James House continues to thrive despite set-back

Zainab Kader.

James House, a child and youth care centre in Hout Bay, is continuing its community work, despite the state pulling funding on one of its core programmes.

The Department of Social Development cited “high costs” when it withdrew funding from the STARS (Systematic Treatment of Adolescents with Challenging Behaviour in Residential Setting) programme earlier this year. (“A house in dire need”, Sentinel, February 9).

That led to retrenchments at James House, but the centre continues to serve more than a thousand children in Hout Bay and Vredendal through other programmes.

James House spokeswoman Zainab Kader said only STARS had closed.

“We are still fully engaged with the children through our BEST (Building Emotionally Strong Teams) programme and our Isibindi programme, which involves home visits, a child feeding scheme, facilitating birth certificates for children, therapeutic services and school based services.”

The centre has tried to fill any vacancies with staff who had been with the STARS programme and it has made funding appeals and run awareness drives and sale days in the community.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported us, and thank you to everyone who is planning on supporting us. Your contribution means the world to the communities we serve,” said Ms Kader.

James House has also launched a new training initiative.

“While James House is a child and youth care centre, many of the principles can be used across a variety of organisations and sectors,” said Ms Kader.

Later this month, the centre will host four training sessions: introduction to monitoring and evaluation; basic counselling skills; behaviour management skills training; and working with people affected by grief and trauma.

They will be run over three days by registered counsellors and senior child and youth care workers.

The centre is appealing for sponsorship for those who would like to attend but can’t afford to. It is also seeking donations to help the needy put food on the table.

“Comrades Marathon runners also have the chance to run for a charity of their choice, so we would be grateful if they could choose James House in order to raise funds,” Ms Kader said.

To help, or find out more about James House, email info@jameshouse.org.za or call 021 790 5616.