The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) believes that the private sector has a fundamental role to play in breaking patterns of violence towards women and children, normally happening in the family setting. This is achieved through the facilitation of a cultural shift in the workplace, involving management and employees to shape and influence change around domestic violence.

One such company, Tikketai, has joined forces with the ISS to do just that, with the participating employees naming the programme “Free to Grow”, which fits in so well with the sector they work in, a national wholesaler of broccoli and cauliflower all year round, and the level on which this programme empowers them. 

Tikketai CEO Burger Gericke says that they see and acknowledge that violence at home also affects the workplace.  “We can link it directly to increased absenteeism and reduced productivity.   However, this is not our only motivation.  We truly care for the people that work at Tikketai and want to empower them with skills that make them happier, healthier people.  We want to equip and support them to cope with work and home life stresses,” he states.

How the programme works

This 12-week gender-violence programme has been running at Tikketai since 2019.  The human-centred design methodology is used to build an effective programme for the people who need it and can benefit from it.  Rapid testing is done where the programme is facilitated, feedback from the voluntary attendees is gathered, and the programme is adapted, refined, and represented again. To date, about 40 employees from Tikketai have voluntarily participated in the programme. 

Feedback on the success of the programme

Beyond helping the staff at Tikketai, programme coordinators have seen participants taking the tips and tools back to family and friends which has a far-reaching and momentous effect back in the community. In the workplace, they have clearly seen a return on investment since the programme has been running.  There is less conflict on the production line, improved relationships between staff members, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity.  Partnerships like these are win-win deals for businesses and communities alike. 

Tikketai has shown, that even small businesses can become industry leaders in supporting women and enabling violence prevention and SAPPIN applauds the work they and the ISS are doing for our communities. 

Dlalanathi has received a grant to launch their partnership project entitled “Championing ECD at home: Advocating for home-based, parent-led ECD in SA communities.

Dlalanathi, the lead partner, together with 2 other KZN-based organisations, Thandanani Children’s Foundation and Singakwenza, have collaborated to bring together a suite of different, essential and complementary skills and expertise to design an integrated pilot programme, responsive to a critical gap, to provide support to parents and caregivers through home-based early learning and responsive care.

The grant was provided by The Nurturing Care Framework (NCF) for Early Childhood Development: A framework for helping children survive and thrive to transform health and human potential. 

The NCF was co-developed by the World Bank, UNICEF and other partners to provide a road map for systematising the provision of ECD services to equalise development to build human capital. 

The NCF draws on evidence generated over the past two decades to provide the formula to change the situation of young children to enable them to escape the intergenerational poverty trap, and in so doing, set the country back on course to achieve its inclusive, sustainable development goals. The formula is well-recognised and embedded in South Africa’s ECD policy which commits to the sustained provision of services in 5 key areas: 

Whilst most young children in South Africa (70%) receive health services through a well-developed health system with a sound community- and home-based delivery footprint, only 30% receive responsive caregiving and early stimulation and learning (Ilifa Labantwana, ECD Review, 2019).

We at SAPPIN wish Dlalanathi well in this endeavour and applaud the work they are doing.

Dr. Nicki Dawson (Ububele Parent-Infant Programme Manager) and Esther Chunga (Ububele Clinical Director) published a paper on the importance of reflective supervision for staff working in implementing organisations in February. The paper, published in a special issue of the Journal of Psychological Services, provides a rationale for the importance of reflective spaces for community-based organisations. An overview of Ububele's supervision model is presented alongside a case example. The paper argues that the provision of supervision is an essential cost driver for ensuring responsible, quality, culturally-sensitive delivery of psychosocial support programmes, and should not be compromised on.

In 2022, Mikhulu was funded by the Women’s Voice and Leadership South Africa Fund to print three of their wordless books dealing with gender roles in the home and around positive male role models. These books were to be used in their programme for fathers developing relationships with their young children as well as for distribution to families who were practicing book-sharing. 

In February 2023, they were invited to the Women’s Voice and Leadership Summit and Awards in Pretoria to present their work on the project. The research underpinning the book-sharing programme, as well as the fact that the programme addresses three of the major risk factors for adopting violent behaviour later on in life particularly impressed the panel. They were excited by the role that this programme could play in preventing violence. 

As a result, Mikhulu was selected as the winner of the Gender-Based Violence – Rapid Response category of the Learning and Sharing Summit Awards for 2023.

The Summit offered opportunities to see some of the amazing work being done by organisations all over the country and Mikhulu Trust are proud to be part of this group making a difference in promoting gender equality.

ISS recently hosted a webinar entitled “Why Should Male Caregivers Attend Parenting Programmes?” The purpose of this webinar was to share lessons learnt from implementing and evaluating parenting programmes for fathers, in South Africa and Uganda. 

Parents play an important role in reducing violence against children, and parenting programmes help parents to adopt parenting behaviours that are nurturing and non-violent. This extends to fathers and male caregivers, who, historically, have an influence on the intergenerational adoption of violence. 

Parenting programmes that help parents shape nurturing and non-violent relationships with their children, fall into one of the seven INSPIRE Strategies for Ending Violence Against Children. The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has led several important events to understand, unpack and take stock of how the INSPIRE package is being used to prevent violence against children in South Africa. 

Mikhulu Trust: Book-Sharing

As part of the webinar the Mikhulu Trust presented their programme for fathers called “Ixesha lam noTata”, which is an early childhood book-sharing programme for fathers and their young children. 

The project was run in partnership with the University of Cape Town and Sonke Gender Justice in 2021/2022. The purpose of the project was to adapt an existing evidence-based programme for parents to be more attractive to fathers and then pilot and test the impact of this programme on children’s risk factors for adopting violent behaviour later in life. 

The programme was piloted in Gugulethu, Cape Town, early in 2022. Many of the lessons learnt through the evaluation were around understanding fathers’ contexts more deeply, and adapting the practicalities of implementing programmes with men/fathers. This includes developing a greater understanding of fathers’ contexts across multiple dimensions, understanding, and developing distinct recruitment processes that clearly communicate the requirements and expectations of fathers’ participation, developing flexible programme offerings to accommodate both employed and unemployed fathers, and purposeful thinking and planning around incentives of participation. 

The members of the Mikhulu Trust say that they learnt many lessons from this evaluation, and a clear next step would be to identify what needs to be done to help fathers commit to participating in parenting programmes.

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