Sibongile — Day & Night Care Centre

About Sibongile

Sibongile Day & Night Care Centre is a registered non-profit and public beneficiary organization (041-341-NPO and PBO 930 027 189) that aims at providing quality and loving physical, emotional and spiritual care to children with cerebral palsy (CP) and other severe disabilities in the community of Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Sibongile is based on Biblical Christian values.

The History

In January 2005, founder Nomasango Xabanisa began to take children with cerebral palsy (CP) into her home because she saw a great need for specialised care in her community and because her own daughter, Sibongile, was disabled due to CP. She realized that there was no organisation in the area that took care of these special children and - after receiving training at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town – registered Sibongile Day & Night Care Centre as a non-profit organisation in June 2005.

Finally, in September 2005, Sibongile received two remodelled shipping containers as a donation from Breadline Africa into which the children from Nomasango’s home (and very soon even more children from Khayelitsha) moved. Sadly, her daughter Sibongile passed away just a few months later leaving Nomasango with the courage to keep caring for other disabled children and giving the centre her beautiful name (which means “thank you” in isiXhosa).

Even though the containers provided the first step to formal care, there was neither any electricity, running water, space nor money for food, clothing and diapers. Having grown to 12 children by 2006 it became clear that a proper brick house and sufficient support was needed. More and more people became aware of Sibongile and the first international donations started coming and sustaining the basic needs of the children by the end of that year.

In May 2007, Home from Home made the offer to build a house for Sibongile and after a lot of prayer, searching and hoping, the construction of Sibongile 2 commenced in June 2008. Meanwhile, the container site (Sibongile 1) was crammed with 19 children. The situation was only relieved when Sibongile’s miracle house was completed in August 2008 and 12 of the children moved into the new house. In December 2009 the remaining children from the container moved into a second beautiful house, Sibongile 3, that has also been donated by Home from Home.

The family continued to grow and August 2010 we received two 8-seater vehicles sponsored by Ein Herz fur Kinder (Germany). Meanwhile the original container site was used for office and storage space until Sibongile started it’s day care program in February 2011. With the arrival of six new children, placed with us by social services Sibongile began renting and later purchased our third residential house; Sibongile 4.

With more staff and volunteers coming on board bringing a range of expertise and skills, Sibongile had a year of breakthroughs in 2012. Our first child was given a placement to formal schooling as well as the Department of Social Development coming on board to support us with government funding. In March of 2012 there was the grand opening of the fully transformed and renovated container site that now operates as the Day Care Centre.

Staff

Starting off with only three staff Sibongile now in 2013 employs 25 women from the local community; 22 as care-givers and 3 day care teachers. The management team consists of the director, who is supported by three house supervisors as well as the administrator/finance officer, a volunteer physiotherapist and part time public relations/admin assistant. We also have two drivers and the board of governors headed up by the chairman.

The staff members of Sibongile are all people from the local community who have a great heart for the children. Their daily responsibilities range from tending to the physical and medical needs of the children (bathing, feeding, diaper changing, basic physiotherapy, attending hospital appointments and clinics) to maintaining the facilities (washing, cleaning, cooking, shopping, driving).

The day care centre operates Monday-Friday from 7.30am-4pm and the 3 residential houses run 24 hours per day, 7 days a week with mama’s working on a shift basis.

The Future

Sibongile has grown rapidly in the first 7 years and we believe that as we come out of this pioneering phase there is still a great future and many exciting challenges ahead.

First of all, it is our aim to develop and implement excellent individualized programs extending the current physiotherapy programs, and to include occupational and speech therapy programs to ensure that each child reaches its full potential both physically and mentally. Continued positive working relationships with Red Cross Hospital and local clinics, as well as therapeutic advice and input from specialized organisations such as Senecio are our main objectives in that area.

Our long-term objective for 2016 is to build on the quality and professionalism of the care and education for our children. This will involve ongoing internal training and professional development for the staff as well as opportunities for more parent/family involvement and community outreach events such as parent support groups, and disability awareness workshops.

Want to keep track of Sibongile’s progress in regard to these plans? Sign up for our quarterly newsletter!

Current Facilities

Khayelitsha is a large township community situated in the Cape Flats area of the Western Province of South Africa, the district continues to expand and develop and is located 20 minutes from the heart of Cape Town CBD. The Xhosa people who are part of the Sibongile family are always welcoming and friendly. They bring joy, singing and a mother’s heart to our children and visitors alike. It is evident to see at Sibongile that the people embrace their vibrant culture despite the often high crime and unemployment rates as well as many other socio-economic challenges that affect the community in which they live. 

Sibongile currently consists of one day care centre in Phakamisa, Khayelitsha and three 3-bedroom houses in Ilitha Park, Khayelitsha. The day care centre provides care and a basic education/therapy programme for up to 20 children. This includes some residential children from Sibongile as well as children from the community, who live with parents or family. The three residential locations house 37 children.

Sibongile wants to make children with disabilities feel loved. Mothers who give birth to these special children shouldn’t abandon them, but should love them. They are children of God.