SOS Social Centre Mamelodi – South Africa

Linked with our presentation of Veronica Khosa – South Africa.

Linked also with our presentation of Successful Social Entrepreneurs … a book review.

The Social Centre serves as a base where HIV/AIDS-affected children and families can access essential services. Vulnerable families are assisted with material support (food parcels), educational support (school uniforms and supplies) and other support to meet their basic household needs. Families caring for orphans are assisted to access government foster care grants by a contract social worker. A support group has formed for parents living with HIV/AIDS. They received training in income-generating activities.

The Social Centre also has community-based activities. A partnership has been formed with Tateni home-based care organization to deliver care to families containing people living with HIV/AIDS and orphaned children. Trained volunteers conduct home visits to these families to provide assistance with housework, childcare, and palliative care.

The Edu-care Programme provides support to community daycare centres, in order to build their capacity to deliver higher quality of care to vulnerable children and to become more financially sustainable.

Approximately 450 children are receiving some form of support from the Centres’ programming and an additional 2,400 children through the Edu-care programme of which approximately 20% are orphans and vulnerable children.

Further information contact Ruth.

The Social Centre has formed a partnership with Tateni, a home-based care organization, in the form of the Legodimo la Tsepo (“haven of hope”) community-based childcare and support programme. The programme was built by combining the areas of expertise offered by each of the organizations. Tateni has extensive experience in providing home-based care and support to terminally ill adults, and as a result, they already had well-established relationships with HIV/AIDS-affected households. However, in order to extend Tateni’s capacity to care for orphans and vulnerable children living within these affected households, Tateni needed to draw on SOS’s wealth of childcare experience. SOS trained Tatenti’s home-care volunteers by upgrading their knowledge and skills to address childcare-related issues and to ensure a certain standard of care. The training covered such topics as child development and learning, healthcare, trauma counselling, and children affected by HIV/AIDS and their rights. SOS was able to use Tateni’s existing database of orphans and vulnerable children with ill parents, to build the programme.

The Tateni volunteers visit vulnerable, AIDS-affected families in their assigned districts several times a week, assisting with housework, palliative care, children’s home work, and providing social support (counseling) to the families. They refer the most vulnerable cases that they encounter to the Social Centre for material support. It is a two-way referral system; SOS also refers children and families who come directly to the Social Centre on to Tateni in order to receive home-based care. SOS subsidizes the volunteers’ stipend, and provides ongoing guidance on childcare-related issues. The volunteers write monthly reports on their assigned families, which are submitted to their supervisor at Tateni, who then updates the SOS Social Centre Project Coordinator.

Programme beneficiaries are able to access the services of two full-time social workers at Tateni, and are assisted by a contract social worker employed by the SOS Social Centre to help them secure government foster care grants. The Social Centre benefits financially as a result of this partnership from both in-kind contributions and access to donations received by Tateni. For example, Tateni has supplemented the Social Centre’s food parcels with donations it has received, and Tateni volunteers help out with distributing a proportion of the parcels. The two organizations will be jointly establishing community childcare forums using funding secured by Tateni from German Agro Action (GAA) and IBIS for this pilot project. (Read more about this NGO on SOS children’s villages).

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