FirstStep.me found out more about the Kids Haven organisation based in South Africa from Transformational Coach Adele Pillay.
How did you get involved in Kids Haven and what is your roll in the organisation? I got involved with Kids Haven (KH) in July 1994 after the first democratic elections in South Africa. I wanted to assist in healing my country - knowing that apartheid had done so much damage to it. I started as a volunteer, at the time as a mother of two little ones, I knew my parenting skills would be useful at Kids Haven. I worked through the ranks as a volunteer to being Assistant Director (Child Care Manager) from 1994-2005.
I left for 4 years and returned to the facilitating of Youth Skills and Staff Wellness Programmes, also I assist in creating programmes for the Life Skills Department to meet the needs of children in care.
What does Kids Haven do exactly and how can individuals support the organisation? Kids Haven cares for children living and working on the street and children with behavioral problems. Our work is to support the child in moving from survival to actualisation - if possible. Further we are involved in assisting a family in bonding with a child and allowing the child to move back to a family and with that a community - again if possible. We have a multi-disciplinary team that tries to meet the holistic needs of the child. We are also involved on an advocacy level trying to highlight the needs of children living and working on the street - most importantly informing the public about the dangers of supporting children on the street.
South Africa is a developing economy and organisations like Kids Haven are financially dependent or the contributions from private sectors. What are the needs of Kids Haven? Kids Haven cannot do this work alone and we have been privileged to receive funding from many sources – from a single person contribution to large donors. However as in many cases with social responsibility organisations we are not secure and could not survive if we didn't get regular financial support.
We use the financial help to cover the running costs of the organisation which also includes preparing healthy meals and making sure we have fuel in our busses to get to school. We gratefully accept donations of food and clothing as well.
At all times, we use the donations wisely. We are accountable to a Board of Directors who examine our monthly financial accounts and we report transparently to all donors big or small. We are always trying to do more for less but without compromising the quality of care that we have become known for.
I often equate Kids Haven to an ordinary family – just with more children and no parents for free! Everything that makes up a regular family budget will occur in our budget – the difference is that we need school fees for 130 children and meals for 200 at a time! Our website has a secure page to receive cash donations and we have an interactive wish list which describes the ‘stuff’ that we wish we could get.
What have been the major success stories of Kids Haven? We have a qualified teacher, a 4th year drama student that will be going to UCLA this month with his sponsor, young adults working and supporting themselves that are truly independent, and children who were returned home and are integrated with their family and communities.
About Kids Haven:
Phone: +27 11 421 4222
Fax: +27 11 421 2510
Social Media: Twitter and Facebook