Our child protection programme follows the Isibindi model that was designed by the National association of child Care Workers [www.naccw.org.za], and is implemented in over 55 sites in 8 different provinces and by 40 different partner organisations. This programme identifies and responds holistically to the needs of children, youths and families who are vulnerable and at risk.
Reaching over 1000 children, Catholic Development Center [CDC] upholds the rights and obligations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and is dedicated to protecting children from harm, exploitation and abuse. Through the identification and management of risks that may lead to harm of children, CDC aims to provide the safest possible environments for any children with whom it works. We encourage child-safe practices within the organisation and its structures with the aim of children experiencing zero harm as a result of our programs.
Among the 1000 beneficiaries of the child protection programme are children with disabilities, children living with HIV/AIDS, unregistered children Orphans and children living with families with HIV/AIDS.
The aim of children protection programme is to strengthen the community through the injection of skills and resources; raise and set workers from the community destined on a career path in a recognised profession. But the ultimate beneficiaries of our programmes are the desperate children and families who would otherwise not have had access to formal care and assistance.
Through the community networking we identify and conduct home visits to investigate and build a bond with the concerned parties. This is due to our realization of the importance of understanding the culture and the envelopment from which each case immerge. For we believe that a ‘man (sic) is an animal suspended in a web of significance, he himself has spun and I take culture to be those webs. Therefore, culture is a “networked system of construable symbols” in which social systems can be intelligibly described’ (Clifford 1975: 5, 14). Hence our team of trained workers seeks to build a bond with the community/ culture envelopment because it is from this comfort zone within and out of which, we think, act and speak. It will be therefore unjust to separate culture/envelopment from each case. For these are the healing grounds.
We offer guidance to the families and the community in consultation with the local civil authorities with respect with the cultural and religious believes of the people.
We facilitate the affected families to receive legal documents that will help the access of basic government services like housing, education, children and disability grants. Within the Isibindi model our children and youth care workers provide comprehensive services that include accompanying and representing children at school, health services and government offices where necessary etc.
Facilitate food gardens
We as the CDC believe that food is very essential for the upbringing of any child. Hence where possible we educate and facilitate household food gardens. We donate seedlings fertilizers and make a follow-up. Any excess product from the garden is sold to create some income for the family. This becomes a source of support for the family as a whole.
We provide safe packs, where children can safely play with the supervision of an adult. Especially for the children headed households the packs are organised in a formal way where land is allocated by local authorities’ and the equipment's are put in to place. But this can be done informally due to the scarcity of resources. The key ingredient for the success is the nurturing and exciting presence of children and youths workers. Children like to play where adults are! They also like to play with adults and get involved in the structured activities. These safe parks offer the possibilities of wholesome fun in the context of desperate lives- an essential for overcoming hardship and mental build up.