Tlamelang Workshop in July
On 10.07.2017 52 home care givers of our Action Group Tlamelang assembled at St. Joseph’s Retreat center in Mahikeng to participate in the traditional five-day workshop. For this time of the year the temperatures were surprisingly mild.
Like last year due to our financial constraints we were not able to accommodate the participants at the center but they had to travel daily to their homes. Those who came from outside Mahikeng were requested to seek accommodation from relatives or friends in Mahikeng. It was a sign of the good spirit that was present during this workshop that no one complained about the inconveniences caused by this arrangement nor about the rather simple food that was prepared by volunteers from our organization.
Every day started with a bible study. On two days the text was taken from the last verses of the ninth chapter of the gospel according to Mathew: “When Jesus saw the crowd he was filled with compassion because they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples: The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few…”
Firstly we discussed again Tuberculosis and HIV that remain the biggest health problems and the greatest killers in South Africa.
Secondly demo lessons were presented that the home care givers can use to teach 6-13 year old children about HIV prevention and child protection. For this purpose, in the run up to the workshop a Tlamelang teaching team was formed who met twice to prepare the lessons. The results were presentations of high quality interactive lessons during the workshop that our care givers can now teach in the After School centers and to small groups of orphans and vulnerable children when doing home visits.
The third focus of the workshop was on topics that had been rather neglected in the past. They included gender norms and gender based violence (that was presented by representative of Life Line, Mahikeng); sexually transmitted diseases and family planning. All these are “hot topics” in our present day society in South Africa and it is of great value that our care givers were encouraged and empowered to talk about these sensitive issues when doing their home visits and when interacting with the orphans and vulnerable children.
Like in previous years all participants had to write an assessment on Tuberculosis and HIV to demonstrate their competence. Fortunately all passed the test and compared to last year the average results improved by 5% to 69.5%! Those who obtained marks above 90% were given a token of appreciation during the closing function.