Phela Giving Back is poised to move from a residential organisation with some community outreach, to a community outreach organisation with a residential component that is only brought into play as a last resort.
If we are to continue serving more and more children in needs, we must focus our efforts on the most cost-effective programmes. We will therefore continue to operate in the two extensions of Eldorado Park we already serve — Kersiedorp and Extension 4, However, in the current economic climate, expansion plans will be minimal. As far as possible, we will try to form partnerships and increase our networks when doing so, in order to continue to meet the needs of vulnerable children and their families, without these needs necessarily being supplied by Phela Giving Back.
A joint report published by the Department of Health, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the University of Pretoria, Save the Children, and the Medical Research Council identifies “the Big Five” causes of child deaths in the current social climate: pregnancy and childbirth complications, newborn illnesses, childhood illnesses, HIV and AIDS and malnutrition.
In order to be sustainable, these interventions include training and supporting the children’s primary caregivers. Our ultimate goal is to equip families to care for their children at home by imparting the appropriate skills and providing sufficient resources.
For the past two years, our core focus has been on babies and pre-school children and we have been particularly successful at restoring their health and wellbeing through a holistic spectrum of interventions. In the past year, we’ve also been able to introduce the children who are HIV positive onto antiretroviral therapy (ART), with marvellous results.
In response, we have set ambitious goals for increased numbers of food gardens and income-generation projects in the 2012 fiscal year. We have been very successful in establishing food gardens in Kersie Dorp and have started to replicate this success in Extension 4 and 5. To encourage self-sufficiency, our goal is to expand our income-generating projects to accommodate an increasing number of the women in our community care programme within the next two years.
Although the introduction of ART has dramatically reduced the death rate of children supported by Phela Giving Back, for a variety of reasons, some children still succumb to AIDS-related illnesses or need palliative care for other life limiting or life threatening illnesses. As part of Phela Giving Backs’ residential care, we are collaborating with two paediatric hospices in Eldorado Park, which care for chronically, acutely and terminally ill children who cannot be cared for within the community. Care is offered by a trans-disciplinary team and extends across the full spectrum to address the health, psychosocial and educational needs of the child.
All these efforts are bearing much fruit.
Our plans within the next year, 2013, Phela Giving Back will undertake to provide material aid (food parcels, milk formula and e-pap) to families in need, until a more permanent solution — such as accessing government grants — can be organised, or home food gardens are established.
For the children who cannot remain in the community, Phela Giving Back is going to concentrate all it”s efforts within 2013 to build and establish two community houses in Eldorado Park Our aim in these residential care facilities is to minimise the duration of the children’s stay, and every effort is made to reunify the families or seek alternative placements through adoption or foster care.
● Provide nutritional support to more than 1000 children per week.
● Establishment of feeding points in all 12 extensions in Eldorado Park
● Establishing two community houses to provide residential care facilities for children.
● Raising overall awareness to the plight of the children living within Eldorado Park and making the corporate world aware of the dire economical and socio situation faced by the people living in Eldorado Park.