Resourceful Young Children

Resourceful Young Children
Learning Brief

Siyabonga Care Village

Introducing our Family and Community Motivators Programme

Category: Resourceful Young Children | Test population-based models of provision | 28 February, 2013 - 00:08


The Family and Community Motivators (FCM) program was initiated in May 2010 in response to the many pre-school children not attending any early childhood centre to stimulate their early development.  Most of the families of these children live in extreme poverty and are further challenged by abuse and unemployment.   To increase our impact in the community and in the lives of these children, we were trained as Family and Community Motivators in partnership with the Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU).  Ideally we would like to support and stimulate the child in his/her own home and at the same time reach the primary caregiver equipping them with parenting skills, growing their awareness and giving guidance according to their needs.

Our four Family and Community Motivators (FCMs) and Coordinator help children and families in a number of different ways by: Building support networks, home visits, toys for children, cluster workshops and playgroups. The focus is on the primary caregivers of children 0-9 years old. The Motivators work with caregivers using an adult-centred development approach taking the needs of the caregivers as well as the child in account. They identify the kind of knowledge and skills parents and family members have and what information they need in order for them to support the healthy growth and development of the children in their care. We also assist the family to get the documents they need to access social grants and other needed services. At the moment we are targeting 45 families in the Witteklip, Louwville, Vredenburg area.  The Vredenburg community has been identified as one of the areas with the most social crimes or problems.  We assist Social Workers or Social Auxiliary Workers by identifying and alerting them to issues.  

We have learned that when working with vulnerable communities, characterised by unemployment, poverty, illness, crime and violence, it is very necessary to work in partnership with other stakeholders and to do referrals in order to uplift or empower community participation and development. We still struggle to get the local municipality`s commitment and their support but we have partnered effectively with the following stakeholders:

  • The Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU) which has played a leading role in the early childhood development sector over the past 30 years. 
  • Department of Health (clinics ,hospitals): ‘The right to Health’ is addressed; through this FCM; Free primary care 
  • Department of Social Development: Social Relief of distress that provides emergency food parcels; social grants; child protection services;  family support services
  • Department of Education – National School nutrition programme  
  • Department of Justice / Magistrate`s court –  child support issues; child or parental rights
  • Department of Home Affairs – ID books, birth, marriage and death certificates 
  • South African Police Services –family violence, child abuse 

Poverty is not about not having money. It is an extremely complex issue and no response is complete without addressing spiritual, social and material aspects. The FCM programme addresses the basic needs of its beneficiaries and contributes to a better quality of life. The skills and abilities of people are used in their own development.  To ultimately establish the impact of FCM ELRU will assess behavioural changes, attitude and knowledge changes, partnerships, team work, communication and cooperation and a healing environment. The FCM programme has the potential to make an impact in poverty stricken areas where children are most at risk.  In the future we also hope to expand the program to other areas.

Farm 'Kleinplasie' Vredenburg Western Cape South Africa

 (022) 713 5730

In Short

In this short brief Siyabonga Care Village introduces us to their Family and Community Motivators programme which provides a variety of support services to 45 vulnerable families in Vredenburg in order to ultimately improve the early development outcomes for the children of the community. 

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