Durban North Domino Foundation has a new CEO, Shaun Tait, who joined the organisation years ago.
Despite him studying part-time for his B.Com, Tait has put his hand up to be a driver for The Domino Foundation. Ten years ago, the foundation was running three Programmes, one of which was the Life Skills Programme. It had a group of British volunteers needing to be ferried to and from Amaoti where the programme was working.
“I had my licence, time between study sessions and I had seen the great work Domino was doing mentoring children who needed to know that they were unique and had futures which were worth living,” said Tait.
Not able to sit idle waiting for the volunteers, he got involved in curriculum development with the Life Skills Programme. He also took in hand the development of a website, a newsletter and social media tools to spread the word about the foundation’s activities. A decade later,Tait, has seen the foundation growing to where it now daily impacts over 12 500 people both in Durban North and South Basin areas. The programmes have grown to six with Tait having participated in almost every aspect of their activities.
In 2015, he took on the responsibilities of chief operations officer, overseeing the day-to-day running of the vibrant hub of the foundation’s functions at their offices at Anthem Church, Durban North, and participating in the vital networking with NPOs, civic authorities and local government.
In the early years, Shaun was mentored by the foundation’s founder, Mickey Wilkins, who now runs Domino Business, the NPO’s sustainability plan which works with corporates and businesses to reduce reliance on grants and donations in the long term.
“Under Wilkins’s wise tutelage and benefitting from his business and people skills, I grew enormously. I was excited by the door God had opened for me when I was asked to step into the operations officer’s role,” he said.
Late in 2018, Richard Mun-Gavin, lead elder at Anthem Church and executive chairman of the foundation, felt that the NPO was on such a stable footing that he, with confidence, could relinquish its reins. Tait was the foundation’s board plain choice as chief executive officer.
Gavin said, “The decision was unanimous, Shaun is the man to forge the way ahead. His intimate knowledge of every aspect of Domino and his passionate commitment to see it dynamically change the lives of thousands in our country is inspirational.”
With the formal announcement of his appointment,Tait spoke of his vision of where the foundation is going, “We are moving from being just an NPO to being an increasingly meaningful social impact organisation. We are seeing the development of strategies and collaborative partnerships with businesses and volunteers impacting lives on the ground.”
Far greater numbers of disadvantaged people in the country need to experience mercy and justice and to be empowered. Shaun sees that the foundation must replicate its work in provinces across South Africa other than just KZN.
“What Jesus said about us always having the poor with us is a challenge we cannot ignore. I have a dream that the foundation will champion the cause of the marginalised and the most vulnerable in our society and we will see the #DominoEffect in other provinces across South Africa,” said Tait.