The month of May was Child Protection month in South Africa, with a Child Protection Week from the 27th May – 2nd June 2015. The theme was “Working Together to protect children”. The TREE Early Childhood Development Enabling Environment department (Centocow, Kwazulu Natal) has embarked on an ongoing outreach campaign that encourages and supports collaborations between males and females in caring for children and the fight against child abuse. Young and old were called upon and TREE Family Facilitators from the Centocow Community paired up with community members to initiate two programmes.

Life skills group sessions

Children doing a Life Skills group activity

Children doing a group activity before their Life Skills discussion

Groups of teenagers from around Centocow were engaged in dialogues about teenage pregnancy and substance abuse among the youth. The high incidents of school drop outs was an additional issue that surfaced as a concern in relation to parents not supporting the education of their children. As one of the vital children’s rights, education was explored from a community development perspective. Each child shared their dreams and ambitions and was made to see how each dream can only be achieved with education as the foundation.

Caregiver dialogues

A dialogue was held with a group of Primary Care Givers with the aim of addressing gendered vulnerabilities, particularly the division of labour with regards to child rearing. Issues discussed included the impact of domestic violence and substance abuse within the home; girls not being supported to remain in school; mothers solely carrying child/family rearing responsibilities and the absence of male role models for children. Many cultural and traditional beliefs were raised and discussed in relation to a man’s role as the head of the household. In conclusion the men were requested to partner with women in preserving households and families.

new mothers at the primary caregivers dialogue

A group of new mothers attending the primary caregivers dialogue on child rearing

Encouraged by feedback TREE says: “We are very encouraged by the feedback from both groups, with one of the teenage girls thanking us for the dialogue: “Today I learned that my education is very important for my future!” A newly married mom told us: “I will encourage my husband to be more involved in bringing up my children.” TREE’s Plan of Action for these different groups is to provide support for the Family Facilitators and the Centocow community to ensure the growth of these campaigns. We are very proud of the process taking place and believe these kinds of initiatives go a long way in improving vulnerable communities.”

Report from SHARE – Where South Africa’s Mamas Meet – MAMAS Alliance Newsletter #3 – June 2015

The TREE Facilitators have received training in using Persona Dolls. Help us to provide this training for the Teachers in Centocow.

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    Devon Centocow Link

    Jane Habermehl an early years specialist teacher made links with a group of schools in Rurual Kwa-Zulu-Natal in September 2001. The Exmouth Centocow Linking Assoc. was formed on her return and over the years she has shared her knowledge of pre-schools in South Africa and revisited the teachers on several occasions.
    Devon Centocow Link
    Devon Centocow Link
    Rural Pre-school teachers of the Centocow area need your support.

    The aim of my original trip to Centocow in 2001 was to work alongside pre-school teachers, helping them to set up an association which would unite them and give them mutual support and become a force for group training. Each time I visit I learn more about the country and its culture and feel privileged to work alongside these dedicated teachers. The teachers here work on a voluntary basis in very inadequately resources buildings.

    In 2001 there were eighteen pre-schools and now their number has swelled to sixty. Working with Zimbili Dlamini, the co-ordinator of the Family Literacy Project we have divided the schools into six clusters by area. Each cluster chose a co-ordinator who would arrange a meeting every six to eight weeks to share resources and support each other, helping each other with funding applications. They would have a smaller transport bill and Zimbili would be a nominal co-ordinator distributing funds for transport and refreshment costs but twice a year calling whole Association meetings for training purposes. The first of these will be in December when a social worker will visit them to advise them on the lengthy and complex bureaucratic process of registration.

    Registration does not give the teachers other than a nominal quarterly payment but it does ensure that their provision is adequate in a basic sense and the big bonus is that they receive good food for the children they care for on a daily basis.

    By Jane Habermehl.

    Devon Centocow Link is committed to pay the teachers’ travel costs to their meetings and for maintaining a few essential resources such as scissors crayons and glue. See the whole article at
    for more information about our work with the pre-schools.

    Please consider a monthly donation, however small, in order for us to continue this basic support
    Devon Centocow Link
    Devon Centocow Link
    Pre-schools in Centocow KZN
    Devon Centocow Link
    Devon Centocow Link is with Sibongile Mtungwa.
    Girl Power

    18 teenage girls from four rural schools in the Centocow area are working towards becoming Authentic African Women for the 21st Century.

    Check in for more information on our website www.devon-centocow-link.org.uk
    Devon Centocow Link
    Devon Centocow Link
    Zimbile and the Family Literacy Project

    One of the exciting developments for Devon Centocow Link since becoming a registered charity is the potential for learning from and engaging with our partner non-profit organisations. This opportunity gives us further scope for assisting in new ventures as well as benefiting our current projects.

    Find out more at

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        • Good teachers everywhere understand that the best future for their pupils lies in a good education. Teachers are juggling the demands of changing curricula with the welfare of children in their care.

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    Social and Community Care Workers

        • Health and social care workers, across Devon have first hand knowledge of how physical and mental health issues are impacted by poverty and homelessness. In Devon these roles are often being met by specialists from a range of nationalities who can bring a different perspective to their job.

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      • With the growth of social media throughout the world, young people no longer need to suffer the stigma of HIV/Aids in isolation. Web sites and Facebook pages etc. allow young people to talk openly about the issues they face.

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