Library visits have become a highlight and the children visit every second week. Primarily the aim is to instil in them a love and respect for books. These visits also give them much needed exposure to the outside world. We are grateful to the volunteers for taking them and encourage them to bring the children back via the park for a picnic.
The iKhaya Cottage family has grown with the addition of their second boy who was so excited to be moving to share a bedroom with his friend. Ellen has been given a gracious seven months to transition to what is now a full household with five iKhaya children. There is a wonderful dynamic of play fun and friendship in the household and, don't be fooled, there are the normal issues of sibling rivalry and establishing of the pecking order!
We would like to acknowledge the generous contribution Woolworths Empangeni makes to iKhaya on a weekly basis by handing onto us their sell by date goods. This represents a significant saving in grocery costs and provides the children with a diversity they would ordinarily not know.
Woolworths has just reviewed their partnership with us and will continue this arrangement for the foreseeable future. As part of our ECD program, in which we are currently learning about healthy foods, our volunteers took the children to Woolworths to see how shops work and where the food is purchased. They now know that food does not magically grow in the back of Janet's car when she arrives with the weekly shopping. The visit served the dual purpose of exposing our children to the broader community and to "town". Escalators and automatic sliding doors competed with crowds for top place in scary experiences.
iKhaya recently purchased a wonderful ECD programme called Step-by-Step which has a Christian basis and is distributed by ACE education. The programme brings a holistic approach to their lives and includes lots of fine motor activities, biblical spiritual growth, songs and rhymes, activity rings colours, shapes, numbers, cognitive development, literacy, stories, themes, games, and lots of fun!!
The Department of Social Development has funded a full time Social Worker for iKhaya LikaBaba. This post has been filled and our new colleague started working at iKhaya on 2 January 2014. Her primary responsibility will be to ensure that all the children’s legal and social issues are well managed. She also assists with the staff training and Early Childhood Development Programme.