St Monica's

Child and Youth Care Center

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Chairman's Report: Annual General Meeting 2020

Tuesday, 6th Oct 2020

We have all been affected by the global crisis of Covid-19 in various aspects of our lives. On the one hand this virus has made us aware of the fragility of humanity and on the other, reminded us that human life is precious. Due to the pandemic, our Home sought new approaches of functioning, keeping safe and daily interactions. The age of technology provided us with the ability to meet regularly through Zoom and other media platforms.

Our mission states that St Monica's Home exists to provide a loving, caring and safe environment for the children. I can say with confidence that this has been a consistent practice at our Home, with the children always being a top priority. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown, the Director and Staff maintained strict Covid-19 regulations and protocols. A policy was developed for the Home which all were made aware of.  We are extremely grateful that we had no Covid-19 positive cases at the home. 

The Management Team again worked tirelessly in the daily functioning of the Home. As we all face the daily challenges of life, so does St Monica's. Managing 84 children is  no easy task.  Nonetheless, I am pleased to say that the Team had the best interests of the children at heart and found workable solutions when such challenges arose. Medical emergencies were dealt with timeously, appropriate interventions occurred were necessary and initiatives were always forthcoming from the staff.  In the five and a half months since lockdown, we acknowledge the dedication of all our Staff and Management team.

Adherence to the stipulations as set out by the Department of Social Development (DSD) continued in the past year. We are successfully re-registered with DSD for the next 5 years. A significant milestone was achieved by CYCYS in Kwa-Zulu Natal in terms of having our subsidies increased by the Department of Social Development. Following lengthy negotiations with DSD, the decision to award increased subsidies occurred in 2019. This was indeed a victory. The NAWANGO judgment which was passed by a Court in the Free State in 2013 basically ruled that the Department of Social Development must recognise the role that NPOS are providing and must  reward them accordingly.

On behalf of St Monica's, I sincerely express my thanks to all Board Members for their guidance, contribution and expert knowledge.  Ms Sarah Kate-Stocker was co-opted to the Board earlier this year and we welcome her financial expertise. The Board Meetings which were held on a monthly basis was extremely informative and interactive in nature. I thank Mr Peter Cottrell and his staff for their management of our finances, and the detailed presentations of the Income and Expenditure Statements. A representative from the Childrens Forum also attended to enlighten the Board members on how they were coping at the Home. The Board also outlaid a significant budget to train some of our senior Child and Youth Care Workers (CYCWS) who are in the process of being re-trained by another service provider as the NACCW had misplaced their certificates on completion of courses in Child Care which meant they had to start all over again.

Following the sad passing away of our driver, Mr van Wyk whose death left a gaping hole in so many hearts of those were very fond of him, we employed Graham Hughes. Miss Sarisha Palavar our social worker also lost her mom earlier this year and our condolences are expressed to her. I thank our Director, Ms Althea Daniels for her leadership, loyalty and dedication, especially regarding the funding proposals submitted which has resulted in positive outcomes.

We give thanks to God for the donations we have received from the funders, donors, Foundations and Trusts, corporates, religious organizations, communities and individuals over the past year.

We look forward to the months ahead and the New Year, especially post-covid and the challenges we may experience.  Therefore  I encourage you to remember not to ignore the plight of the less fortunate in our society or to get caught up in the busyness of our own lives, but to see where we can make a difference.

I am reminded of Jesus' teachings to His disciples about being the greatest in the Kingdom of God. May we be challenged to look beyond our own situations and circumstances and really apply Jesus' teachings to our daily lives.

Matthew chapter 18 verse 5, as Jesus taught his disciples about the greatest in the Kingdom, Jesus said "And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf" is welcoming me. To God Be the Glory.

Revd Alvin Sigamoney

September 2020