Going down – going up…

I come from a very comfortable, warm and loving family and home with outstanding parents and siblings – aged 36 and 17. I have been an extremely successful business lady for many years and even had my own business (personnel agency) at one time.

I ALWAYS STOOD TALL…

…UNTIL that day when my twin sister committed suicide. My Dad passed away and my wonderful Mom, battling to survive on an oxygen machine, was turning blind.

Everything was becoming too much for me and I tried to escape and forget all the heartache, sorrow and hardship … with alcohol.

During the course of your life an elevator will stop and you will get in. You have to choose which button to press … the top one or the bottom one. My finger accidentally slipped and I pressed the wrong button. I started leading a life in darkness and on bottom level with even more sorrow, worries and heartache and without faith – almost for a year.

It took some time for this elevator to STOP. The doors eventually opened… on the 1st floor. Glaring at the light I stepped out and I saw what looked like a shining star with hundreds of little sparkles shooting from it!

I asked the Lord to “pump me up” and give me courage to carry on and walk that extra mile. I listened to many suggestions and then decided to seek help at the so called shelter. I had my integrity and pride and wondered about staying at a shelter for homeless people. On arrival, I felt very sad, disgusted with myself and so confused… I asked the Lord to take my hand to enable me to ride this gravel road and regain my self-respect and turn my defeat into victory. I will be successful again!

Days and weeks passed and I realised this shelter was actually a home with so much care and concern and I received constant understanding, love and care from Mrs W Hansen, the social worker. This makes me feel like a woman of pride. She was always there for me when I needed answers or help when I was in doubt or in need.  Zelda and the most understanding Yvonne were also there to share light with me with much kindness and respect and they gave me strength.

At all times Mrs Hansen had so much patience with me during this bumpy road and through all my difficulties. She supported me in so many different ways as I kept on stepping forward and headed towards my new adventure.

Despite my wrongdoings, SAVF never gave up on me. They are constantly concerned about me and my wellbeing with so much love. There is an open heart and hand for all my needs. This gives me courage.

I’m feeling strong and proud of myself, but am reminded that I could stumble again. But I have not fallen again!

My deepest appreciation for so much unforgettable love from the SAVF management. They used all possible methods in my interest regardless… They have made me a WOMAN OF WORTH.  I STAND TALL ONCE AGAIN. I will never forget what SAVF has done for me. I will always love you.

I want to share my happiness and love with you and hope you will ride with on this journey as I pursue success. “Your love is a far better teacher than duty!”

SAVF Colour a Life. 2014.

For more information on this publication contact Marietjie at:  marketing@savf.co.za

Moenie swanger tieners verneder nie – verskaf eerder seksopvoeding

“Eerder as om swanger meisies na Robben Eiland te verban, moet die regering en ander rolspelers proaktief optree en aan ouers die nodige gereedskap verskaf om voldoende seks-opvoeding aan kinder te gee’, volgens Erna Rheeder, SAVF FAMNET koördineerder.

Dit volg nadat President Jacob Zuman, gister, in ʼn toespraak genoem het dat tiener-ma’s se babas van hulle weggeneem moet word, om eers weer herenig te word nadat die ma’s hulle skoolopleiding voltooi het.

Volgens Rheeder is daar baie faktore wat bydrae tot die tienerswangerskap situasie in Suid-Afrika. ‘Tienerswangerskap is kompleks.  Bydraende faktore is, onder andere, armoede en onvoldoende seks-opvoeding aan beide meisies en seuns.  Die stigma rondom tienerswangerskap vererger die situasie vir al die betrokke partye. President Zuma se uitsprake, wat swanger meisies verneder, doen bitter min om die hierdie tienersma’s te motiveer om hul skoolloopbaan te voltooi’.

Die Regering en ander rolspelers moet eerder daarop fokus om ouers toe te rus met die nodige gereedskap om bruikbare ouderdom toepaslike seks-inligting aan kinders oor te dra.  Navorsing wys dat ouers die primêre opvoeders is as dit kom by seksuele kwessies. ‘Wanneer ouers nie hierdie rol vervul nie, kry kinders seks-inligting van hulle vriende en die media, wat dikwels ʼn skewe voorstelling van die werklikheid is’.

Rheeder sê dat die SAVF met President Zuma saamstem dat dit nie grootouers se plig is om klein-kinders groot te maak nie, maar dat grootouers eerder ʼn ondersteunende rol moet speel in die lewens van beide die tiener – ma en pa. ‘Tiener-ouers moet toegelaat word om hul skoolopleiding te voltooi, maar moet terselfdertyd ouerskapsvaardighede ontvang om sodoende goeie ouers vir hul kinders te wees.  Goeie ouerskap behels dat daar ʼn sterk en gesonde band moet weet tussen ouer en kind. Sò ʼn band kan nie gevorm word as die ouer en kind geskei word nie. Groot-ouers en die gemeenskap is die ideale mentors vir jong ouers’, sê Rheeder.

Daar is goeie oueropleidingsprogramme beskikbaar regoor Suid-Afrika. “SAVF FAMNET verskaf basiese oueropleiding asook opleiding in vaderbetrokkenheid. Die Parent Centre in Kaapstad is ʼn uitblinker as dit kom by oueropleidingsprogramme.  Een deel van hierdie program fokus op die uitbreiding van tienerouer vaardighede.  Daar is dus geen tekort aan oueropleidingsprogramme in Suid-Afrika nie.  Die programme moet egter geïmplementeer word op alle vlakke, in ons skole en gemeenskappe’.

Hierdie vaardigheidsprogramme voorkom verskeie maatskaplike probleme, geweld en gesinsverbrokkeling. Dit maak gesinne sterker, soos in lyn met die Wit Skrif oor Gesinne, wat in 2014 vrygestel is.  Die subsidiëring van hierdie programme deur middel van Regeringstoelae moet ʼn prioriteit wees’, volgens Rheeder.

Kontak Erna Rheeder of SAVF FAMNET by   erheeder@savf.co.za vir meer inligting oor ouerleidingsprogramme.

REPLY ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT BUDGET 2015: SAVF

The 7.1% (7.1 billion) Social Development budget increase is a much-needed lifeline for the 16.4 million South African’s that won’t be able to survive without it. It is, however, not a sustainable solution to the poverty crisis in South Africa, according to Marieta Kemp, SAVF Director Social Services.

Every year more than 90% of the social development budget is allocated to the Grant System, while Non-profit organisations (NPO’s) receive less than 4%.

There is no instant poverty solution. High levels of inequality and a history of oppression create a complicated situation that wont’ be solved by grants alone. Therefore, Government need to shift its approach from Welfarism to service based development. NPO’s play an intricate part in service-based development, but is hindered by a lack of funding and cumbersome bureaucratic processes.

The State has withdrawn on many levels from social development services, leaving NPO’s to fill the gaps. It is impossible for NPO’s to fill these gaps without Government support. NPO’s play an important role in empowering those that utilise social grants with the objective that services rendered by NPO’s, will eventually reduce the dependency on grants and create independence. Increasing NPO funding will therefore create a sustainable solution to the growing demand for social grants.

SAVF is one of the largest NPO’s in South Africas. In the past year, SAVF has reached more than 1.8 million people through services rendered in the following fields: social development – including services to families, child – and youth care, as well as care for the aged and disabled.

SAVF develops program that assist new and upcoming ECD-Centres.

The first 7 years of a child’s life are the most important in terms of their development. It is during this time that it is imperative that not only are their needs met, but that they receive responsible and adequate developmental care. It is for this reason that the SAVF has developed its Early Childhood Development (ECD) Program, by names of “The SAVF ABC Programme for emerging ECD Centres’.

The program is focussed on new and upcoming ECD centres with the aim of helping centres to reach a standard suitable for registration at the National Department of Social Development. The program covers everything carers and teachers will need, with regards to child care and their developmental needs.

The program includes detailed and practical information with regard to admissions administration, examples of daily routines, educational programs, possible menu’s as well as the tools to compile a budget for the ECD centre. Ongoing facilitation and support is also offered to the ECD centres by the SAVF to assist in the compilation and implementation of the above requirements. The ECD program also aims to assist carers and teachers in the fulfilment of their duties as well as offering them ongoing support and training if and when needed.

In order to qualify for affiliation and assistance, the emerging organisation will have to adhere to the guidelines as set out by SAVF, which includes that the ECD centre hasve the support of the community, accepts the SAVF’s constitution and mission, as well as the completion of the SAVF’s application process at the cost of R30 per annum. Once affiliated, the ECD centre will receive ongoing support, guidance and information from the SAVF as stipulated in a specific annual agreement between SAVF and that organisation. The ECD centre will not, however, receive monetary assistance from the SAVF and remains an independent organisation. The focus is rather on the dissemination of knowledge that SAVF has gathered over many years in its involvement in early childcare development, while managing 33 ECD centres in 5 provinces.

For more information on the SAVF ABC Programme for Emerging ECD Centres, please contact Rozelle Bantjes, at SAVF Headoffice: 012 325 3920 x 2058 or services@savf.co.za