APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
Ikamva Labantu has developed a new approach to improving health and education that is mostly new to South Afica. Two new buildings positioned across from each other, one for Health & Wellness and one for Early Childhood Education, will be constructed to provide interlinking centralized services for Ikamva Labuntu's beneficiaries. Programs and activities within these centers are currently being tested and are due to be fully operational by the beginning of 2012.
The new centers, easily accessible by local transport, will provide a visual presence within communities. They can accommodate large crowds and are drawcards for the full range of beneficiaries and activities.
The Early Childhood Development, Training, and Resource Center will provide unique services in South Africa's township communities as it will be a best practice model for experiential learning. There will be a school within the training center where teachers can learn their skills by immersing themselves in a real teaching environment. There will also be training on nursery, stimulation of children, general hygiene, and nurturing. This integrated training program does not currently exist in any other center and will be a springboard for optimal practice when teachers return to their own schools. Their experiential training in the model school should ensure carryover of better practices to their individual ECD settings. Another new development will be the establishment of a Parent Center with a resource center, which will offer parents professional support and educational programs on their children's health, education, and development.
The Health and Wellness Center will be a one-stop shop for preventative health care. There will be training and demonstrations in nutrition, menu planning, food preparation, and hygiene for teachers, caregivers, parents, the elderly, and community workers. A variety of other activities will take place including training related to disease prevention and staying well, appropriate taking of medication, diagnostics, advice and referrals to clinics and hospitals, weighing of children and monitoring of growth development, mental health training, eye care and testing, and women's and men's health issues. These coordinated services will be provided by an in-house nutritionist, volunteer doctors, and medical staff and partnering health-related organizations. It is not envisaged that the center will replace state health services, but will be a prototype for community health promotion, education, awareness and preventative health, capable of being replicated in other parts of the country.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Activities concerning the two new specialized centers revolve around preparation, hiring of staff, curriculum development, partnership negotiations, and the placing of vital resources to ensure smooth running of the centers. The program is planned to begin slowly, to be flexible to community needs and adjust accordingly.
Early Childhood Development, Training and Resource Center
2012 - The building is complete and will open for formal activities in January. Three teachers and a training coordinator will have been employed. Partnerships with training organizations will have been established to provide some of the training as devised in the curriculum. From the first year, the training will comprise theory at different levels for different categories of teachers/careers; observation in the classroom; practical participation where lessons are implemented in the model school classroom; implementation where teachers apply their learning in their own pre-school with support from the community-based workers. 40 trainees will be trained in this year. The model school will use 3 classrooms with 20 pupils in each, from babies to pr-reception year (the year before primary school). These children will be drawn from our Orphans and Vulnerable Children Sector. The Parent Centre will open halfway through the year. Currently research is being undertaken to look at best practices for this and the types of workshop interventions to offer
2012 - The model school will include another classroom for at least 20 pupils. A new group of trainees will enter the training program. The graduated trainees from 2012 will form part of a mentoring or 'buddy' system, where each will pair with other pre-schools in the community to activate a community mobilization program. The Parent Center will be established at this stage. The initial group of beneficiaries is expected to be the foster parents, grandparents and elder siblings of the children in the model school.
2014 -2017 - After the pilot stage in the previous 2 years, the appropriate numbers of trainees and children in the model school classrooms will be established. The Parent Centre will welcome all parents from Ikamva Labantu pre-schools in the community.
Health and Wellness Center
2012 - The building is complete and an initial curriculum has been formulated. Training programs will be extended to additional people and new programs will begin operation. It is planned to provide training 4 days a week for 44 weeks in the year. In 2012, 30 trainees will attend classes each day, equaling a total of 4800 per year. The partnership with the Lions-Jonga Trust (another NPO) will see a program of screening children for impaired vision. General health screening will also be undertaken.
2013 - It is planned that a further 25% will attend training in 2013, making a total of 6,000 trainees. Further partnerships should be formally agreed with extended services available in the center.
2014 -2017 - The number of people being trained and accessing services should increase exponentially each year. It is expected that there will be further partnerships offering a still wider variety of services.
Ikamva Labantu's core objective is to assist, protect, and nurture the most vulnerable members of Cape Town's township communities, ensuring their rights and dignity. It does this by mobilizing community members and providing them with the capacity and building blocks such as resources, knowledge, and support so that they can live independent and fulfilled lives. Its services are provided in three key areas: community health, community learning and development, and community resources.
Ikamva Labantu's work began in the early 1960s using a community-driven approach to social development. At this time, the work was a response to survival of vulnerable and orphaned children and youth, pre-school children, vulnerable adults, and the elderly. Since then and over time the organization has grown and transformed itself, and the need has arisen for multi-purpose centers and centralized hubs offering a variety of services.
This Commitment to Action focuses on two interlinked and specialized multi-purpose centers in health and wellness, early childhood development and training which integrate the three key areas of service. Not only is this a natural sequence to an improved level in the modus operandi of the organization, it is also a response to the social, political, and economic situation in South Africa.
State hospitals and schools are not coping with conditions in the country. There is a lack of government delivery in these and other areas, exacerbated by extreme poverty, lack of housing, poor transport, and the impact of the HIV/Aids pandemic.
Statistics providing background to the need for the centers:
1. In South Africa, some 10.5% of the total population is living with HIV. Source: Statistics South Africa (2010): Mid-year population estimates
2. An estimated 5.6 million people were living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa in 2009, more than in any other country. Source: UNAIDS (2010): UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic.
3. Close to 30% of pregnant women are HIV positive. Source: Department of Health (2010).
Children and health
4. 1 in 5 children are stunted which is a consequence of chronic nutrition deprivation. 1 in 10 children are underweight. Close to 5% of children suffer from wasting and face a markedly increased risk of death. Chronic undernutrition in early childhood results in diminished cognitive and physical development which puts children at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives. Micronutrient deficiencies, particularly vitamin A and iron deficiency, doubled between 1994 and 2005. Source: UNICEF: A Review of Equity and Child Rights.
5. Each year in South Africa some 75 000 children die before their fifth birthday. This is mainly due to HIV and AIDS and poor implementation of existing packages of care. Source: The Lancet (2009).
6. In South Africa many child deaths are the result of avoidable factors, missed opportunities and substandard of care. 61% of these are related to health system failures (either by health personnel or administrators), such as poor assessment and management in hospitals. 39% are related to caregiver and family actions, such as delay in seeking care or caregiver not realizing the severity of illness. Source: Stephen, Mulandzi, Kauchali and Patrick (2009). Saving Children 2005-2007: A fourth survey of child healthcare in South Africa: University of Pretoria.
Children and poverty
7. In South Africa, 11.9 million children (64% of all South African children) live in income poverty. Source: Children's Institute, University of Cape Town (2010). South African Child Gauge 2010/2011.
8. 1 in 3 children in South Africa experience hunger or are at risk of hunger. Source: Statistics South Africa (2010): General Household Survey 2009.
9. Some 1.7 million South African children still live in informal housing such as shacks in backyards or squatter settlements and nearly 1.5 million children live in households with no toilet facility at all. Source: Statistics South Africa (2010): General Household Survey 2009.
10. 4 out of 10 children do not have access to piped water inside the dwelling or on site. Source: Statistics South Africa (2010): General Household Survey 2009.
11. Poor support, generally from one's children or partner, is thus considered emblematic of poverty. Apart from the fact that loneliness diminishes one's sense of well-being, the absence of supportive family members can attenuate one's links to the community, and tasks such as collecting one's pension on pension day etc. are rendered more difficult. A recent report by the Ministerial Committee on Abuse, Neglect and Ill-Treatment of Older Persons (DoSD, 2001), portrays a frightening picture of the insensitive and/or exploitative treatment to which some older persons are subjected. In addition to the abuse directed at some older persons by their own family members, the report highlights poor conditions in residential homes, pension payout points, and clinics.
12. Although they are at risk of being infected with HIV themselves, the major impact of the HIV epidemic on older people is indirect. Knodel and colleagues (2003) identify seven pathways though which older people experience the impact of the AIDS epidemic at the family or household level: caregiving, co residence with an ill adult child, loss of the child, providing financial or material support during the time the adult child is ill, paying for the funeral of the deceased child, fostering grandchildren, and negative community reaction.
Employment and education
13. One in four working-age South Africans, some 4.5 million people or 26%, are unemployed (out of a total labor force of 17 million). Among young people aged 18 to 24 years, 41% are not working and not in school. Source: OECD (2010) Economic Survey of South Africa.
14. Only 40% of South African youth has completed secondary schooling. Source: Statistics South Africa (2010): General Household Survey 2009.
Ikamva Labantu cannot address all these issues. However, because of their footprint in and approach to the dynamics of Cape Town township communities, which supports and follows community direction, they can provide interventions that offer knowledge and practical skills for careers, teachers, parents, and community workers in preventative health, nutrition, and early childhood development.
Ikamva Labantu seeks partnerships with organizations able to provide expertise in health promotion, prevention and education in poor communities. This would be specifically geared towards caregivers, mainly women, who are looking after and teaching children.
Furthermore, Ikamva Labantu is seeking funding for the provision if expanded training courses for caregivers, health screening and monitoring of caregivers, children and elderly, as well as monthly health awareness campaigns.
Further, Ikamva Labantu is seeking funding for the provision of an expanded training course for caregivers, teachers and pre-school principals, health screening and monitoring of caregivers, children and the elderly, as well as monthly health awareness campaigns.