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Amastreetkid, The I CARE Blog, about "giving street kids a future"

Amastreetkid, The I CARE Blog, about "giving street kids a future": September 2008

Amastreetkid, The I CARE Blog, about "giving street kids a future"

Blogging about I Care, a Non-Profit Organization giving street children a future, a chance to become an effective member of society and to remove them from the influences of crime. Our process involves Awareness, Outreach, Rehabilitation, Housing, Education and Skills Development.

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Location: Durban, KZN, South Africa

A Non-Profit Organization giving street children a future and a chance to become an effective member of society and to remove them from the influences of crime. Our process involves Awareness, Outreach, Rehabilitation, Housing, Education and Skills Development.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Corporate Donations

Virgin Active SA has very generously donated clothing (mainly shirts and tracksuit pants) to I Care.
Kim Webster the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, for Virgin Active SA, told our donor manager that the clothing was used for staff uniforms but they have since been withdrawn as Virgin Active now have a new, official apparel sponsor. Some of the clothes have been well worn while others are brand new, Kim said.

The clothes will be distributed to I Care homes, Sakhithemba Shelter, Enhlanhleni Care Centre and underprivileged schools in and around Durban.

If your company has anything that can be re-used or donated to those in need please contact 031 5726870 to organize collection/delivery.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This weeks Special Assignment

SABC3 09.30pm Tuesday 23 September *

The sexual abuse of children, and their ‘double victimization’ by the criminal justice system intended to protect them; falls under the spotlight in this week’s Special Assignment.

In the second of a two-part series on the recently amended Sexual Offences Act, the SABC’s award-winning investigative documentary programme delves into the reasons why the new law, despite its good intentions – continues to be handicapped by a deeply flawed web of bureaucracy that act against the best interests of child victims.

The episode, entitled ‘Court in the Act Part II’ will air. It is the culmination of a lengthy investigation into the ‘cracks’ in the criminal justice system, into which the young victims of sexual abuse, fall. The programme tells the harrowing story of one young boy’s experience at the hands of law-enforcers, and those tasked with bringing perpetrators of sex crimes against children, to justice. The teenager is what may be called ‘a serial victim,’ whose short life has already been irreparably scarred by countless acts of abuse at the hands of adults he trusted. Despite his age, and the nature of the abuse – all meaning clear penalties in terms of the new law – the boy never got to see justice served against his abuser. The state prosecutor deemed his case to have no prospects of success, because he accepted meagre pocket money from his abuser.His story illustrates how, despite the progressive and far-reaching amendments to the law – in the absence of efficient and well-trained personnel, as well as adequate resources, the legislation is doomed to have minimal impact.

*Extracted from the SABC3 website

Monday, September 22, 2008

Motorists are being targeted

A headline on the front page of a local Durban newspaper stated that “Drivers who pay beggars will risk prosecution” What is your initial reaction? Do you know that if you give money to beggars at intersections you are breaking traffic bylaws?

The eThekwini Municipality now wants to take action against motorists and the Municipality has initiated a drive targeted at motorists. Although Michael Sutcliffe, Municipality Manager, was quoted as saying “it certainly takes two to tango” as many mothers are forcing their children to beg. One woman in particular was found guilty of violating the Child Care Act and she has been given a six month suspended sentence for forcing her child to beg.

We would like to reinforce the message behind the newspaper article: Giving money to people on our streets only encourages them to stay there. You are doing two things by supporting them; breaking the law and encouraging a life on the streets that leads to crime and abuse.
To read the article click here


Monday, September 15, 2008

We are all excited about 2010, World Cup Soccer, and great preparation has gone into accommodation, venues, entertainment, etc. We have high hopes that this event will put our country on the map.

However, there have been concerns that the organizers of the 2010 World Cup have not fully assessed the impact it will have on human traficking and on the streetchildren in particular. There will also be a relaxation of visa requirement for all SADEC countries and this could facilitate the movement of sexual predators onto our streets, as well as increase the likelihood of human trafficking. The school holidays will be extended over this period, which could also result in an increase in the number of 'part-time streetkids', making them extremely vulnerable targets.

We are currently developing strategies to keep children occupied over this time and to keep them off the streets. If you have any suggestions we would love to hear them.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Making a difference this Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. How is your company making a difference this year?

Jeffares & Green has sent out the following memo to all its stakeholders:
“... In light of the dire poverty all around, you will not be receiving a corporate gift or Christmas card from Jeffares & Green this year. Instead, we will be using the money to educate nine rehabilitated street kids. Our corporate gift budget will pay their teacher’s salary and buy the text books and stationery needed for 2009…
…We hope that you will approve of this decision and take satisfaction from knowing that your sacrifice of a branded product has made a real difference in a LIFE. Kind regards, the management and staff of Jeffares & Green”

To become a corporate sponsor call 031 572 6870 or email


Its meant to be easy!

Isn’t it strange how a young South African citizen can bring in over R7 million in the past year for the company (and the SA economy) that he works for, but he can’t get an ID book from the Department of Home Affairs? This is the case relating to Mlungisi Zungu, a young man plucked off the streets and fast tracked through the I CARE system into full time employment. Don’t be mistaken, he has tried to get an id doc on numerous occasions. During his spare time he plays football for a local club, yet he cant go on tour, as he cant produce an id doc.

Every month Mlungisi has to traipse like a dog to the bank with a letter written by his employer verifying who he claims to be, and asking the bank to cash his cheque. He obviously has zero chance of opening a bank account what with fat cat FICA skimming the cream! Is there anyone who can help Mlungisi obtain his ID and open a bank account?? We would value any assistance in rectifying this shameful situation. Please contact us at


Safety Concern

There is a growing concern about the safety of staff and youths at the reception centre, on the Victoria Embankment. Gangs of young adults have been loitering the public area, of late, around the centre and are violently attacking younger teens who are visiting the centre. Last week the police visited and cleaned up the park. Once the police had left the area the adults accused some of the staff members of calling the police and serious threats were made.

The solution: a protective fence that would surround reception centre and its visitors, creating a boundary for unwanted guests. This would also allow for safer grounds for the implementation of programmes run at the centre.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why I think we should support I Care

There is more than one dynamic to supporting I Care. The two most important reasons and the main reasons why I have aligned myself with I Care are;

To stop the verbal abuse the children have to experience when we don’t want to give them money and can’t say so gracefully.
The second being to remove the cause of the guilt that we experience when we can’t (or don’t want) to give them money.

I have always wondered at how much rejection these children can endure before it affects their self confidence and self respect. To me the best would be to remove them from being exposed to it.

I also feel extremely angry and frustrated that I should feel guilty for having what I have worked hard to earn, and wonder how many other people feel the same and therefore automatically react negatively towards these destitute children.

It makes such sense therefore to make a willing donation to an organisation who undertakes to reach out to these street children, to advise them of what is available to them and to guide them towards a better existence, at the same time taking care of the guilty feeling of not doing anything to relieve the problem.

Linda Prudden


Monday, September 1, 2008

3rd Rehab programme delayed

The Khuthaza Rehabilitation Programme has been postponed to a later date, as we are not able to secure a safe and healthy living environment for the youths during the 3 month programme. The programme was initially scheduled to kick of on the 5th September (this Friday). A new date has not been set as yet. If you are able to assist in providing housing (e.g. dorms or hostel space) for the youths please contact Lucia or Denise on 031 5726870. Or if you or your organisation are able to sponsor the construction of such a building please contact Ken on or 031 5726870.


Building a better future

I Care has made contact with a training company that runs skills development programmes in the manufacturing industry. Initially we were under the impression that the programme was R3000 per person, we have now discovered that the programme costs R5000 per person. This figure is out of our budget and we are unable to support the enthusiastic trainees. I Care is appealing to you, the public, to please step forward if you are able to assist us in sponsoring some of the youths through this programme. For more information contact Ken on 031 5726780 or


Food Parcels from Feedback

On Friday afternoon a few members of staff went down to Fruit and Veg City in Umgeni Road for the launch of Feedback's campaign 'Care2Carry'. The Umhlanga Rotary Club generously donated money to purchase vegetable hampers for I Care (the hampers were distributed to all the I Care homes). The staff members helped pack the hampers and posed for photos for local newspapers.


e-tv news

One of etv's main news articles last night was about how shop keepers are selling puncture repair kits to street children (at R3 a kit). Youths are using the kits for glue sniffing purposes; according to the article they can get up to 5hits (or highs) per repair kit.

Glue is a highly dangerous inhalant that can paralyze a person or even cause sudden sniffing death. Glue sniffing has more harmful effects than heroine or cocaine.

We are appealing to you as shop owners, stockists and concerned members of the public to make a stand against the selling of these repair kits to street children. These children are our future. Lets encourage them to better themselves and not endanger their lives through abuse and addiction.


Update - 3 New I Care homes

After many meetings, and what felt like endless document submissions, we are on track and plans are going full steam a head to build 3 new homes in Mid-Illovo. All 3 sets of house plans have been approved (finally) and construction should be completed by the middle of December 2008. Most of the materials have been donated to I Care (from various donors) and a construction consortium has very graciously offered to construct the buildings at no cost to I Care. The houses will be run by 2 house parents and there will be 6 boys in each home. (Our current house parent model is currently run under this system and has proved to be most supportive)


New Bus For I Care Children

Everyone at I Care was extremely excited about the news of the donation of a 16 seater bus from the Victor Daitz Foundation.The foundation has been a loyal supporter and donor of I Care for many years. Once again The Foundation has stepped forward and assisted I Care with resolving our logistical issue of transport that we were facing in the collecting and dropping off of children in and around Durban. Transport is vital as part of the I Care Cycle's housing and education. This vehicle will be used extensively in the transportation of the boys from our homes to school and back.

To find out other ways that you or your organisation can help visit


I Care Collection Can Project

I Care is always looking for new ways to create awareness through community involvement. Over the next couple of weeks I Care together with La Lucia Mall will be distributing collection cans to tenants at The Mall. We are encouraging shop owners to display the cans at their pay points. We would also like to encourage you, the public, to please donate any change you may have, thus helping us to fund our different programmes. If you are interested in having collection tins at your business please call 031 5726870 or email for more information.