Case Study: Children of the Dawn

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Children of the Dawn was set up in May 2002 to support and strengthen rural community initiatives which focus on caring for HIV/AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa. Through the programme rural communities are given the financial and technical means to care for their children with a long-term, sustained and holistic approach, looking at the whole spectrum of children’s needs. We believe in community responses to the challenges of orphaned and vulnerable children who are cared for within their extended family or community settings. Our work based on individual attention to beneficiaries has attracted and retained the support of many well-wishers and donors. Our track record; established and monitored through a constantly updated database is witness to the quality of the programs we are implementing and adapting to ever-changing needs.

With the objective of producing responsible productive members of society we have implemented a programme tailored-made for teenagers above the age of 14, which offers them educational, moral and vocational guidance on a regular basis. This project is called “My future, my responsibility”. My future my responsibility is aimed at keeping our beneficiaries healthy by keeping them away from drugs and alcohol use and motivated towards potential tertiary education.

One of the beneficiaries of Children of the Dawn is Bongane. Bongane is an orphan who has been in the programme since he was 11 years old. Bongane is now 18 years old in 2010 he achieved the highest matric results in his high school. When asked about Children of the Dawn, Bongane said that without the support provided by the organisation he would not have made it this far in his studies. He mentioned that Children of the Dawn provided a support system within the community and a place where he could go to get assistance; he mentioned that the carers at the Children of the Dawn care centres were role models for him and they helped him through difficult times. Bongane says he was motivated to go to school because he was able to fit in with his peers, Children of the Dawn paid for his school fees and provided him with school uniform and other school equipment. He was also provided with a monthly food pack, this helped him and his extended family. Bongane is currently at university and is still being supported by Children of the Dawn. He plans to complete his degree and help others in his community.

Theme

Uplifting rural communities to care for and provide orphans and vulnerable children in a community setting.

Lessons Learnt

  • We have learned to be patient with the caregivers, state bodies and children, often things take longer than expected, you have trust that what you are doing is making a difference and look at the long term outcomes rather than focusing on the short term outcomes.
  • Be realistic set achievable goals when designing programmes.
  • Funding can be a stumbling block; you have to be innovative to try work around it as far as possible.

NGO Website

http://www.childrenofthedawn.org.za