Practical and Sustainable Change
Real, transformative change like the one needed to address the horrors of poverty in South Africa can only come about through good leadership in our communities. To this end, we have partnered with Khanyisani Trust to offer quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) training and practical skills development for orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) centre workers.
Dr Guy Stubbs a Christian missionary, who heads up the programmes at Khanyisani Trust, including the ChildVision programme had some valuable input to share.
Learning from the African Honey Bee Model
Stubbs adopts a social transformation model he developed based on the success of the African Honey Bee project in KwaZulu Natal where they worked with 1600 families to transform their communities. The model is a self-help community programme that engages the participants in problem-solving. Through self-help savings groups, communities learn income generating skills and food production skills. African Honey Bee even helped community members set up a beekeeping social and micro franchise linked to the value chain.
Tackling the issues of OVC centres
The problem with many OVC centres is that they aren’t self-sustaining and so are completely dependent on grant funding. With scarce resources not only nutrition but also education suffers as often times care workers at these centres are not qualified teachers. Stubbs believes that if they could educate and transform the lives of the centre workers, then they could have a much bigger impact on the children. Through the training and practical skills development programme he aims to help centre workers become transformational leaders so that the centres become more sustainable and efficient.
ChildVision partners with The Love Trust
To achieve this goal, ChildVision needed a partner that could help them address the areas they weren’t familiar with, and The Love Trust was the natural choice. The significance of the partnership is that the holistic approach of The Love Trust programme fits with the ChildVision approach.
Although OVC centres include crèche and after school care (babies and toddlers through to eighteen-year-olds), The Love Trust empowers OVC centres with trained teachers to enable the financial sustainability of ECDs. Centre workers are also taught the theoretical implications of nutrition through the ECD training, and by teaching centre workers practical skills such as growing vegetables and animal husbandry (how to get chickens to produce eggs for example) they can teach the parents and caregivers of their children how to replicate their acquired skills. And this is where the leadership comes in. Stubbs elaborates that the leadership is in leading change or leading social transformation. So, they learn how to become transformational leaders.
The focus is primarily at the level of the child. Stubbs adds that they want to see changes in the children, because that’s what the transformational leaders are being trained to do. They’re going to be working with the children, and they’re going to be working with the children’s families. That’s why they are called ChildVision. They are equipping the people who care for the children to look after the children better. To be enabled to bring about the transformation.
Through the combination of good theoretical teaching and practical skills implementation, The Love Trust and ChildVision are helping to break that cycle of poverty in underprivileged communities.