Posts Tagged With: poor

The Domino Christmas Story

This Christmas we wanted to spread the festive joy by placing a toy in the hand of as many underprivileged children as possible Photo 2014-12-10, 10 17 22 AM (2)in the Amaoti community. On the 28th of November we organised an event to gather presents together so that we could make this Christmas a special one for the hundreds of kids who are in a creche on our ECD programme.

The day was an incredible, all-round success with businesses such as Megapile, Donald Insurance Brokers, Nexia International, Platinum Consulting and Vopac coming in to wrap hundreds of presents.

JAM also made a donation that allowed every child to receive a pair of shoes and a facecloth with their toy. An abundance of toys also allowed us to distribute excess to other charities.

1442 presents were individually wrapped and sent out to 1442 smiling faces in Amaoti. Thank you to every person who either donated or wrapped these gifts , your contribution has truly made a difference in the lives of so many.

The Wrapping & Packing:



Photo 2014-12-10, 10 17 22 AM (1)Photo 2014-12-10, 10 17 22 AM

The Distribution:








DSCN1777 DSCN1886 DSCN1895

Categories: Community News, Domino ECD, Domino Effects Newsletter, Domino People | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ECD Effect 11/14

This past Saturday we hosted a Creche Owner Christmas Party in Amaoti. This was a time to gather all 32 creche owners and staff and thank them for a year of hard work. They have invested their time and talents into educating the little stars of our future and we would like to thank them for partnering with The Domino Foundation in impacting the lives of over 1000 children each day!

There was an abundance of joy and dance at the party and an incredible time was had by all! We’re excited for the new year ahead and to achieve new goals and impact the community.


Read more from our November Domino Effects Newsletter:

Babies Home Effect

Life Skills Effect

Literacy Effect

Feeding Effect

General Overview

Categories: Community News, Domino ECD, Domino Effects Newsletter, Domino People | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Pampered Body, A Pampered Spirit.

On the 22nd of October 110 girls from Amaoti 3 School travelled to COGS Durban North for a day filled with informative talks, amazing food and awesome pampering! The 13-16 year old age group for girls is a time of adolescence, growing up and change so we see it as important to give these girls the tools and knowledge they need to be inspired and encouraged in a positive, safe and relaxing way.

The girls were treated to 4 inspirational talks by various speakers, all relating to empowering women to take pride in themselves and live a happy life.


The girls were encouraged by KwaMashu Social Worker: Mpume Thusi who was a teenage parent that persevered through her circumstances and reached her goal of becoming a Social Worker. She made the most of her situation and obtained her matric and then proceeded to finish her degree through UNISA, doing her last year through The Domino Foundation.


Nkululekho Ngcobo is a young food-fanatic who is passionate about helping young people live a life that is healthy and balanced. She enlightened the girls with an exercise and eating plan that would benefit them for years to come.


Vanilla Bar’s beauty therapist, Andy Oliver volunteered her time and even closed her salon for the day to come and speak about how to look after your skin in an easy, affordable way.


The 4th and final speech was a more personal one. Mandy Hlope is a matric student at Amaoti 3 who was one of the first members of our Girls’ Club. Mandy was a source of encouragement and hope as she spoke about how the foundations she learnt at Girls’ Club lead her to a better life where she was in control. She showed the girls that their futures could be bright if they let them be. They can look forward to what’s ahead!

Why are these type of days important?

A pampered spirit is just as important as a pampered person. We try to engage in as many activites as possible like this with the girls we work alongside with. They not only get to interact with each other in a safe environment, but tackle important issues that face them daily. We get to play a part in the positive uplifting of over 100 girls and we are honoured to have this privilege!

Photo 2014-10-22, 9 16 21 AM Photo 2014-10-22, 9 16 27 AM

Categories: Community News, Domino Effects Newsletter, Domino Life Skills, Domino People, Learning For Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hunger and Malnutrition.

Every person feels hungry at some time or other – it’s our bodies’ natural way of letting us know that we need something to eat. There is a very easy way to aid one’s hunger – just eat some food.

But how accessible is food to the individual?

Linked closely to this is MALNUTRITION. People with malnutrition lack the nutrients necessary for their bodies to grow and stay healthy. Someone can be malnourished for a long or short period of time, and the condition may be mild or severe. Malnutrition relates to WHAT you eat and not HOW MUCH you eat – a person may never be hungry but can be seriously malnourished because they are not feeding their body with the vital nutrients that they need every day.

Feeding Pics Soup sandwiches porridge and veggie tunnels (6)

• Hunger kills MORE people a year than Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria combined.
• According to the UN World Food Programme, 925 million people in the world don’t have enough to eat. That’s more than the entire population of the United States, Canada, and the European Union.
• In South Africa, 12 million people will go to bed hungry every night.
• The scariest of all these statistics, is that it hits home hard – 87% of Kwa-Zulu Natal is in a state of hunger and ultimately, malnourishment.

How does The Domino Foundation combat these statistics?

          •  Every day, we feed approximately 1500 children porridge and soup daily from our community-based Soup Kitchen.
          • We also make 4320 sandwiches weekly from our Sandwich Kitchen in Durban North.
          • It is a priority to us to make sure that we not only combat hunger but also malnutrition – all of the foods we send out are packed with nutrients and vitamins to aid in every impacted lives’ development.

That’s a remarkable 11800 tummies that are being fed WEEKLY wholesome food HIGH in nutrition.

Day in amaoti 3


          • Whether the problem is malnutrition or hunger, the solution to the problem is simple: FOOD. One of our most recent ventures are our Brookdale Vegetable Tunnels which aim to not only improve food security but also educate the community on how to successfully grow their own vegetables and produce for their families.

Our vision is to feed the hungry in their most desperate time of need. As the number of volunteers and donors grow, we move closer to realising our dream of communities where no child is too hungry to concentrate and learn.We have taken up the challenge to take a stand against both hunger AND malnutrition and you can too! There are many ways to get involved, be it making sandwiches at our kitchen or just donating. 

Visit to stay informed and make a change.




We want to hear from YOU!

Read more from the September Domino Effects Newsletter here:

General Overview

Babies Home Effect

Literacy Effect

Life Skills Effect

ECD Effect

Feeding Effect

Categories: Domino Feeding, Feeding, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Hunger


DSC_0042While school children and their parents are enjoying the long, lazy Christmas holidays, many orphaned and vulnerable children from disadvantaged communities are going hungry. This is really hard to comprehend if one thinks of the excessiveness over the festive season. One of the challenges with school holidays is that feeding programmes, including that of the government, cannot operate because children are mostly fed from schools where there have logistic and adult support.

The DOMINO Foundation faces this feeding challenge as well, but in partnering with SHOPRITE, have found a solution to alleviate the plight of the hungry. Since the schools have closed early December right up to when it will start again in January 2014, SHOPRITE are serving up to 1 000 soup meals and bread on a daily basis from their mobile soup kitchen in the Amaoti area, close to Phoenix. The problem of logistics has been overcome with the local Foundation of Life church, headed up by Pastor Xolani and his wife Zanele Nzimakwe, organising the different venues where the soup will be distributed.

The area of Amaoti just north of Durban is the largest informal settlement in KwaZulu-Natal with about 80 000 residents. Many of its residents are orphaned and vulnerable children who need desperate intervention. The Domino Foundation have several projects to help especially young people reach their potential and create opportunities for a better future. Domino’s feeding project has a soup kitchen in the area where they have served about 800 000 meals to children in 2013. They have also recently erected 5 vegetable tunnels that will provide a more sustainable solution for feeding programmes.

The Domino Foundation, like all other NPOs, relies heavily on partnerships with corporations like SHOPRITE to make a difference in the future of communities and thereby fulfil the dreams and aspirations of the great Nelson Mandela who passed away earlier this month.


Categories: Domino Feeding, Domino Life Skills | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Literacy Effects – 11/13

gr2 knowledge of soundsLiteracy Assessments:

One of the key components of our Literacy programme is our ongoing assessment of our each of or learners. From the results, we are able to review the programme, assess teaching techniques and consider any necessary changes moving forward. We believe it is vitally important to reflect on the results from our assessments which we carry out 3 times a year.

As we approach the end of the school year our literacy team have been busy carefully assessing each of our 950 learners across grades 1 to 3. From this process we have identified that spelling in English is an area of concern facing the foundation phase learners. The learners are struggling to hear vowel sounds, specifically finding it difficult to distinguish between vowel sounds ‘a’ and ‘e’. Our team are busy ‘tweaking’ the programme to address this need in 2014.

gr3 blendingAmongst the positive results from the learner assessment we can see that the learners have an increased understanding of texts with an increased ability to read sentences and short stories. As you can see from the accompanying graphs, the Grade 2 learners have deepened their Knowledge of sounds as they progressed through each assessment period. (March, June, November). The pink group illustrates children who are performing above average, the blue group illustrates the children who are performing at an average level and the yellow group illustrates the learners who are struggling. From these assessments our literacy workers are able to identify which learners need 1-on-1 tutoring for further development. Our multi-purpose training huts provide a safe learning environment not only for our life skills learners, but also for literacy students who need special attention.

These assessments were carried out in early November, allowing our teams to meet with school management and discuss the results and ways forward. We received some positive feedback from grade 4 educators as they are finding it easier to complete their syllabus as a result of the Domino Foundation Literacy Programme. As a governmental requirement, foundation phase learning (pre-school & pre-primary school years) is taught in the learner’s respective mother tongue. When learners reach grade 4 however, educators are required to teach all syllabuses in 1st language English. In a community environment, where students do not receive effective ECD English training before grade 4, primary school teachers are needing to teach English, before teaching their own subject, resulting in an incomplete syllabus. Teachers reflected and compared situations before our literacy programme was implemented to now in 2013, having had their 1st set of pre-primary learners complete our programme. Our team was deeply encouraged and motivated to improve wherever possible.

IMG_7194Literacy Lessons:

After reviewing the results of the assessments, our literacy team continued their final 2 weeks of literacy lessons based on area of improvement. We focused on reinforcing the vowel sounds ‘a’ and ‘e’ and specifically applied these to the spelling of words. We also focused on distinguishing between the vowel sounds ‘I’, ‘o’, ‘e’ and ‘a’ when reading and spelling.

Read more of our November Domino Effects Newsletter here:
Monthly General Overview
Babies Effects
Feeding Effects
Life Skills Effects
ECD Effects
Literacy Effects

Categories: Domino Effects Newsletter, Domino Literacy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Changing Amaoti community, one crèche at a time

Primrose with a few of her children

Primrose with a few of her children

The world has just celebrated the life and work of Nelson Mandela and how this one man transformed lives and mindsets. Although not on the same scale, but with equal passion, DOMINO has just celebrated one woman’s dedication for the poor with the official opening of our new crèche, Thembelihle, in Amaoti.

Heading this crèche is Primrose Gcabashe, whose heart was stirred by the plight of children who had to fend for themselves because their parents were either too sick to look after them or were looking for work in the city. “Many of these children barely wore any clothes and they had nothing to eat while they saw their parents wasting away in shacks”, says Primrose. She started looking after 80 children in her modest 2-roomed house in 2006. “I fed them porridge and vegetables from my garden and helped them to draw and write”. Just providing the basic needs like food and love started changing the lives of these destitute children.But when she started working alongside Domino around 2007, the crèche really took off: “I felt encouraged that someone was assisting me; sharing the same love for the community and children. It is when you have a support system, that you start following your dreams and have the strength to look after the children who so desperately need hope in their lives”.

This hope has translated in a very tangible way in the success of Primrose’s children. She very proudly tells of how her first group of children just finished Grade 7 and that two of them have received the highest marks in their classes respectively. “I just want to hug them all the time and are so happy that they listen to me and follow my advice that you have to focus on what you’re doing”.

Old (left) and New (right)

Old (left) and New (right)

1 room for 80 children when Primrose first started

1 room for 80 children when Primrose first started

New Creche with 3 classrooms for the children

New Creche with 3 classrooms for the children

Primrose has applied this motto to her own life. Through training with Domino’s partners, Primrose has grown the crèche and herself as a person which has led to the new crèche being built by Key Group (Pinetown), Childlife Foundation (affiliated to Key Group) and General Motors. “I’m very grateful for the companies who have built this new crèche for me. I can now see the way forward; I have grown confident as a person and a teacher and realise that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. But most importantly, God gave me the strength to show His love to the community”. This new crèche will also allow Primrose to grow the current number of 70 in the crèche as she will have more space and teaching resources to help the children.

Primrose has 6 children of her own and is very proud of her daughter Phindile, Grade 6, who has achieved the highest mark in her class.

This strong lady also has very strong words of encouragement to her community:

“Stand up and do something and when you’re successful, don’t live life so high that you forget the poor”.

Categories: Domino ECD, Domino Effects Newsletter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Feeding Effects – 11/13 – 01/14

Sandwich Kitchen:

The kitchen continued to make the weekly 3600 sandwiches with the groups of volunteers managing to honour their commitment to 1 hour a week. As the schools closed for the exam period and end of year, our kitchen slowly came to a close for the school holidays. We held a volunteer tea to honour our Feeding volunteers for their commitment throughout the year. The ladies thoroughly enjoyed their time, with lucky prizes sponsored by donors and a heart-felt video from one of the schools on the feeding programme. Check out the video below…

Brookedale Kitchen:

The kitchen continued to run effortlessly the last quarter of 2013. We averaged on about 1400 bowls of soup and JAM Porridge a day helping countless children who go to schools and crèches with no food. The final figures for 2013 are at the end of this post and we are astounded by the incredible impact made through our feeding programme.

Vegetable Tunnel Project:

Our vegetable tunnels are up & running and have produced their 1st harvest. Petros, our current driver surprised us by volunteering to maintain the vegetable tunnels over the holidays and throughout the year. We found that Petros is in fact an experienced and passionate farmer and we are looking forward to developing him in this area. One of the long term goals of the Vegetable Tunnel project is to create a ‘Training Centre’ where community members and crèche owners can work on our Domino Tunnels and be equipped with relevant knowledge and skills to create their own veggie tunnel at their homes and schools, thus providing a sustainable source of sustenance.

We currently have 5 vegetable tunnels up and running with our 1st harvest due in December 2013.
tunnel build

Community Involvement:

Each December Domino partners with Lugisani Indlela and helps run and manage a holiday club at Zwakele school for the 1st week of the holidays. Sports, games and arts and cultural activities are organised and the children in Amaoti absolutely love their time at the week-long club. The Domino Foundation continues to support this initiative and our feeding programme caters lunch time meals for the holiday club each year. The reality that faces a number of communities and townships, is that due to the lack of resources (no sports fields, community centres etc.) the members find themselves in a situation where there is no place to go and nothing to do. This is why teens find themselves in situations where they are involved in ‘risky behaviour’, (ie. involved in drugs, drinking, gangs etc.). Backed by Social Work theories, we aim to create a ‘safe space’ at the schools in the community where the children are occupied with constructive activities to keep them away from ‘risky behaviour’. This is why we run our Life Skills Boys & Girls club (after school extra-curricular activities) and also support the holiday clubs run in Amaoti.

This year The Round Table agreed to sponsor the meals at the holiday club and have committed to the 2014 holiday club too! Volunteers graciously gave of their time on two of the days to make the delicious hot dogs, snack packs and juice.

We had 4 Vegetable tunnels and one open veggie garden planted in November & December. Thanks to Flight Centre, Sibaya Casino (built 2 tunnels) and a team from COGS Church (1 tunnel & open tunnel), we have reached our goal of having 5 veggie tunnels running by the end of 2013.

Unilever continued to supply The Domino Feeding programme: Sandwich Kitchen with 100kgs of Margarine a month which alleviated the running costs in the kitchen. We also received donations of Mayonaise and Peanut butter for the sandwiches.

A HUGE Thanks to Flight centre, Sibaya Casino, COGS Church, The Round Table Unilever and ALL the volunteers and Donors for supporting our Feeding kitchens!

2013’s #DominoEffects were astronomical and we are VERY proud of what our Feeding Programme has achieved. Thanks to all the Donors and volunteers who helped us reach these figures below…

2013 Feeding #DominoEffects

2013 Feeding #DominoEffects

Read more of our November Domino Effects Newsletter here:
Monthly General Overview
Babies Effects
Feeding Effects
Life Skills Effects
ECD Effects
Literacy Effects

Categories: Domino Effects Newsletter, Domino Feeding | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

ECD Effects 10/13

Educator Training and Workshops:

This month marked the start of our follow-up training workshops for our Afrisun, Bright Start ECD centres. Our ECD field workers along with 9 crèche owners attended a 2 day workshop at ESS, where they continued to look at important financial requirements to running a small business. This included the importance of record keeping, cash flows and managing overhead running costs. The ladies thoroughly enjoyed the 2 day training time and left feeling more empowered and skilled to manage their growing business.

Our ECD field workers also attended a 3 day HIV/AIDS workshop run by UN Aid. Hosted at the Coastlands hotel, the course covered the basics of HIV/AIDS but focused on the use of anti-retroviral’s, the possible side effects and how to care for those children infected with HIV/AIDS. Our field workers found this time very beneficial as the community we work into is greatly affected by this pandemic.

Community Involvement:

On 18th October one of our crèches, Goodness from God, received a much needed makeover! A team from Magnet, working with one of our partners Angel Projects, got their hands dirty and scraped, sanded and painted the interior and exterior of the crèche. Rebuilding broken walls and replacing broken windows the team worked hard to uplift the ECD centre and to create a positive environment for learning. This highlights one of the important principles of the Resilience Theory (a social work theory), stating: The individual will be more likely to continue development along the lines of strengths, if emphasis is placed on realising positive capabilities within their environment. We believe that by transforming a negative learning environment to a positive environment or an environment more conducive to learning, then learning outcomes will be better achieved. We have seen this take place in our Life Skills schools, as teachers become more motivated to teach and learners achieve better results in their studies.

Monthly ECD Theme:

Each month we select a theme for the crèches to roll out and focus all learning activities around these themes. From having a themed table, hosting a number of educational and interactive toys revolving around the theme to having all stories tie in with the decided theme, we feel the educators cover all aspects of the monthly theme. This month the children at all crèches on the Afrisun Bright Start ECD programme were excited to start learning about School Readiness. As the children will be starting grade 1 next year, October and November have been set aside to start preparing the kids for grade 1. The field workers and crèche owners covered areas such as How to hold a pencil, how to count basic numbers, how to thread string/rope through various items and how to hold and cut with a pair of scissors. Having witnessed the lack of school readiness from previous grade 1 learners within Amaoti, we are confident that our learners are well prepared and we are very excited to see our 1st group of ECD learners head off into the ‘big pond’ that is primary school.

Mentoring a lesson with song and dance

Mentoring a lesson with song and dance

Read more of our October Domino Effects Newsletter here:
Babies Effects
Feeding Effects: Durban North Kitchen
– Feeding Effects: Brookedale Kitchen
Life Skills Effects
ECD Effects
Literacy Effects

Categories: Domino ECD, Domino Effects Newsletter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Life Skills Effects 10/13

Home Affairs Liaison:

It has been a busy and at times frustrating month for Judy Carter, our home affairs liaison. With a number of parents and caregivers not arriving at collection points with the proper documentation and even Home affairs delays, but all in all, the success and joy on the applicant’s faces when receiving an ‘identity’ outweighs all the frustrations.

IMG_0059324This month we met a 38 year old woman, CeCe who, along with her uncle and 2 children, needed to apply for birth certificates before being eligible to apply for ID books. Judy was accused at Home Affairs of bringing illegal people to their offices and informed that she would be arrested for aiding and abetting, when the Home Affairs officials accused CeCe of being Mozambican. After a number of interviews and questioning, with Judy insisting that Cece is infact of Zulu heritage, it was established that Cece is from Pongola and was in fact a South African. Heart attacks aside, CeCe and her family left Home Affairs having successfully applied for SA documents.

An elderly man who appeared to be mentally disabled, approached Judy in Amaoti while she was assisting the school learners obtain ID books. He had asked Judy for some money for some food & water and Judy asked the man, “What about your pension money?” to which he replied, I do not have an ID book. Judy picked up the man and took him through to Home Affairs. On the 21st of October, Sipho’s brand new ID book arrived, and to Judy’s surprise, he was not as old as he seemed! With this ID book, Sipho can now apply for a possible grant.

Judy also has a strong passion to assist pupils with obtaining employment after high school. This month, she helped a young man apply to be a policeman. The entry exam was in Stanger and it has always been his dream to be in the Police force. We are eagerly awaiting results next month!

Life Skills Lessons:

This month the teams have thoroughly enjoyed the lessons, with positive learner interaction taking place. Covering lessons such as ‘Facing Peer Pressure’, ‘You and others are valuable’, ‘Respect & Boundaries’, ‘Choosing your response’, ‘Understanding HIV/AIDS’ and ‘Diversity & Prejudice’, our aim is to empower the leaders of the future to make wise life decisions.

UNISA Social Work Student:

UNISA Students GroupWe have said farewell to our UNISA Student Social workers as placement for 2013 has come to an end. After handing in their portfolios and about to head into examinations, we extend a huge thank you to this year’s team. They have been an asset to the life skills programme, and of immense value to the schools in Amaoti. Amongst one-on-one counselling, the students organised and managed Child Line and SANCA talks and each student ran their own therapeutic group.

Community Involvement:

Key Delta, a transport and shipping company with a heart for education in South Africa, organised an incredible outing for the Nhlonipho prefects to Ushaka Marine World this month. The prefects toured the aquarium, had lunch and watched an exciting dolphin show. The learners left with a bucket fill of memories as for many, it was the 1st time at an aquarium! Key Delta also donated funds towards The Domino Foundation, to continue our work with the Life Skills programme.

Photo 2013-11-18, 15 23 40Holmes Brothers also blessed the children of Amaoti this month when they donated between 150 – 200 brand new, articles of clothing in an assortment of sizes. Judy Carter assisted with the distribution of the clothes by allocating items to teachers in charge of OVC children (Orphan & Vulnerable Children). The teachers then identified the neediest of students and delivered the much needed clothes to the overjoyed learners.

A HUGE thank you to Key Delta & Holmes Brothers for their generous contribution to Life Skills programme and helping The Domino Foundation Change a Life, Change a Community.

Read more of our October Domino Effects Newsletter here:
Babies Effects
Feeding Effects: Durban North Kitchen
– Feeding Effects: Brookedale Kitchen
Life Skills Effects
ECD Effects
Literacy Effects

Categories: Domino Effects Newsletter, Domino Life Skills | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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