What We Do - The Seed Fund
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What We Do

Inaugural Community Project

Malacca Informal Settlement

With severe poverty comes hardships and struggles, and the community of the Malacca Informal Settlement are no strangers to this reality. Located in Malacca Road, Redhill, Durban North – its residents live in what is to be considered as extreme poverty.  The Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) defines extreme poverty as “… a state of continuous deprivation or a lack of the basics of life.”

 

Like most poverty-stricken settlements, the community of Malacca have not received adequate healthcare, environmental protection or education. Below is a list of pertinent facts that illuminate the poverty these people face daily:

  • The World Bank defines “extreme poverty” as living on less than USD1.90 per day. Several families in this community live on less per day.
  • Developing children are getting little or no protein in their diet.
  • Access to electricity is limited.
  • Ablution facilities sparse and poorly serviced, and toilet paper is a luxury.
  • As many as five people sleep in shacks that are 3 m2 in size and have no ventilation.
  • Children have reached Grade 7 but are completely illiterate in English – the language in which they’re being taught.
  • Children are dropping out of school before they reach Grade 12.

 

Amazingly, although the community are living in destitute conditions, residents are friendly and hospitable among their struggles and inconveniences.  In commencing the upliftment process with the children, we’ve adopted a holistic approach because we are convinced that being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.  In aiming to provide a nurturing environment that will cultivate strong and capable individuals, our objectives are to provide each child with:

  • Two balanced meals per day;
  • Part or total payment of primary and tertiary educational fees;
  • School uniforms and stationery;
  • Transport to and from Educational Establishments as well as extramural activities;
  • Homework assistance;
  • Literacy development programmes;
  • Exposure to social growth and development possibilities with the view of inspiring dreams;
  • Enrolment of each child in an extra mural activity of their choice;
  • Career guidance;
  • Life Coaching;
  • Sanitation;
  • Improved access to appropriate healthcare.

Vision

Our vision is to equip a community that has been born into poverty, with specific focus on vulnerable children, with the life skills and mind-set that will enable them to shift from a life of lack, sickness, crime, drugs and alcoholism – to a life of prosperity and purpose!  To offer its children hope of a future in which they could fulfil their dreams and walk in the fullness of their purpose and destiny.  In uplifting the children, we believe we can uplift the entire community – adding to the economy and alleviating poverty and crime.  Ultimately, our goal is to cause a seismic change in the society at large!

Mission

To bring about sustainable overall upliftment to those in great need.

To reach out to the greater Durban North Community and enable them to see that they are part of the solution.

To partner with various organizations in delivering solution-based projects.

To provide a legal structure through which financial resources can constructively benefit our benefactors.

Values

Transparency – as an NPO we are legally required to be audited annually.

Partnerships – it takes partner involvement to effectively address the root causes of crime, take actions to mitigate those causes, and create opportunities to improve the lives of those who’ve been impacted.

Individual input – we believe that every person has something valuable to contribute and a unique role to play in the plight against social injustices.

Measuring Outcomes

We assess the following criteria when measuring the impact being achieved and effectiveness of services rendered to beneficiaries:
Are we listening to the people on the ground – or is it about us?
Are we engaging the entire family unit and allowing them to self-diagnose?
Have we enabled individuals to map their own choices?
Is our organization self-evaluating/baselining on a regular basis?
Are our methodologies being assessed beyond just financial outcomes?
Are we focusing our strengths in the areas in which we are capable – and partnering with skilled and specialized organizations in the areas we aren’t?
Are we allowing feedback from the Community regarding the effectiveness of our organization?
Are we creating dependents or empowering sustainable upliftment of the Community?

Intervention Categories

Education

Homework Centre “Hands on Heroes”

Initially termed the “Hands on Heroes” project, the Homework Centre has evolved from a weekly to a daily interaction and serves school-goers from grade R to grade 6.  The centre is home to one-on-one literacy development classes and provides a suitable environment where children can do their homework with assistance from our team of passionate volunteers.  In addition, the centre offers a sanctuary where creative children have access to relevant books and resources to develop their skills.  In providing this encouraging and supportive environment, we have seen a tremendous overall improvement in school grades and general report card feedback.

School Registration

We have ensured that every school going child has been registered at a local school – school registration fees, uniforms and stationery.  Through the Homework Centre, we’ve identified outstanding learners who we believe are motivated to learn and progress.  As a result, we’re of the opinion that they deserve a better school foundation and the plan is to get them registered at the best possible government schools.  In exceptional cases, we will do all possible source academic bursaries for semi-private schools.

Daily Meal

As a result of a generous donation of porridge, plates and spoons, we have been able to provide each child with a nutritious breakfast meal to start their day.

Extra Mural Activities and Educational Outings

As a result of a generous donation of porridge, plates and spoons, we have been able to provide each child with a nutritious breakfast meal to start their day.

Early Childhood Development Centre

The first five years of life are a fundamental time when the rate of physical and mental development is at its highest and one’s learning ability is established.  When children fall behind at this crucial time, considerable investment is required in later life to mitigate the knock-on effects.  The pre-school children of Malacca were playing in the dirt – unsupervised and without stimulation of their cognitive, linguistic, emotional and motor faculties.  Through the generous donation of a second container by 31 Club Charity KZN, our Early Childhood Development Centre has been made possible.

Scholarships, Learnership Programs and Study Assistance

Through career guidance assessments, we assist school leavers in establishing suitable career options.  In determining the most suitable career for a candidate, the plan is to source a relevant and affordable study program that will empower them to fulfil their career aspirations.  Where matric scholars have exhibited strong academic ability, we will intervene in the process of sourcing relevant scholarships that are likely to result in employment.

Individual child sponsorship programs

Each child in the settlement is sponsored.

The ‘My School Buddy’ program, whereby each school going child is ‘adopted’ and receives a monthly sponsorship of R250 from their ‘buddy, has been successfully running for a year.  The funds received are used for transport; uniforms; stationery; projects; excursions; and any other school necessities during the year.

The Budding Star is aimed at providing funding for the pre-school children. Similarly, the monthly sponsorship is R250 per child, and will be used for early childhood development and basic food requirements. Some of the funding will be allocated to future school registration and uniforms.

Healthcare

The funding from our generous donors has enabled us to resolve a variety of health and medical issues. In less serious cases, children are taken to the nearby clinic sister and treated accordingly with prescribed medication.  In more serious situations, we have been able to provide transport to the relevant government hospitals.

Environment and Infrastructure

Providing a safe and healthy environment is crucial for the overall well-being of the children and the community at large.
The first part of the water project involved the separation of grey water and toilet waste – to ensure a healthier environment. The fund employed all staff from the Malacca community – including the project manager who coordinated the initiative. However, sanitation remains an issue due to poor maintenance from the Ethekwini Municipality. An overall evaluation of the sanitation and water issues needs to be undertaken before intervention can take place.

Community Integration

Children need a secure family environment and the focus will always be on integrating the children into the family unit to a greater degree than is currently evident. Life skills programs and parenting intervention are critical to ensure greater connection for the children and provide full family support.
Regular meetings with community leaders ensures our activities and projects are clearly communicated and that community needs are raised and attended where possible.

Supporting Moms and their New-born Babies

Initiative not specific to Malacca Road Informal Settlement

Local public health facilities face the challenge of moms and babies being separated for inappropriate lengths of time after delivery.  This delays the opportunity for skin-to-skin contact and has a knock-on effect in initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.  In the instance of post-normal and caesarean deliveries, the mom and the baby are reunited as soon as possible and monitored carefully in a temperature-controlled recovery room.  However, with routine births, reuniting takes much longer – particularly during busy periods when there are a high number of deliveries.  As a result, babies are at risk of getting too cold and experiencing low sugar levels due to not receiving breast milk timeously.  Aside from the impact on breastfeeding, there several significant scientific benefits to immediate skin-to-skin contact and kangaroo mother care.

As a solution, we provide local government institutions with a “wrap”.  This wrap: secures the baby to the mom post-delivery; reduces the need for supervision; and decreases nursing workload.  Although we’ve currently only been able to supply 150 wraps to a single hospital, we would ultimately like to extend the program to all local public health facilities.  This would mean each mom receiving her own baby wrap, beanie, booties and a blanket – thereby drastically improving new-born outcomes.

How We Sustain Our Projects

Focusing on the greatest needs – not adopting projects that are not necessarily going to change the status quo.

Having a clearly defined vision and mission for each project.

Assuring that the partners who are providing core services, have the appropriate skills to deliver high impact services – e.g. our ECD practitioners who will receive the best possible training.

Good governance – regular board meetings to ensure procedure and policies are active, not documents in a file in a shelf.

Measuring the impact being achieved and effectiveness of services to beneficiaries.

Having effective Marketing and Fundraising strategies – keeping up with technology and reaching as many potential donors as possible.

Sourcing funds from varied sources – public mass donors, corporate investors and individual funders.

Forming alliances and building strong relationships with the public, local newspapers, radio stations, social networks.

Contribute to our projects


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