Activity / Cases. In progress. Resolved.
Online applications (24 children) 2 22
Caregiver Support group 11 Ongoing
Birth certificate applications 10 4
Counselling sessions 9 Ongoing
Child Support Grant 13 5
In the last 3 months our Fatherhood Network has celebrated fathers and invested time in group gatherings and a 4-day Fatherhood Network workshop in partnership with FAMSA which saw 30 fathers participating.
The Fatherhood Network tackles issues like early childhood, parenting, discipline, manhood, challenges men face, child protection and more. A big focus is on early childhood development and the role that a father can play in nutrition, daily care and supporting the mother of his child as she nurtures young children. As a space run by men for men, we've seen such tremendous growth in the fathers who attend and rejoice to see them learn skills in parenting.
#protectchildren #sisoinaction #SISOchangemakers #SISOfatherhoodnetwork #sisochildprotection #sisodifference
Did you know that in the first 2 years a child’s brain reaches 80% of its adult size? And did you know that many of our parents and caregivers do not have the knowledge or resources to help their children reach development milestones through play?
Sikhula Sonke has partnered with Nanny 'n Me to train and equip parents and caregivers to learn how to stimulate early childhood development (gross motor, fine motor and neural pathways) through play. Initially piloting a first group of parents through the course, the rapid take-on and sheer enjoyment of the participants has encouraged us to open this programme to caregivers in a second site in Khayelitsha.
Take a look at our recent facilitator training below.
Child Protection Week 2023 took place from 29 May to 6 June to raise awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and Children's Act (Act No. 38 of 2005). The campaign is led by the Department of Social Development in partnership with key government departments and civil society organisations rendering child protection services.
Government calls on all South Africans to support Child Protection Week by ensuring that the most vulnerable in our society do not suffer abuse. It is in our hands to stop the cycle of neglect, abuse, violence and exploitation of children. Children in South Africa live in a society with a Constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and for the equality and dignity of everyone. Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value but also an obligation clearly set out in Article 28 of the South African Constitution.
Sikhula Sonke actively works in eight informal areas of Khayelitsha to raise awareness of the need for child protection and respond to the plight of vulnerable children. During Child Protection Week our teams travel to different areas to hold community dialogues with leaders, parents and caregivers. We also use local radio stations and in-person interviews to speak about child protection and the rights of children.
In addition to the discussions, our social work team offer counselling, provide access to resources and identify areas of difficulty so that they can support the communities.
The Department of Social Development has a 24-hour call centre dedicated to provide support and counselling to victims of gender-based violence:
You can also get help at:
Above: Community dialogues held in Enkanini and K2 Section
World Play Day was celebrated on Friday 26 May at Khayelitsha Stadium as a precursor to Child Protection Week. Despite the very cold winds and rainy weather, we were blessed with a rain-free day and 750 young children made the most of it. In addition, community dialogues around the important topics of child protection took place, engaging leaders from different organisations and communities.
With displays, interaction stations, jumping castles, reading corners plus City of CT Health booths (offering vaccinations, Road to Health and oral health handouts), these very precious children played their hearts out!
Special thanks to the SAPS Horse Unit who delighted the children with a gallop around the field and a chance to touch the horses, and CoCT Fire Department (Khayelitsha) who brought their engines to World Play Day and interacted with the children.
Thanks to the many people who worked so hard to make this day a success!
A special thank you to Tygervalley Cente for their donation of warm scarves and beanies and the learners of Wynberg Girls High School who made sandwiches for our picnic.
And a comment from our partner...
To our many wonderful partners who made this day possible: truly, our village is blessed to have you caring for the young children who will one day be our future leaders.
Sikhula Sonke has started with the conversion of an abandoned public recreational space in UT Gardens. This will become a new strategic multi-function Centre with a play park, two classrooms, a kitchen and a storeroom.
The UT Gardens Centre will operate as a safe learning space and shelter for children in our Emthonjeni Playgroup Outreach programme, as well as a meeting and training centre for the Imbiza Family Community Motivator programme which runs the 1st 1000 days programme supporting mothers and young children from conception to 18 months of age.
Our thanks to Solon Foundation and to Claytile for their generous support in this project!
We welcome all donations towards this project - you can give via SnapScan or EFT. Please add the reference "UT Gardens" to your donation.