Children’s homes feel effects of 21-day lockdown

Children’s homes feel effects of 21-day lockdown

Some children’s homes in the province have spoken out about their challenging experiences during the 21-day lockdown. 

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Ethelbert Child and Youth Care Centre in Queenburgh has put in stringent measures in place to ensure the safety of the 65 children housed at the facility. 

Some staff members have opted to stay at the home for the duration of the lockdown.  

“As an organization we are navigating our way through the lockdown as best as we can, just like everyone in the country. Our staff has committed to locking down at our centre for the well-being and safety of our children,” Director, Vanessa Theophilus said.

READ: COVID-19 cases confirmed in 3 Durban townships

She says prior to the lockdown they had restricted access to the facility from all service providers, visitors, partners and donors.

“This was a very difficult decision because many of our loyal supporters were not able to come through and deliver donated meals, groceries and educational toys. We have also put in place sanitization practices to ensure spaces are kept clean.”

Theophilus said her team found it difficult to explain the rules of the lockdown to the little kids.

 “Our initial challenge has been helping our children understand that they would not be able to receive visitors of family members or visit their host parents or family members during the holidays. This has been extremely difficult for the children.”

Stocking up on food and other supplies is a daily concern for the workers at the Zamokuhle Community Centre in Umlazi. 

Nokwazi Xulu who runs the facility which houses 35 children says a lack of public transport in the area, forces them to buy essentials from smaller shops with limited stock.

“Transport has not been operating in our area the last few days, we have been trying to source food from local tuck shops, which we sometimes can’t find those basic items,” Xulu said.

Having the children cooped up indoors has taken a toll on their daily activities.

“As a small centre we use parks in the community for children to play and engage with other children, with the lockdown, children are indoors, and it is very frustrating for them,” Xulu added.

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