Uviwe Child and Youth Services was established in 1917. The organisation was then known as the ‘PE Society for the Protection of Child Life’. Since 1918, Uviwe continues to be an organisation rich in history and playing a leading role in child protection services in the Eastern Cape. Their primary focus has always been the ‘protection of child rights issues’.
Mission / Vision:
Uviwe Child and Youth Services remain a child centred organisation with the child's best interest and well-being at the core of all decisions, projects and services. The organisation strives to be a partner in building communities fit to raise every one of its children.
Pro-active Service Delivery:
Although the starting point may not be direct contact with a child or the family, but rather the community in which they live, the service Uviwe provides, or partnerships they initiate must always have the child as its core focus. Uviwe believes in a community based approach to protect children and develop youth.
Re-active Service Delivery:
Where Uviwe deals with abuse, neglect or abandonment, the starting point is assessing the child, then the family and finally the community in which they live.
Mission / Vision of four Service Pillars:
- Champions of children’s rights: Every child is valued in its community and should be protected and nurtured for a better community in the future;
- Empowering communities: Starting at grassroots and co-creating communities that are well skilled and economically self-reliant;
- Agents of hope: Passionate about the potential and strengths in every child, family and community and acknowledging the positive effect it has on that child's community;
- Accessing sustainable partnerships: Collaborating with the community, other organisations, sponsors and those who share the same enthusiasm for the upliftment of the local community.
Main activities and services – projects / programmes and event:
Service Areas and Programmes
- Early Childhood Development: Nutrition programme; Education programme
- Youth Development: Youth Forum/Mentorship programme, ‘Ready for Success’ Life Skills; Teacher Learner Care (TLC) Programme; Partnerships for youth employment
- Training Academy: Professional training and lectures; Internship and learnership and student; Staff development; Public courses
- Community Empowerment: School awareness; National prevention campaigns; Trained community volunteers; Neighbourhood Friends
- Child Abuse Crisis Unit: Child Abuse Assessment; Children’s Court Inquiry (CCI); Safe House programme
- Alternative Care: Foster Care/Kinship Care; Adoption; Adoption related tracing; Family reunification
- Family Empowerment: Heart to Heart Parenting programme; Teenage mother / father programme; Counselling and therapy programme; Family group conferencing; Monitoring programme
- Forensic Services: Victim Empowerment: KITE and KWIC; Children in Conflict with the Law; Expert witness in court
- Projects And Partners: Caring for Creches project (Infant Trust); Firemaker project (Zakheni); Thuthuzela project Justice, Health and Social Development; Afcon Child Protection project (UNICEF).
Challenges and opportunities
Uviwe’s biggest challenge at this stage remains sustainable funding and covering general running costs to keep going. The organisation has been blessed in receiving programme funding, but Uviwe also needs competent people and volunteers to sustain services – and people draw salaries. The shortfall between salaries paid to Social Service Professionals at non-governmental organisation level and the subsidy received in this regard has created immense pressure on Uviwe. Government subsidy contributes approximately 57 percent towards the total cost of the organisation’s 24 Social Workers, nine Social Auxiliary Workers and three fieldworkers. At this stage funding towards the day-to-day costs of running Uviwe is a crisis. Uviwe believes in creating opportunities out of most service delivery challenges and has experienced the right type of partnership strengthens communities and organisations.
Impact and contribution to society:
Uviwe has an electronic ‘management information system’ to track services, contact with clients and the productivity of its teams. Uviwe remains accountable to all their donors and accurate (verified) reports are their flagship. Uviwe’s biggest areas of impact remain:
- Protection of children’s rights, specifically in the area of abuse, neglect and abandonment and empowering communities to protect their own children;
- Providing alternative care options to abused and severely neglected children, whilst working with parents towards reunification;
- Empowering communities through training of unemployed community volunteers and linking youth with employment partners;
- Provide effective support, court preparation and treatment services to child and youth victims of crime such as rape, violence and sexual abuse;
- Sustainable youth development by focusing on a selected number of youth enrolled in the Teacher-Learner-Care programme;
- Providing professional training courses to equip Social Service professionals with skills and knowledge to implement the Children Act and enhance the child protection system in the Eastern Cape.
To view Uviwe Child and Youth Services in the Prodder NGO Directory, click here.