We provide safe spaces and facilitate community programmes that help children and youth reach their full potential!
We run ECD Centres, Aftercare Centres, Psychosocial support groups and community awareness and advocacy campaigns, that promote the education, health, welfare and psychosocial development of children and youth.
Home Based Care (HBC) to patients
We Provide Care
We Build Schools
Make A Change
What we care for
IMPROVING THE LIVES OF VULNERABLE CHILDREN
COC has developed a multi-level and multi-sectoral model that it follows in all the areas in which it works. This model serves to protect and support the well-being of children from preschool age right through to young adulthood by mitigating the effects of poverty, unemployment, violence and disease.
Children and youth are encouraged to participate meaningfully in decisions and interventions that affect them and their community.
HOME DROP-IN/ EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT CENTRES (HDIC/ECD Centres)
The first Home Drop-in Centre was started in July 2005 in Luganda, and there are now four centres helping 60 children.
The centres are for preschool children, aged between three to six years, who have been referred by the community as they are felt to be most at risk. The drop-in centre serves as a “day home” for the children. They provide a safe space, nutrition in the form of hot meals, early childhood development, basic life skills , play and love. Each centre is staffed with two trained Child Caregivers and a trainee.
Like the Home Drop-in Centres, the Aftercare centres cater to school-going children who are felt to be most at risk. The children attend the centres five days a week, as soon as school is finished and are cared for by two Child Caregivers. At the centre, they are given a meal, taught basic lifeskills, play games and receive support and love. They are also assisted with their homework and given extra tuition provided by the Centres After School Tutor.
We have four Aftercare centres helping over 150 children.
PSYCHOSOCIAL SCHOOL SUPPORT GROUPS
The first psychosocial support group began in KwaNdengezi in 2003 at Ndengetho High School, and there are now ten groups – four at High schools and six at Primary schools. Each group has a maximum of forty children.
The focus of the groups is on building resilience and is provided for children and youth need the additional support. The children and youth in the groups are identified with the help of the school and the community. Each group runs once a week and the sessions are facilitated by a trained School Group Mentor. Our objectives include:
- Helping to build peer relationships and reduce feelings of isolation
- Emotionally supporting the youth through some of the difficult experiences they might be confronting in their daily lives
- building self-esteem and an awareness of their own capabilities and talents
- assisting with physical and organisational needs (applications for grants, meals, etc.)
- providing life skills education
- and providing opportunities and safe spaces for these children to play and have fun.
A leadership camp for at least forty members drawn from the high school groups, is held every year. A playday event is arranged every year for the primary school children to showcase their talents and to play together.
Besides Drop-In Centres, Aftercare Centres and Psycho-Social School Support Groups, we also assist Children and youth in the Community who are not in these programmes. Children that are referred to us by the community or the schools are visited at their homes by our Child Caregivers (CCGs), and if necessary our health team. The CCGs are able to assess the home situation and provide ongoing support to both the child and the family.
EMPOWERING AND DEVELOPING FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES IN WHICH CHILDREN AND YOUTH LIVE
COC recognises that children do not live in isolation and that for any intervention to have a long-term impact, it must be reinforced by strong support structures – Empowering and strengthening family and community structures, provides the best opportunity for protecting and nurturing the potential of every child.
This is done through the following programmes:
COMMUNITY HEALTH PROGRAMMES
Health services are provided through our three mobile Wellness huts based in KwaNdengezi, Zwelibomvu and Thornwood. Children in the centres or those that are referred, are assessed to monitor developmental milestones. COC cooperates and works closely with the local Clinics.
The health team’s role also has a large preventative or empowerment component to it. This is achieved through health promotions and community awareness campaigns.
PARENT AND EDUCATOR WORKSHOPS
Parents and Educators are the most immediate interactions and adult influencers on children and youth. Strengthening the knowledge and skill sets of these two groups would have lasting benefits for the child.
COC strives to maintain open communication and relationships with parents and schools. Workshops on awareness of childhood diseases and their prevention, treatment and care; improving parenting skills and managing children in an ever-changing and challenging environment.
COMMUNITY BASED ORGANISATIONS (CBOs)
COC has helped establish a CBO in Thornwood, Zwelibomvu and KwaNdengezi. Each of these CBOs is independent with its own Board and NPO registration but retains a valuable and close partnership with COC. Where COC is able to provide financial and capacity building support, the CBO is able to provide local knowledge and local human resources which combines to offer a more comprehensive and effective response. The CBOs also help ensure the long term sustainability of the programmes being provided in the community.
PROMOTION OF VEGETABLE GARDENS
Is a way to provide food security and nutrition for families and communities. Two volunteer garden ‘experts’ known as Garden Gurus, are assigned to each area. Their role is to help establish and maintain the gardens at the Centres as well as encourage and assist families in the community to plant their own vegetable gardens – called the ‘One Home, One Garden’ project.
INCOME GENERATION AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Unemployment and poverty are major problems in the communities we serve, which in turn impacts the lives of children. In order to strengthen families, alternative sources of income have to be sought. Through the provision of skills development workshops and training opportunities, COC encourages the establishment of income generation projects.
Some examples of income generation projects COC helped to establish include:
- Two fee paying ECD centres
- Garden tunnel business
- Three sewing projects
- Grass cutting business
- Baking business
In partnership with other stakeholders, COC organises and facilitates community campaigns and workshops on topics that create awareness about children and youth issues and advocate for the rights of children. These campaigns also serve to empower children, youth, families and communities to address their own needs.