A global trend is happening right now and we are by no means isolated from its impact. Around the world everyone is starting to come to terms with the pandemic brought about by Covid19 and how life as we ‘knew’ it is starting to transform into something different.
At Siyakwazi, we, like many, are adjusting our strategy and way of working in accordance with the regulations and recommendations laid out by the South African Government. It’s an evolving process, but an opportunity which we welcome as we see it as a way of improving the quality of work that we offer, supporting children with disabilities and barriers to learning.
Under the level 4 guidelines, Siyakwazi is permitted to perform home-based care support for children with disabilities. This means that we are currently supporting 54 children with disabilities and their parents. Home-based visits include learning activities across a broad range of resources including Making Toys from Waste, Lego Six Bricks and Wordworks Every Word Counts. Our Catch-Up resource partner Treasures for Thematic teaching has supported us with a full Grade R and Grade 1 Workbook which can also be used by children for home-based learning.
Our teams are providing families with lego boxes and themed activity boxes using available resources from our resource library. Siyasizas will support parents with how to ladder the different activities for their children based on the age and any barriers the child may experience. Each child has an Individual Support Plan (ISP) which has been developed specifically for them and includes goals linked to movement and communication.
To minimise the use of public transport our Siyasizas have been reorganised to support children in their area – so within walking distance. Kwanzimakwe is made up of 4 main areas. Bhambula, Thongasi, Braemer and Woza. And of course our team in kwaXolo who work in the Manzimhlope area. We are looking forward to seeing how this new way of working will evolve.
We have been fortunate enough to receive additional funding to support more therapy resources. This will allow each of the 56 children to receive therapy support and/or an assessment in Term 2 (increasing our termly therapy support from 6 to 18 sessions). Considering only 21 children received therapy from our resource centre in Term 1 this will prove enormously beneficial to support these children in both their physical and cognitive development.
All therapy support under level 4 will be strictly home-based with sanitisation protocol adhered to in order to mitigate the risk of transmission.
As well as supporting children with disabilities we screened 1153 children in schools and ECD Centres in Term 1. From these 231 children were identified by our Red Flag tool as having barriers to learning and therefore being at risk of falling behind. With schools for Grade R’s and Grade 1’s only set to open in September and no indication as yet when ECD Centres will reopen, these children are missing out on over 3 months of learning – at a time in their lives when learning is critical. Our team are currently in contact with ECD practitioners and teachers to access contact info for these children so that we are able to reach out to parents and offer some type of remote-based catch-up support. The Grade R and Grade 1 workbooks will be distributed to children and we hope that Siyasizas will soon be able to offer small group-based catch-up learning.