Our psychological social support (PSS) Workshops support orphans dealing with the emotional issues arising from their bereavement and life as an orphan.
Death and bereavement through a child’s eyes
The Foundation works with the social workers and funds the PSS workshops on the Lulisandla Kumntwana programme, which also teaches life skills. Day One focuses on coping with death and bereavement (there are some 9,000 orphans in this region). The children are split up into groups according to age, with materials and activities designed to be appropriate for the age group.
On the second day broader topics are introduced including relationships, communication, resolving conflicts, drugs, sex, alcohol and good and bad touching.
On the third day any adults involved in the care of the children are invited to join in a group session working through issues raised by the children.
The same facilitators work with the group over the three day programme ensuring they get to know them well and can help them work through issues and problems.
Although this may sound a bit ‘heavy’, the programme involves plenty of activities and games and the children have a lot of fun. In fact, some have commented that the PSS workshops are the only time they really get to play properly as much of the time they have responsibilities.
Calum Maslen “It brought me and my family closer together”
Jodie Cooper “They were forced to be adults before being a child”
CoCo’s Foundation’s after School Clubs
These clubs gather all the orphans in a school (plus some who have lost only one parent, but who are very vulnerable) and meet twice a week after school for an hour and a half.
The aim is to give help with homework, enjoy games and crafts and teach life skills. They also have a snack. We provide two facilitators for each club, and one of the school teachers (who is the teacher designated by the school to be involved with orphans) will also be involved.
Many of the orphans suffer from extremely low self-esteem and feel that there is very little hope of succeeding in life. Teachers report that often orphans don’t participate in class discussions, are withdrawn, do not get involved in extracurricular activities and their school performance is not good.
Attending our After School Clubs ensures the children feel cared for. Their self-esteem improves dramatically – from not being involved, they are able to stand before the class and give a presentation. Their school performance improves too.
The facilitators are able to develop a close relationship with the children and respond to problems or refer them to others for help. The impact of these clubs has been such that other schools, having seen the results, have asked if the programme can be implemented in their schools too.