Who are we?
I Care wants a better South Africa where children do not live on the streets and we strive to be the leading organisation that solves the problem of street children. We do this through our Christian faith and by understanding and addressing each aspect of a child’s needs.
Our Vision and Mission reminds us why we carry on doing a great job and motivates us when times get tough. It’s also why, during 2017:-
- We had 22 boys living in our houses
- Delivered 264 food parcels
- Benefitted, with food, 1255 indirect beneficiaries
- Skilled 19 boys on various practical skills courses
- Took 30 boys into our rehab centre and successfully graduated 13
- Reunified 28 families
- Worked with 97 boys at our Hope Centre
- Prepared and served in excess of 21 000 meals in our 5 kitchens
- On an average day, we fed 150 adults and children, including indirect beneficiaries.
- Received R3 900 000 in donations and fundraising to fund all the above.
A New Venture
In October 2017, we took some ground-breaking steps into the area of skills development to be a major focus area of our work. The boys we had previously worked with were falling back into the streets because they had turned 18 and their grants were suspended or they had reached their maximum manageable grade at school. A catch net had to be cast to ensure that street life did not become their future. A successful life skills curriculum was given to us by iThemba Lethu Organisation and was modified to fit into a twelve-week in-house programme much like our Khuthaza rehabilitation course. Young men were taken from the Hope Centre back into our rehabilitation centre where they completed the 12 weeks Sakhimpilo Lifeskills course and were then given the opportunity to choose from 3 different service providers.
The first fruits of our new venture have blossomed and we have 9 welders, 3 builders, 3 panel beaters and a bakery chef already qualified this current year. KLine Shipping generously donated basic computer skills to most of these boys and I Care staff received training too.
I Care Johannesburg was closed at the end of 2017. Our Drop-in Centre near the centre of the City was no longer hugely utilised and some research shows that street children were now mainly within Alexandria, Soweto, Thembisa and other small ‘city’ centres. We are still pursuing the options of collaborating with a Church Plant in Soweto and attaching a Drop-in Centre to this. We are grateful to the I Care Johannesburg staff for their dedication to this project and to the partnerships we formed with Kids Haven, Hope Church and SANCA during our 6 years.
After a brave battle with cancer, we lost our dear colleague Cedric Welch in January 2018. Cedric was responsible for the logistics at the I Care Houses and the Rehab Centre. He was a firm but loving colleague and endeared himself to everyone who had the privilege to work with him. Mkhulu leaves a legacy within our organisation and we are grateful to have known him.
We had some other staff members move on from I Care during the year; Bhekani our administrator from the Hope Centre, Nonhlanhla our Gospel Teacher and Lucky from the houses. We were fortunate to have Dawn Rabie volunteering in our charity shop at the time our administrator left us and she very ably took on the role, working on our database two days a week.
The I Care staff have been a bonded group of hard workers over the past year and kept the best interest of the children at heart in all circumstances.
We officially welcomed Mark Addison, Yvonne Boden and Thoko Xulu onto the Board in December 2017. Denise Cochrane has stepped down from her official position as a trustee and remains an ex-officio member as we value her input and interest; I Care will always be in her heart. Jonathan Moonien has also stepped down due to work commitments.
Our efficient Board of Trustees keeps the organisation on a smooth path and gives us support in many aspects of our work and we thank them for this.
Summing up 2017 it is easy to say that we had a wonderfully blessed year, despite some sad moments. We weathered storms well and celebrated success even better. We have so many people and organisations to be grateful to for donations, time, thoughtfulness and encouragement. We could not have done it on our own.