There are currently rehabilitation programmes in operation:
1. Full board housed shelter for 45 – 50 young girls in Berea.
We have a Children’s home for 24 girls in Kensington and a Youth and Drop-In Centre houses 30 young woman in Berea. The girls are housed, clothed, fed, given the necessary education as part of their rehabilitation.
2. Outreach to orphaned and vulnerable children in the inner City of Johannesburg.
We help children under 18 years enrol in school, get school uniforms and help them to obtain documents i.e. birth certificates and I.D documents. Our trained volunteers also see to it that these children are fed. Mam’ Khanyi and her staff (mostly young girls who have gone through other programmes) regularly visit blocks of flats in the area surrounding the shelter, itself housed in one of them. They persuade security guards and body corporates to put up condo-cans (containing condoms) and let it be known that they are there to talk and to help.
3. Capacity Building and Re-Integration into Society
Diverting young people away from prostitution by supporting them with educational and vocational training. Hope of Hope has managed to enroll 80% of their children into New Nation School – with an excellent pass rate – and secure yet others, places in corporate sponsored Skills Training programmes.
To continue to facilitate in-house training, Cida College, IPEC, SOLSA and The Dept of Health gave our staff some trainings and workshop. And by teaching the children Arts and Culture and Gumboot / Traditional dance enables us to perform for funds at corporate workshops etc.
4. Providing nutrition through on-site and on-street feeding schemes.
When there are available funds, we provide one meal a day for homeless people in Berea, Betrams and Mayfair.
5. Growing food in permaculture gardens.
We are working with community members in Mayfair who also benefit from the gardens, doing digging, planting, weeding, picking etc. for a sustainable food source. We teach community members the skills they need to maximise benefit from the gardens. This also gives community members an opportunity to start their own new gardens. At the home in Kensington, our vegetable gardens are thriving too!
6. Prevention, education and early intervention around issues of HIV/AIDS, STI’s, sex and reproduction health in a high risk area
Forming and sustaining support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS. Home of Hope runs Support Groups, of 15 – 30 members each, for people infected and affected by HIV / AIDS.
There are Support Groups that are ‘closed’, which means the members’ status is not known to anyone outside the group. Closed group members are mostly made up of “graduates” of the shelter, who know one another well and are prepared to share their deepest experiences. The closed groups do not allow new members until there is space for them to do so. Many of them are HIV+ and are on ARVs, others are on TB treatment and the support groups help them keep on the medicine regimes.
Groups take place in one of the flats the girls share and a shelter care worker is assigned to the group and attends all the meetings. Individual counselling is offered when it is needed.
At the ‘open’ Support Groups, members disclose their status to everyone. Groups are held once a week for anyone who finds themselves alone in a strange city, or is in need of the support of others who share his or her sense of despair and need for belonging. They are held in churches or recreation centres. These are bigger groups and less intimate. They talk about their circumstances; their rights; where to go for help and about the dangers of HIV and AIDS. Home of Hope also tries to assist with stakeholder relations to assist with job opportunities for the community.
Often when the young people leave the support groups they become peer educators or volunteers, helping Home of Hope with their work
7. Re-unification of beneficiaries to their families
The re-unification of beneficiaries to their families is a vital component of the work we do at Home of Hope. It takes time and effort, and expenses are incurred on many levels during the course of the process.
The re-unification process begins when a new girl comes into Home of Hope. Our main aim is to counsel her and hopefully facilitate the re-uniting with her family or extended family. She is required to complete forms to give us as much information as possible so we can locate family and friends. The girl is asked to draw a family tree to give us the history, with names and contact numbers, addresses and any information she may have to assist us. We start by looking for a contact.
Most of the Girls arrive without any identification. This is because either the orphans parents never arranged ID before they passed; the child was trafficked under age without an ID; or the ID was stolen, taken or used illegally. . Unless they remember addresses and telephone numbers off the top of their heads, we will have to start researching. The tracing process is costly and time consuming
Once we have a contact, we call them and arrange a time to meet with them. If they are local it makes it easier to meet with the family. Mam’ Khanyi will then meet with the family to assess the environment and see how the family is doing emotionally. And even if they want the girl to come home. In many cases, due to extreme poverty, they do not want the child to return home and rather to remain at Home of Hope
Under other circumstances, like sexual or drug and alcohol abuse, it may not be safe for her to return home. She will then remain at Home of Hope to continue her education.
We have tried using the police, social services and municipal offices to assist us but have found this to be difficult due to lack of resources.
8.Providing care to the elderly and homeless people living in the streets of Johannesburg.
Home of Hope assists with documentation for the elderly and refers them to shelters and health care centre. We also assist with reunifying them with their families.
In summary, our programmes encompass the following:
Home of Hope is engaged in increasing awareness of the plight of children on the street, in very poor homes and those in brothels in Johannesburg inner city. Our reach includes public awareness and awareness among the children themselves. For example, education on the dangers of HIV/AIDS, drugs, prostitution and other forms of crime and offering hope by way of choices to the children.
We are working towards a safer and more beneficial neighbourhood for the young people who live there. This means creating an environment where the pimps and drug-dealers no longer rule the streets. We work closely with the South African Police Services and other welfare organisations as part of our attempt to root out intimidation and abuse. We also provide immediate relief for at risk children, and set in motion legal action for those posing the threats.
An integral part of Home of Hope’s rehabilitation programmes is ensuring that each child in our care receives an education and/or skills’ training that will enable them to earn a living without being dependent on their exploiters for food and shelter. And so, become self-supporting, and contributing members of society.