Domino Babies Home

2016: What a year!

This year has been a time of exponential growth, tough challenges, our faith been tested and of course, many lives been changed. In 2016 alone we’ve been able to impact the lives of over 5000 individuals on a daily basis. During our journey we’ve seen 3 key areas being highlighted:

1. Increasing our areas of influence

A big cause for celebration has been The Domino Foundation moving from being a North Durban NPO to a nationwide NPO.

We’re excited to announce that The Domino Foundation’s areas of influence now include: Waterloo, Oshebni, Amanzimtoti, Inner city Durban and Cape Town. We’ve also continued to strengthen our existing relationships with donors, volunteers, NPOS and governmental departments like the Department of Home Affairs, the Department of Social Development and the National Prosecuting Authority.

2.Partnering with local churches

We have loved partnering with other churches to outwork their social justice initiatives.

This year we’ve partnered with Glenridge (Durban Inner City) and The Rock (Umhlanga) through the outworking of the Red light Anti-Human Trafficking programme; Life Changers (Tableview, Cape Town) for the Recycle Swop Shop and Kingsway Church International (Amanzimtoti) to open another sandwich kitchen. As we’ve been able to share our experience, skills, knowledge and feeding expertise we’ve seen an incredible growth in the Amanzimtoti Sandwich Kitchen. In just eight months the kitchen has grown to preparing 660 sandwiches a week – an incredible growth rate!

3.Beneficiary Impact

We started the year with four programmes and expanded to seven community transformational initiatives.

Babies’ Homes – We provided a loving, family environment for 15 children in our two transitional homes with 6 babies being adopted into their ‘forever homes’.

Life Skills Programme– We worked with 4 under-resourced primary schools and 726 children on a weekly basis through lessons, one-on-one counselling sessions and after school activities – all aiming to empower learners to make wise life choices.

ECD Programme– We started the year upskilling and transforming 23 crèches into sustainable small businesses and places of active learning and increased to 44 establishments by year-end. Our work in the ECD space ensures that over children are receiving quality foundation-phase development throughout KZN.

Feeding Programme– We opened an additional kitchen to feed the south Durban basin, as well as added an additional 17 establishments (a combination of crèches/kindergartens and primary schools) to our feeding programme across KZN. By the year-end we were feeding a total of 55 establishments and averaging an incredible 98 000 meals a month!

Red light Anti-Human Trafficking – This programme joined Domino in 2016 and in 2017 we look forward to welcoming 8 ladies into our programme where they’ll be assisted, cared for, restored and released.

Recycle Swop Shops – The social justice and environmental programme joined Domino in 2016 with three swop shops operating in the Western Cape.

Bursary Programme – In 2017 the programme will fund 5 students’ tertiary education, giving them the opportunity to build themselves a future through education.

Thanks to donors and volunteers, your support has enabled us to continue changing thousands of lives through showing mercy, combatting injustice and empowering individuals throughout our beautiful country of South Africa. If you would like to partner with us for 2017 please let us know.

Categories: Community News, Domino Babies Home, Domino Effects Newsletter, Fairhavens, Feeding, Red Light | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stories from the nursery: 3rd Quarter 2016

The two Domino Babies Homes have seen a flurry of activity over the past three months. Not only has there been lots of day-to-day maintenance as well as volunteers coming to play with our babies but on the night of the 1st September 2016, a passerby alerted us to a tiny newborn that had been abandoned on our doorstep. Needless to say, we jumped into rescue mode.

We immediately brought her inside and warmed her up, phoned the police and then took her to the hospital to be checked. Not even a day old the little girl might have had a rough start to her life but we count it SUCH a privilege to care for these precious children and are constantly in awe that we are able to change destinies through all programmes at The Domino Foundation.

Thank you to everyone who has supported our two Babies Homes – your support has not gone unnoticed! A big thank you to Dischem  and the Christain Motorcycle Association who donated large amounts of much-needed baby supplies.



In Ububele…

Baby R continues to thrive in Grade R and in all school activities. The lively seven-year-old has been with Domino for a year. Just like the other children Baby R started to come into her own after arriving at Domino, the care and love of the Babies’ Home staff settling her soul and stimulating her mind.

Baby S’s is a five-year-old boy who arrived at the Domino Babies’ Home almost a year ago after he was abandoned at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital. His health is improving every day and we know he’ll be strong enough to go to school next year.

Baby U is settling in nicely to her new home and is learning how to speak English and isiZulu. The police found the little two-year-old girl walking on the street. Precious and the caregivers believe she’s from another African country because she’s been unable to speak in English, isiZulu or Xhosa. After a few months of gentle guidance and teaching, she now is starting to learn the names of the other children and some simple words.

Baby V is a bubbly little ball of joy. The seven-month-old has just learned how to crawl and is enjoying her new transition home. Child welfare is still investigating her family and deciding if she should be adopted or taken back to her family.


In Fairhavens…

Baby Q is a healthy seven-month-old who has recovered from his chest and breathing problems. He’s now ready for adoption and the social workers are looking for a home for Baby Q.

Baby M is a beautiful five-year-old girl who has been with Domino Babies’ Home for over a year. She loves going to Preschool and is busy preparing for the school play, which is coming up soon. Child welfare is still looking for a loving home for the little girl.

Baby N is the brother of Baby M and has just gone through a phase of ‘the terrible twos’ – something all parents will be familiar with! The home’s routine, as well as the caregivers’ constant love, has ensured Baby N has moved through the terrible twos and into the next, much calmer, stage of his development.

Baby O and Baby P are sisters and are in the process of finding their forever home. As it is with all adoptions and fostering it’s up to the children to determine the pace of leaving the transitional home – once they have warmed up to their new parents then the adoption can go ahead.


Categories: Domino Babies Home, Domino Effects Newsletter, Fairhavens, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Working together for a better future

Members of Gap Capital and SAICA gathered together for a special site visit organised by the Light Trust, to experience the philanthropic work of one of its beneficiaries, The Domino Foundation.

The group were made familiar with some of The Domino Foundation’s youth-focused programmes by taking a tour of the Babies’ Home, a loving home that has cared for over one hundred abandoned babies over its decade-long existence, and the Sandwich Kitchen, which prepares and delivers over 4 000 sandwiches to underprivileged schools in and around Durban per week.

Wesley Smith, Executive Director of Gap Capital, Chartered Accountant and member of SAICA, has known about the Durban North based NPO for at least ten years. Through Gap Capital he hopes to stand in the gap between the rich and the poor and use capital for good.

“Our model is to create storehouses of wealth to sustain the poor not through charity and giving but through investing in businesses. Gap Capital’s role is to find great companies that we can earn equity stakes in and gain back territory for the poor through the Light Trust. We offer financial, strategic and operational support to a range of charities, just like the Domino Foundation. Can you imagine if millions of millions cold flow every month into charities?”

Naaem Asvat, Regional Executive of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), joined the group who toured the Domino Foundation. He believes that business and professionals, like accountants, have a crucial role to play when it comes to doing good.

“There’s a lot of good work being done by chartered accountants and if other chartered accountants could see this good work it will also encourage them to play in that space of social entrepreneurship as the Domino Foundation and Gap Capital have done. Our intention is to get chartered accountants involved in the community with a simple reason of benefiting our communities.”

With so much good to be done, it makes all the difference when businesses join arms with non-profits.



The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 40 000 members who are chartered accountants [CAs(SA)], and hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development


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#KnowYourNPO – Babies Home

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The Domino Foundation believes in helping the most vulnerable and impoverished in the Amaoti community – that’s why we have four amazing projects that each do their bit in making this vision come alive. For the next few months we’ll be shining a light on each of our programmes.Here are some encouraging snapshots from our Babies Homes, made up of Fairhavens & Ububele, as the first Domino Foundation Project in the #KnowyourNPO campaign.

#1. Our two Babies Homes provide a safe, loving and nurturing place for abandoned babies and toddlers to stay while their forever home is being found. These children come from Kwazulu-Natal and surrounding areas and are placed in our care by Durban Child Welfare.

#2. Under the watchful eye of our crisis care moms and trained caregivers, our babies are given the best care possible. That means 24 hour supervision, lots of hugs and changing hundreds of nappies every month.

#3. Since 2004 we’ve had over 100 babies through our homes, which is actually over one hundred families that have been transformed.

#4. Have you ever wondered about the process of how our Babies Homes function?

An infographic showing how the Babies Homes works.

#5. SA unfortunately has a large number of orphaned and vulnerable children. But what are we doing about it? Child Welfare places vulnerable children (who are up to the age of 5) with us while they look for a forever home. We also share a house with Door of Hope, a counselling center that offers counseling to women in crisis pregnancies.

#6. Domino always dreamed of opening a second babies home and in 2014 that dream became a reality. Ububele Babies Home is neighbors with the first home, Fairhavens, and each house can take up to six little ones into their care.

#7. The success of the Home is directly linked to the generosity of others, so thank you to everyone who has made Domino Babies Home a place of hope and happiness. We’re always looking for volunteers to play and love with the little ones. If that’s you, email

#8. If you have a heart for giving on a regular basis, why not sign up for our “Adopt-a-cot” initiative? For just R200 a month (debit order) you can ‘adopt’ one of the cots in our two homes and help cover the running costs of the home like nappies, electricity and food. Alternatively you can use Zapper – a super easy way to donate! Click here to read more about the initiative.


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Babies Effects 4th Quarter 2015

This year the Domino Foundation’s two Babies Homes were able to provide a safe, loving and nurturing environment for twelve abandoned babies and toddlers. That means that twelve little lives were rescued from unfair circumstances and cared for by caregivers. We celebrate the four children who found their forever home and the one precious life who was restored to his family.

One such story of joy is about Baby Senzo’s international adoption. Because his parents were from Denmark they only had two weeks of bonding time before they flew to South Africa to take him home. To get Senzo ready for his adoption they gave him a storybook for house mother, Precious, to read to him every night. This helped him become familiar with his soon to be pet dog and family and brother, who is also adopted like him. What innovative parenting!

Another amazing story from the Babies Home has been the restoration of a brother and sister. The both arrived at the Babies Home at the beginning of the year with blotted pasts. Through some ingenious investigation from Child Welfare it was discovered that they were in fact brother and sister, and unbeknownst to everyone had been placed in the same home. At the end of this year they were both adopted by the same family, a testament to God’s bigger plans.

The Domino Foundation Babies Homes would not be able to continue running without the generosity of gifts and time by this community. Thank you to everyone has contributed in some way or form – you have made us shine.

Fair Havens 2 013

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Babies Affects June/July 2015

Big news in the Fairhavens Babies Home has been the adoption of one the precious babies into their forever home. We celebrate with this wonderful occasion and pray that baby is loved unconditionally. With this exciting news Fairhaven’s prepares itself for the arrival of a new little life and looks forward to being a safe place until he or she finds their forever home.

The six children who currently call Fairhavens home loved their visit from community service volunteers from local surrounding schools that came to help at Domino for the week. The children were treated to hand painting and plenty of interactive playtime, a very important form of stimulation that helps to develop gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor development is movements that involve using the large muscles of the body; so rolling over and catching a ball and fine motor development involve movements using smaller muscles like painting.

Other exciting news has been the development of Fairhaven’s very own veggie garden on the property to help supplement the children’s meals. One of the I-Can staff has been looking after the plot and has just been sent on a training time at the Domino Foundation veggie gardens. This training will help the vegetables, and the children, flourish!

Looking after small children requires 24 hour attention and the Babies home staff work shifts to ensure every little body is carefully cared for. In saying this, the home is looking for two small TV’s for the night staff to enjoy when the babies are sleeping. Please contact the office if you are able to help.

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What would you do if you found an abandoned baby?

Carers (39)What to do if you find an abandoned baby

Vulnerable, exposed, helpless… an abandoned baby begins their life in a powerless position. But that doesn’t have to be the end of their story and with the right knowledge and support structures these precious lives can not only be saved but delivered into greatness.

There are no recent statistics on child abandonment in South Africa, but most organisations believe that the numbers have increased since the statistic released by Child Welfare that 3500 babies were abandoned in 2010.* A highly complex issue abandonment is caused by many factors, including weak support structures, gender inequality, violence, HIV/AIDS, mass urbanisation, the vulnerability of young girls and overwhelming poverty.* Abandoned babies can be left in a number of places, with the highest frequency of spots being toilets, drains, sewers and gutters; rubbish dumps and landfills; parks or an open veld; baby safes and hospitals.*

Whatever the reason and wherever they are placed it’s important to know exactly what to do in this situation so that help can be administered immediately. Child Welfare Durban and District (CWDD) is mandated by the Department of Social Development (DSD) to render services to the abandoned babies.They have kindly shared their expertise on what to do if you find an abandoned baby.

  • CWDD would then submit a Form 39 application to the DSD on behalf of the temporary safe facility to obtain authorisation to care for the child temporarily whilst CWDD completes the investigations on the child.
  • You are allowed to pick up the baby to share some warmth and love as it will probably be cold. Unfortunately, if the baby has passed away it cannot be touched.
  • Phone the South African Police Force (SAPS). This must be your first port of call because in essence you are stepping into a criminal case. Abandonment is illegal and the SAPS will need to open a case and start an investigation.  SAPS would then liaise with CWDD to place the child in temporary safe care in a facility such as Fairhavens Baby Home.
  • Stay where you are. You are not allowed to take the baby to a place of safety (like Fairhavens) or the hospital, that is the role of the police officer and they will come to you.
  • Once the police have arrived they will take the baby to the District surgeon for a medical assessment.
  • From this point on CWDD will investigate into the case. Once the Form 39 is approved by DSD, the SAPS will inform the Children’s Court that the child has been abandoned and recommend an initiation of the Children’s Court Inquiry. The Children’s Court will then refer the Inquiry to CWDD for investigations pending finalisation.  Upon receipt of this referral a social worker would be assigned to the child to undertake the necessary investigations and recommend to the court options for the permanency placement of the child.

Throughout this whole process it’s important to keep calm and think clearly. Seek counsel if you are battling with the trauma of the event.

Abandonment and adoption are governed by Children’s Act 38 of 2005, one of the largest pieces of  legislation to be created under our new constitution in SA.


-Jasu Jagjivan, Adoptions: Manager, Child Welfare Durban & District

*National Adoption Coalition, Fact Sheet on Child Abandonment Research in South Africa,


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Babies Effects May

Smiles, laughs and squeals of delight, all of the Domino Foundation’s tots are happy and healthy and growing up at an alarming rate. Isn’t it amazing how under the right care and love, children just flourish!

Our Babies Homes are a place of safety for abandoned babies that have found themselves without a guardian for a number of reasons. These include weak support structures, gender inequality, violence, HIV/AIDS, mass urbanisation, the vulnerability of young girls and overwhelming poverty.

If for whatever reason you come across an abandoned baby there is a certain procedure you need to follow. Child Welfare and our team from the Domino Babies Homes share their advice on what to do if you find yourself in this high-pressure situation.

Ntokozo, the little six-year-old boy who is staying at our second babies home Ububele, is blossoming at school. He’s currently in Grade R at Care Bare Pre-school class and impresses everyone with his good behaviour and lovable smile. He’s still on the lookout for a bicycle to play with in the afternoons.

The other six children at Fairhavens have been enjoying their ‘playtime’ and creative stimulation by the two volunteers who have been spending their Friday afternoons at Fairhavens. The volunteers have been doing activities that help with developing the tots’ gross motor and fine motor skills, reading age appropriate books and helping out with any admin tasks that pop up. The Babies Home is very lucky to have these two dedicated ladies!

A big thank you to the Union of Jewish Women, Durban Executive Branch, who donated a colourful jungle gym to Fairhavens. The children have been over the moon with their new ‘toy’!

Fairhavens and Ububele go through a tremendous pile of nappies every day, amounting to an astounding 450 per week, and are in desperate need of nappies and toiletries (like wetwipes). If you are kind enough to donate nappies please remember to purchase Pampers, huggies or cuddlers nappies, as cheaper versions give the babies nappy rashes and end up costing more in the long run.

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Babies Effects March & April

The two babies homes, Fairhavens and Ububele, have had a busy past two months and are running smoothly! There have been no adoptions but two new children have joined the Domino family, a little one year old boy named James and the first child for the second babies home, Ntokozo.

Ntokozo is a little six-year-old boy who loves playing and is looking for his forever home. He has settled in very well with new house mum Precious and the home is looking for a beginner bicycle for him. A big thank you must be said to Care Bare School who have donated Grade R school fees for Ntokozo. This is an amazing opportunity for Ntokozo as he can interact with kids his own age and make sure he doesn’t lose out on any precious learning time. He has started swimming lessons at school too.

The home also had a busy month with volunteers and a Netherlands’ volunteer has helped with various jobs around the house including making fresh baby food for the children. She was wonderfully hosted by another NPO called We Are Durban and Jess, our new volunteers manager. We are looking for volunteers to complete the painting on the second home, please email our volunteers co-ordinator for more details.

On a sad note, Beryl one of our care workers, left us after an incredible ten years. She has been studying ECD and has secured a post with a local school. We wish her well and happy to see her progressing!

We were thrilled with the generous donation of R100 000 from the newly formed North Durban 41 Club with funds being used solely to support Domino Babies Homes.

Mel Turner, Project Manager for the Domino Babies Home, was overwhelmed by the support. “We feel incredibly blessed to be chosen as the beneficiary for this generous donation. Having recently opened the new babies home Ububele, which means ‘compassion, generosity and mercy’ in Zulu, we are able to duplicate our work and help more children in crisis.

Alex McAlery, North Durban 41 Club member elaborated on their decision to use the funds raised from their first fundraiser saying, “We wanted to continue to do good in the community and the Domino Foundation has so many wonderful projects on the go. The second Babies Home has just started and it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to lend a helping hand. They’re also right in the middle of our community.”

Group pic

From left to right: Dash Singh, Alex McAlery, Crisis Care Mom Precious Thabethe, Dr Mike Windisch, Kate McAlery and Domino Foundation Babies Home Project Leader Mel Turner.


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Babies Home Effect – 11/14

125 Adelaide Tambo Drive

With the unveiling of the new community centre happening this month, our beautiful new babies home (an extension of Fairhavens) has also now been officially opened! So for November’s newsletter we’ve decided to take you on a tour of the new home and introduce you to this home’s crisis mother.



This section of the house will be where our toddlers and babies sleep. The room is spacious and full of light, making a happy environment for our tots to sleep peacefully and soundly.




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This bathroom/toilet area comes directly off the babies’ bedroom which is greatly ideal.




The living area of the new home allows space for the children to play and be themselves and for the staff to relax.






This room of the home will be for the crisis mom and her daughter to live in. It also has an en-suite bathroom.

Meet Precious!

Precious is our new home’s crisis mother. She has worked at Fairhavens for a number of years and among being caring and loving, she is an amazing leader and manager. Her and her daughter will be living in the home and taking care of all the beautiful tots that will come through it’s doors. DSC_0210

Read more from our November Domino Effects Newsletter:

ECD Effect

Life Skills Effect

Literacy Effect

Feeding Effect

General Overview

Categories: Domino Babies Home, Domino Effects Newsletter, Domino People, Fairhavens, Fairhavens House, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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