Viva Foundation Measurable Outcomes for 2020

How Viva made a difference in 2020

Viva Covid19 Disaster Management Programme - as early as February 2020, it became clear that the beneficiaries of the Viva Foundation's different initiatives, belong to a demographic that will be most affected by the Pandemic and its economic impact.  The poor - it was clear - will feel the impact of Covid19 more drastically than any other group in society.  The first concern was food security and Viva management and team set out to meet this challenge head-on.  Funders - both corporate and private individuals, began rallying behind the organisation's efforts.  Two main Food Parcel Distribution Points were created, one at the Viva Village, Mamelodi East and one in Melville, Johannesburg.  While the Viva Feeding Scheme used to provide approximately 133 000 meals per year, the organisation reached a number of 1 207 000 [one million two hundred and seven thousand] meals during 2020.  This includes meals cooked and served at the Viva Independent School and Viva Kids Early Learning Centre, as well as food parcels distributed in Mamelodi and Melville.  We are humbled that our organisation and team, were entrusted with the resources to make this possible. 

Viva Kids Mamelodi - Early Learning Centre provided education, care and childhood development to children in 4 age-groups from 3 months to 5 years old, in the Alaska Informal Settlement, Mamelodi East at the onset of the year, incl. Early Childhood Development and care includes set curriculum, numeracy, school readiness, including SOUNS Literacy programme, play, outings and nutritional support.  Due to the Covid19 restrictions and Lockdown, the Viva Kids Early Learning programme took on learners only from Grade RR (4 - 5 years) and incorporated the group into the School. The rest of the learners received assistance via the Feeding Scheme's outreach to families. 

Viva Village Independent School Mamelodi – provided quality Independent Education to 272 Children in Foundation Phase (Grade RR to Grade 3) and Intersen Phase [Grade 4 to 6]] with qualified, SACE registered faculty and augmented CAPS curriculum.  The impact and benefit of an independent school in an informal settlement, became obvious during the Lockdown, when public schools remained closed, but private schools were allowed to open and continue educating learners.  

We provide Computer training in our Computer Lab, sponsored by Vodacom SA, Music Tuition sponsored by private donors from the Sonnebrink Church, Winterswijk in Holland and Art tuition in additional to regular curriculum.  

SAPRI - South African People's Response Initiative - Sexual Violence Prevention and Response. During the first years in operation, the programme saw 250 deployed panic buttons in the community, eradicated sexual violence (cases reduced from 120 rapes per year in the neighbourhood, to 0 attempted rapes and 0 rapes for 2019 in the beneficiary pool) and domestic violence (30% of all women regularly, or sporadically abused by partners, reduced to 1 case of domestic violence for 2019) among our beneficiaries.  The Department of Social Development VEP unit, came on board and sponsored the salaries of a Social Worker, two Auxiliary Social Workers and 7 Community Respondents. The SAPRI team went from 1 coordinator, to a team of 10 very engaged members.  They conducted monthly community forum and awareness events and have been able to do face-to-face counselling at Viva and daily home visits.  This continued until March 2020, when the Department of Social Development decided to stop funding the programme.  The SAPRI team was effective in the Covid Disaster Management activities until the funding for their salaries came to an end and in June, the team had to sadly be retrenched.  The programme was placed on hold to make provision for the loss of funding and the focus shift toward the school and Feeding Scheme, however, Viva CEO continued to be involved in activism against Gender-based Violence and consulted on a team submitting a petition to Parliament. 

Art – The focus of the Art programme, particularly Music and the Viva Children's Choir, shifted to the Viva Independent School, as part of the augmented curriculum.  The bi-weekly music lessons in the school continues but the choir was unable to perform, due to Covid19 restrictions.  However, rehearsals continued and the choir grew significantly.  We eagerly await future opportunities to perform and bring our joy and energy to the stage again. 

Poverty Alleviation - Skills training and Enterprise Development is a focus area that moved to exclusively provide food security support to vulnerable families in Mamelodi and Melville, Johannesburg. Viva, as the only formal employer in the Alaska Informal Settlement, provides jobs and regular income to 25 individuals, impacting their families and living conditions dramatically.  The loss of the SAPRI team and resignation of 2 of our teachers, as a result of funding losses during the Lockdown, is a very sad outcome of the Pandemic and we are thankful for the remainder of the team, that continued working at reduced salary rates and under difficult conditions.  

Youth Development - The Switch On Youth learning-to-learn after school care programme started their Dance, Drama, Art & Poetry programme on three afternoons per week at the onset of the year, but the programme was put on hold until Lockdown and Covid19 Restrictions will allow it again.  A number of the young people began volunteering at the Viva Village and assisted with the distribution of food parcels and the regular sanitation and cleaning of the centre. 

Infra-structure and Expansion – While the Lockdown and restrictions halted many projects, Viva Project Manager and Chairperson, Leon Kriel and a small handful of workers, were able to complete the Viva Refilwe campus and we moved into the new offices at the soonest opportunity after Lockdown.  Furthermore, 2 new shipping container classrooms were installed, funded by the Mazda Foundation.  Building and equipping of the Refilwe campus and offices, were also sponsored by Heva e.V., Hatfield Christian Church and a private donations.  The new Campus will welcome learners in January 2021.