Effective members of societyOur goal is to instill healthy life skills and a good work ethic in the children who go through the I Care system. Once the children have either completed their schooling or skills development, and are ready to work, we walk alongside them, guiding them through their new found independence. We never completely “let go” but strive to assist them right up to the point where they have their own families to take care of. We wish to develop alumni that are:
- Self Supporting Individuals who are guided by Christian Principles
- Contributors to Society
- Willing to give back to those children who find themselves on their streets
Our Awareness team gives talks to children at schools warning them of the dangers of street life. Children often feel forced to leave home and are not made aware of the dangers of a seemingly “glamorous” street life. The team is briefed by teachers and council children that struggle at school possibly because of a poor home environment.
The public is generally uninformed about street children. The team presents to various groups and organisations the main point of the presentation being,
Don’t give me money give me a future! Part of our awareness campaign is to issue car stickers for each of our donors. The sticker is placed in the front right corner of the donor’s vehicle windscreen and is shown to children seen begging at robots and street corners. Most children on the streets are aware of I Care and by showing them the sticker, they are reminded that I Care is there to take care of them. Our sincere thanks must go to Grace Family Church in Umhlanga and to Screenfast for the car stickers!
Our team of outreach workers interact with children living on the streets on a daily basis, forming relationships with them built on a foundation of trust. Once a relationship has been formed, the children are encouraged to visit our Drop-In-Centres. At the Drop-In-Centres, the boys are given a meal, clean clothes, and attend various programmes throughout the day, such as counseling, literacy, Bible study, drama, music, surfing, basketball and soccer. The programmes are run by volunteers who kindly give up their own time to help restore these broken children. At the Drop-In-Centres, children meet with a Social Worker who will assess whether the child is able to return to their immediate or extended family or whether they require going through the intense 12 week rehabilitation programme. If it is deemed suitable for the child to return home, after a thorough home assessment has taken place, the team proceed with the reunification.
Some of the programmes the children attend at the centres are:
- Bible Study
- Surfing / skateboarding
I Care has a beautiful rehabilitation centre in Kwa Makutha on the KZN South Coast. Children from both the Durban and Johannesburg programmes go through this central rehabilitation centre. Once the children have made the decision to change their lives, and leave street life behind, they attend a three month rehabilitation course called Khuthaza ADP (Adolescent Development Programme). Within the rehabilitation centre, the boys live in dormitories with a house master. There is no less than 1 house master per 10 boys. The children are taught general life skills, literacy, drug counseling, routine, discipline and most importantly the Gospel. Together our Khutaza rehabilitation team brings with them over 20 years of experience.
Adolescent Development Programmes
- Overcoming glue addiction (more addictive than cocaine & heroin)
- Life Skills
- Relationship Building & Team Work
- Self Awareness
- Planning & Goal Setting
- Cultural History
- Thoughts & Feelings
- Coping Skills
- Diversity Issues
Housing & Shelter
After successfully graduating from the rehabilitation programme, former street children who cannot, for various reasons, be re-united with their family, are placed in the care of an I Care family home in Lower Illovo on the KZN South Coast. Elements of the Khuthaza programme are reinforced in the homes. Each house accommodates 6 children, and is run by a house parent. The houses run like a regular home, whereby children need to learn to get along with their “siblings” and their days consist of everyday routines. The children attend school in the mornings, and their afternoons are filled with extra mural activities, such as swimming, soccer, art, surfing and tennis. The children attend Youth Group at Church on a Friday evening, and the whole “family” goes to the Sunday Service. While their children are at school, the house parents spend time back at the rehabilitation centre, getting to know the other children who will soon be graduating from rehabilitation and living with them. These visits facilitate smooth integration of the “new” children when they move into the houses. The children from the houses also interact with the children from the rehabilitation centre, either playing a friendly soccer match together or going to the beach for the day on the weekends.
Children attend the I Care Christian School based at the rehabilitation centre in Kwa Makhutu. Children follow the ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) method of schooling, whereby the pace of their work is based on their level of education when they enter the school. Our ACE trained educators manage children of varying ages and levels of education in one classroom. It is here that we aim to close as many educational gaps as possible, with the ultimate goal being the integration of the children into Model C Schools. Our educators ensure that the children receive Life Orientation training, and are exposed to as many vocations as possibly, creating job awareness among the learners for when they leave the nest. Through the ACE method, our educators were able to detect that 2 of the boys have special education needs, and these boys now attend St Raphael’s School in Yellowwood Park. Another of the boys attends the Durban School for the Hearing Impaired who graciously accepted him in the middle of the schooling year. He was initially placed in grade 3, but after a couple of weeks of attending was moved up to grade 4. One boy, aged 9, was enrolled in the Illovo primary school this year, to start his formal education. In 2010, a former street child, and I Care boy, was the head boy of Phoenix Primary school. Qhapela is a great inspiration for the boys currently going through the I Care programmes, and often speaks to the boys about reaching your dreams.
Skills & Job Creation
Once the children have either completed their schooling, or are at an age, where they are not going to close the gaps in their schooling, we assist with placing them into a working environment or skills development programme. We have just introduced ABET in our school in Lower Illovo which will hopefully aid the boys in getting into the job market. Through the assistance of some of our partners, we are able to place the individuals into various working / skills development environments. We are very proud of our boys that have gone through various skills programmes and internships and are now working young men. If your organisation would like to participate in skills development please contact us and we can discuss how this best meets your CSI requirements.