I begin by giving thanks to our great and mighty God for guiding us in these challenging times as we serve as a residential centre for Children and Youth from various parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal including deeply rural areas.
By adopting a holistic approach to their needs, the Staff and Management provide balance and stability which benefits the development of these children. This is not an easy task and there has to be constant interaction and engagement with them.
Our staff are professional and caring as they provide and deliver quality services to the children. We have experienced challenges in relation to high staff turnover in the last year. As in the corporate world, staff seek better opportunities elsewhere. This results us in having to employ new staff and provide training where necessary which disrupts the childrens care. However, there is ongoing training for all the staff and they have regular meetings with the Chief Child Worker and the Director each week.
Althea Daniels, the Director of our Centre continues to submit funding proposals which has supplemented the finances of the Home. She has been with us since 2008 and continues to take the Home forward. Her dedication amidst the daily challenges of the Home is evident and she produces outstanding work as the Director.
Drug and alcohol abuse and other such evils rife in our society have crept into the lives of some of our children here at St. Monica’s. These children were counselled at length and supported by our team including a disciplinary task team which was formed to tackle this issue under the leadership of Revd. Barnabas Nqidi, our Chaplain to the Home. I want to thank Father Barnabas for his ministry to the children and staff.
A huge thank you to Bishop Dino Gabriel who has made two of our Children’s Homes a priority in the Diocesan family. Both St Monica’s and St Martin’s Homes benefitted from the collection taken at the service of his institution as Diocesan Bishop. A further donation was received from the Diocese about two months ago and we are most appreciative of this support. The Diocese has declared the month of August as the “Month of Compassion” and an appeal to all Parishes to contribute to both the Homes is currently underway. We are grateful to the Diocese and to Bishop Dino for making both the Homes a part of the Diocesan Family again.
We are facing tough economic times in our country as many of us aware. This has inadvertently affected non-profit organizations as there are currently subsidy cuts being implemented with non-profit organizations which directly affects service delivery to our beneficiaries which are the most vulnerable.
Despite these challenges, we want to thank our funders, volunteers, friends, communities, churches and organisations for the donations received during this past year. Your giving of yourselves, your time and contributions created a better life for our children.
I appeal to you in the surrounding churches and the community to get involved here at St Monica’s Home. Your additional skills and support will continue to ensure that the lives of the children here at the Home is enhanced.
Jesus challenged his disciples as follows in Matthew 16: 24-26:
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?”
Jesus challenges us to deny self, to take up our cross and follow him. In order to do this, we have to open ourselves to the plight of others and use the time God has given us to further His work here on earth. Here is a place that needs your selflessness and here is an opportunity to fulfill what God requires of us all.
Revd Alvin Sigamoney