OUR HISTORY

THE DITSHEGO STORY

 

Ditshego is a multi-faceted organization. Our projects provide support to a multitude of children and families through engagement in the areas of education, shelter, medical assistance, nutrition, and awareness. Right from the start different Church denominations worked together to support Ditshego.

The reports the past year referred several times to the financial challenges but also to wonderful way in which we could meet our budget yearly. Despite the staff challenges (limited staff and training needs) the projects deliver excellent services regarding the children.  They are in a safe environment, receive 2 meals a day and received educational stimulation. Forty-three staff members render services to 350 children; excluding youth in support groups and children who receive services during home visits.

Ditshego timeline:

2007 (3 Children)

Ditshego Place of Safety was the brainchild of the Midstream Methodist Church in 2007. Reineth Mashigo, the Housemother and 3 children moved into the house at Heuwel oord, Centurion in May 2007. Ditshego was registered as an NPC

2008(36 Children)

Three more children were placed in the Place of Safety

New Projects:

  • The Wierdapark Reformed Church had a Soup kitchen for Mooiplaas Informal Settlement Job seekers and they decided to plant a Church in Mooiplaas.  They negotiated with the Community leaders to occupy the present premises and started a day care with 30 children.  Maria Motshoene was employed as Principal with 2 other teachers. West View Methodist Church members assisted with training and setting up classes.  Five class rooms, an office and kitchen was built from the ruins of a horse stable.

  • A food garden tunnel was donated and vegetables was planted.

2009(60 Children)

At the Preschool, we now had 4 classes and 6 staff members,65 children.

 

New projects:

 

  • First Application and Business plan to the Department of Social Development for registration and funding.

  • Ditshego staff suggested that a stakeholders committee should be elected in the Mooiplaas Informal Settlement for projects and Community leaders to work together.

  • Volunteers started a feeding scheme provide meals for 40 children and 30 volunteers who work without any income.

 

 

2010 (71 Children)

New Projects:

  • Midstream Methodist Church asked West View Methodist Church to administrate Ditshego House.

  •  We realised the Preschool also needed to be formalised.  Negotiations between Ditshego and the Reformed Church was initiated and the day care was changed to Ditshego Preschool. 

  • Cotlands mentored the staff to formalise a daily program and governance systems were set in place.

  • The Community Projects venues were built from the ruins at the back of the Preschool.

  •  Open School Organisation formed a partnership with Ditshego to start a drop-in centre for School aged children who cannot attend Formal School.  The Open School Organisation provided training to volunteers in the community and workbooks.  Fifty children registered with the program and was placed in formal Schools during the next year.

  • Counseling@ provided a Councillor to do play therapy with children, life skills training with staff and render counselling services to parents.

  •  Ditshego was previously coordinated by a Committee but  the growing project needed to select Board members and appoint Directors.

  • The First Ditshego Board was selected: Isabel Nel as Chairperson; Theodora Nkese as treasurer, Girlie Moroe-Rulashe as Secretary, Nicky Herbst as Fundraiser. The 3 other members will serve as ordinary members. (Rowan Farrel, Francois Rix, Wayne Taylor)

  • Ditshego’s financial statements were audited for the first time.

2011(138 children)

Open School assisted 30 children but only 7 was placed in School.  It is becoming more difficult, Schools are full and the Department is very strict about documentation.

Feeding scheme provide meals for 40 children and 30 volunteers who work without any income.

 

 

New projects:

 

  • A meeting regarding a new vision to include all the projects was held on 10.09.2011 and the new vision statement:  Bringing about meaningful change, was accepted.  As well as the Mission statement:  We strive to lay a life changing foundation by unlocking the God given potential in each of us.

  • A partnership with Cotlands gave teachers the tools to educate the children with a daily program. The Preschool changed from a safe place to a place of education.

  • A Sponsor a volunteer initiated Sponsor a child Project and individuals were requested to pay R 300 per child for 12 months.

  • A Bible school was started on the premises.

  •   Other services to the Community  were Health Awareness events; training and Stakeholder and an income generation project.

 

 

2012( 146 Children)

New Projects

  • FNB donated funding to train the first Preschool teacher, Mary Shoatja registered at Heron Bridge Training facility. One hundred and twenty children attend the Preschool and there is a waiting list.

  • Our first overseas volunteers, 2 Duke students supported us through challenging times.

  • A Mooiplaas Creche Forum was initiated and 12 Creches registered.  Ditshego assisted with the registration process as NPO ‘s and send our teachers monthly to give informal training.

  • The Preschoolgraduates had their first formal graduation.

  • Our first Shoebox Surprise Christmas was organised and a huge blessing to all the children.

  • Open School World Wide visited the Community and trained 3 volunteers to give numeracy and literacy classes to children who are wandering in the streets because they cannot be enrolled in a Formal School. During 2012 fifty children attended this project and were placed in Formal Schools.

  • Solar panels were donated and for the first time we had power in the kitchen to run a fridge and charge cell phones.

  • Ditshego now employed 15 residents from the Community. The first driver and maintenance manager was employed.

  • An Assistant Housemother is employed to assist the House mother at the House of Laughter.

2013(190 children)

New Projects

  • The Preschool received once off DSD funding, R 100 000 which provided training, groceries and equipment.  First Aid training, Firefighting training and Management training was attended by staff members.

  • Four qualified teachers from Teach 2 Teach spend the year at the Preschool with practical training of staff.

  • Fifty children from the Preschool had the privilege to attend Mandela’s birthday celebration at the Pretoria Heart Hospital where Mandela was treated.

  • Ditshego is registered at the NPO Directorate.

  • Khuluma Counseling services partnered with Ditshego to render services in the Mooiplaas Community.

  • Two more food garden tunnels was donated.

  • Sister Andrea started the clinic on Wednesdays. Children were immunised, received vitamins and were monitored.

  • Spruit Community Church services is attended by Community members.

2014 (217 Children)

New Projects

  • In 2014 the Department of Social Development joined hands with Ditshego to understand the social needs of community by visiting them in their homes. 14 Caregivers use Ditshego as their base and are managed by Ditshego management. The caregivers assist 50 Primary School children with homework in the afternoon.  This was the result from Applications done since 2009.

  • A bathroom and two bedrooms is added to the Place of Safety.

  • Two private doctors volunteer on Wednesday mornings in the clinic and render medical services to the children in the community.

  • The Lauduim Clinic negotiated to render medical services on our premises Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

  • Mooiplaas Community members attend 3C Church Services on Sundays. The second Church to use the premises on a Sunday.

  • The first Church of the Resurrection team spend a week at Ditshego to serve and build relationships.

  • Our own staff member qualified as a Social Auxiliary Worker.

  • Holiday projects started for four holidays per year.

  • Our first Mandela day project, blankets for grannies brought joy and food parcels for many grannies in Mooiplaas. 67 Minutes for Mandela was initiated and Companies joined Ditshego to do renovations and spend time with the children.

  • Ditshego started a facebook page and sponsors are kept up tp date with Ditshego’s activities.

2015(266 Children)

 

The Preschool/After care venue is too small and staff arranged with a nearby Church to use their premises in the afternoon for 50 children.

New Projects

  • The Ditshego Board members write a proposal to Church of the Resurrection to support a venture to buy a plot close to the Mooiplaas Informal Settlement with the objective to expand services. In addition with funding from the Methodist Churches of the Hennops River Circuit the plot was purchased.

  • Lesiba Moabi was employed as a Program Manager to manage the OVC project with the help of a Social Auxiliary Worker and Administrator.

  • Another nursing sister and 3 C Church students joined the clinic to render more services.

 

2016 (300 Children)

New Projects

  • Renovations started and Corporates and Home Groups renovated the house and premises. On 30 April the Place of safety and Ditshego offices moved to the Raslouw plot. Phinias Hlongoane, Driver, Maintenance Manager moved into a room on the plot and transport logistics became more efficient for all the projects.

  • The process start to rezone the property from a residential home to a Place of Instruction.

  •   July 2016 22 Open School children was moved to the plot to provide an extra classroom for the After care children. Support groups and After care classes  also meet on the plot to provide space for all the children in the projects.  Some meet under the trees because there is not enough venues.

  • 120 children had to opportunity to attend a weekend life skill camp paid by Pepfar.

2017(350 children)

PLACE OF SAFETY

Two Resident-Moms rotate to provide full-time care to six vulnerable children. In this way, Ditshego has provided for the physical, educational, spiritual and emotional needs of 17 children since our inception in 2007

PRESCHOOL

Twelve staff members from the community work to provide high quality education, care, and meals in a safe environment to over 160 children. These children, ages 3-6, attend school daily. Teachers continue to develop and grow themselves and the children. Four teachers are qualified Level 4 ECD facilitators and One is a Level 5 ECD facilitator.  Three more teachers will qualify as Level 4 ECD facilitators at the end of 2017. It is a miracle that we received funding to train 7 facilitators the past 5 years.

 

ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN

 

14 Care Givers assist 153 children in our Afterschool care program. The children receive assistance with homework, meals, and skills training. The 14 Care Givers, one Social Auxiliary Worker, and several Social Work students engage in regular home visits to the families whose children utilize our services. In this way, we seek to provide a holistic response to the needs of the entire family. Assistance is given to obtain legal documents, health services, and counselling. The home visits are further sources of education as they increase awareness on issues such as HIV, domestic violence, and conflict resolution

 

DROP IN CENTRE

 

Two Care Givers and a teacher provide basic numeracy and literacy training to 44 children. These children, ages 8-14, are unable to attend formal schooling due to lack of documentation and other challenges. Both classes have moved to the Raslouw plot. 

 

YOLO (You only live once)

A qualified Social Worker, Social Auxiliary Worker and 8 caregivers were trained to do support groups with children age 15-24 regarding life choices. 

Success stories for example children who dropped out of School and returned after the support groups is evidence of the importance for this project.  Ditshego must reach 3500 young persons in this regard.

 

RASLOUW PREMISES

 

During 2017 the premises was secured with a camera system.  Solar panels were installed to minimise monthly costs.  Presently we are installing a Packing plant sewerage system which will be sufficient for 300 children and provide irrigation water for the garden.

Building plans for the new Ditshego centre is completed and will be submitted to the Council when the rezoning process is approved.  The new building will provide class rooms for the Drop in centre and After care classes for 300 children.

 

TRAINING

 

Since 2014 OVC staff members received various short-term trainings: HIV; Counselling, Child protection. Administration, Management. Thanks to Pepfar funding 10 staff members are doing Child and Youth Care Worker training, this equip them to understand the needs of our children better.

Two staff members is also doing secretarial training.

 

       STATISTICS

        …... Clinic: Average 150 families per week

               Home visits: Average 180 per month

               School holiday project: 4 per year

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