Childline sought funds late

2013-08-30 00:00

THE National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) yesterday confirmed that they have received a funding application from Childline KZN, but that it is still being processed because it was received on deadline.

The charity earlier this week indicated they faced closure due to lack of funding.

Member of the crisis committee and Childline KZN spokesperson Vikki Vink admitted that even though their application did not miss the deadline, they did submit it later than they would normally do, which has put them at the back of the queue.

“The call for applications clearly asked applicants to make submissions as early as possible and Childline chose to submit at the last minute,” NLDTF spokesperson Sershan Naidoo said.

He pointed out that there is concern about NGOs’ perceived dependence on the fund.

Naidoo said this year they have received over 14 800 applications from all the sectors and 8 500 applications from charities.

It can take up to two months to over a year to process an application depending on the number of candidates, he explained.

The NLDTF’s budget is R2 billion per annum and they have received requests for R72 billion.

He advised NGOs to comply with the requirements of funders, apply as early as possible, and not to rely only on one funder.

“Don’t leave it for the last minute, especially when you know you are facing a crisis.”

There is no disputing the fact that the children’s welfare sector is in crisis, says Julie Todd, director of Pietermaritzburg Child Welfare.

She was responding to news that the Childline KZN is in danger of closing down due to a lack of funds.

“As much as 70% of statutory children’s services are rendered by the NPO sector, and the kids taken care of are mostly under 14 years old. Yet government subsidies account for 45% to 48% of our income,” Todd explained.

Almost 1 500 children in their care fall under the Child Protection Act, but the organisation reaches 20 000 children annually.

The Children’s Act of 2010 determines that government must fund statutory services, not subsidise them, according to Todd.

In KZN, they are still funding according to social worker posts, and not services rendered.

She said businesses shifted their focus with regard to funding, and international funding has also dried up.

The organisation works closely with the National Prosecuting Authority, and between January and April 2012 had 53 cases of sexual abuse of children under 12 years.

“We can never stop looking for opportunities. But we need government and communities to help us. Everybody is quick to say this [lack of funding] is a terrible thing, but now is the time to put that concern into action,” Todd said.

• Childline KZN is running an SMS line where people can donate R15 by SMSing “hero” to 39555 and Vink said they have received over 6 000 SMSes so far, and R100 000 has been donated to their bank account.

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