The Parent Centre gets a financial boost

The board members, are pictured, from left, Venecia Barries, director; Shona Sturgeon, vice chairperson; Debbie Coombe, treasurer and Vanessa Pather, chairperson.

The Parent Centre in Wynberg celebrated its 35th anniversary at its 22nd annual general meeting, at the Ottery Methodist Church, on Thursday September 13.

After struggling to get its own premises to serve the community, the centre had a reason to celebrate when it finally found a permanent property.

Treasurer Debbie Coombe said their dream was to own their “own sanctuary” – a place where they can run their office, engage with parents, meet clients and run courses with facilities that reflect the warmth and care of the staff of the organisation.

“This dream came true this year when the Trifid Foundation offered us a donation of
R8 200 000. This generosity had enabled us to buy our own property at 22 Wetton Road, Wynberg and there’s enough funds to renovate it for our specific needs.

“Our income from government grants has increased by 3%. In total our income increased by 4% caused mainly by an increase in non-government donations of 29%.

“We end the year on a small operating surplus of R24 000 but when one takes into account our investment revenue and the building donation we have a total surplus of R8 625 000, most of this of course being ring-fenced for our new building.”

Guest speaker Shanaaz Matthews, director of the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, who was asked to speak about why The Parent Centre is still relevant, said the question we must ask ourselves is what we can do to support children’s rights.

“We deal with children who are faced with adversities. All children have a right to
thrive.”

She said nutrition in early childhood development was important. “There are 56 million
people in South Africa and 18.6 million are children – over six million children under
six years old.”

She said violence and abuse are rife and it is difficult to get to every child. “Government needs to intervene,” she said, especially during the early childhood development stages.”There is a need for support in in rural areas where the larger population lives.”

One main source in the development of a child is nutrition. “Nutrition starts with the pregnant mother as poor maternal mental health affects the unborn baby,”Ms Matthews said. Emphasising another crucial factor, Ms Matthews said “violence against mothers affects children who are exposed to it.”

She said parenting programmes such as the ones offered by The Parent Centre are there to support families.

Venecia Barries, director of The Parent Centre, said they will continue helping children through positive parenting and their motto is living by the words of Rick Johnson: “Better parenting = Better families = Better world”.

For more information about the programmes offered by The Parent Centre, call 021 762 0116.