The Bokone Community Home-Based Care and Early Childhood Development is a beneficiary in the Charities Sector of the NLC. The project has received a grant totalling just over R1 779 000 to support its operational costs and to further its infrastructure development. The funding priority for the organisation fits within the NLC’s remit of focusing funding on education and community development. The project has used the funding to enhance its offering to the local community.
Based in Gauteng, Bokone Community Home-Based Care and Early Childhood Development provides a variety of critical services to its 889 beneficiaries, many of whom are vulnerable individuals living in challenging conditions.
Bokone runs a feeding scheme for 613 school children. This is a critical activity, particularly in South Africa where the adage “you can’t teach a hungry child” has never been truer. Nutrition is a key contributor to ensuring that children benefit from their education. Hunger affects physical and mental growth, and the issue is of such importance that the National Development Plan (NDP) has clearly stated that “by 2030, feeding schemes in schools should cover all children in need and provide food that is high in nutritional content and rich in vitamins”.
The statistics back this up. According to Unicef, 11.9 million children live in poverty and one in three children across the country experience hunger or are at risk of hunger. To add to this problem, statistics from the Department of Basic Education show that only half of those children who enter grade 1 manage to make it to grade 12. In addition, a Statistics South Africa report on Early Childhood Development in South Africa found that the growth one third of children in Gauteng and the Free State was stunted as a result of chronic malnutrition.
The inherent inequalities in South African society rob many children of their childhood. The Bokone Community Home-Based Care and Early Childhood Development project provides children with meals on a daily basis, ensuring that their bodies are given the fuel they need to open up the potential of their young minds.
Alongside the feeding scheme, Bokone focuses on Early Childhood Development. Its committed centre provides children with the educational tools and support they need to drive their development and give them every opportunity to thrive. This early stage of a child’s physical, social and intellectual development is key to ensuring that children will reach their full potential. Research has shown that the stimuli that a child receives in the early years fundamentally impact on their growth and development as they mature.
The NLC’s investment in this project not only supports the community and the youth, but forms a vital foundation in helping the country break the cycle of poverty. By giving children the best possible start to their lives, the Bokone is supporting the reduction of social inequality and inspiring the next generation.
The project also provides a home-based care and drop-in centre that supports more than 200 individuals. This provides essential services to sick people while simultaneously supporting vulnerable family members. The team at Bokone provides hands-on support for vulnerable people that includes food, managing medication, hygiene and house cleaning.
These regular visits not only ensure that people receive ongoing care and support in a time of need, but that children in these homes are observed by a trained caregiver who can help them with their physical, social and emotional needs. These services extends beyond the walls of the organisation and into the community as a whole.
The vision of the NLC is ‘To be the Catalyst for Social Upliftment’. Through projects like Bokone, the NLC is able to catalyse action in communities, and funding such organisations means that more people can benefit from their services.
To date, the Bokone Community Home-Based Care and Early Childhood Development has provided employment for 177 people. These roles are divided up across the home-based caregivers, , early childhood development practitioners, the clinic, volunteers, gardening services and street sweeping workers.
Gauteng is the smallest province, but has the highest number of registered NPOs at 60 000.
At the end of FY 2017/18, the allocation of funds to the province was 29.53% of the total budget for distribution – a rand value of R441-million. This was distributed across the NLC’s funded sectors of Arts, Culture and National Heritage which received 35.26%, Charities received 27.84%, Sport and Recreation received 25.48%, and the Miscellaneous Purposes Sector received 61.48%.
The Bokone Community Home-Based Care and Early Childhood Development is a source of pride for the NLC, forming a strong foundation for the youth, the elderly and the infirm in the area and delivers essential services and support.
For the National Lotteries Commission, the Bokone Community Home-Based Care and Early Childhood Development project is a testament to the value and impact that NLC funding can provide.. It also highlights the importance of community-focused initiatives, as they can lay critical foundations for the future South Africa.