Sunday, August 25, 2013

Psychosocial Support at Igoda Children's Village

Mzee Ndelwa gives a seminar to our house guardians at Igoda Children's Village. 

Since its inception in July of 2007, Igoda Children's Village has cared for children from some of the community's most dangerous environments. This has typically meant extreme poverty and a high prevalence of HIV, which has prevented families from caring for their children in the village. While the community begins to recover from this disease through NGO projects relating to access of treatment and health education (projects that have their affects on the long-term) there are still children living at the Children's Village that are victims of abuse, or neglect that as they have reached an adolescent age, have begun to have psychosocial issues that they need help resolving.

The care-givers at Igoda Children's Village can all rely on their experience as parents in this community, and their combined experience as guardians at the Children's Village, but there is so far only limited experience in psychosocial support. Enter Pastor/Child Psychologist David Ndelwa. Mzee Ndelwa, as he is known here lives in the Mufindi district village of Ifwagi, and is a Lutheran pastor, with a degree in child psychology. He has just this week made his third visit inside of 12 months to the Children's Village where he has given two and three day seminars on topics such as: appropriate displays for vulnerable children; resolving conflicts with co-workers; sexual harassment; and 'self-realization' courses where he's helped the guardians invent ways get can reach their goals while helping the community reach its goal of caring for all of its vulnerable children.

As a community based organization, we are constantly looking for various ways to give benefits to our heroes who do the endless work of caring for these disadvantaged children. It is hard to put into words the amount of hard work and dedication it takes for the house guardians of these children's homes in the children's village to do their jobs, and we are forever grateful for their perseverance, patience, and respect for their calling. These seminars (occurring for now every two months as supplemented by other organizations, and members of the district social welfare office) have not costed the NGO must in terms of dollars and cents, and yet they have helped out guardians tremendously as the seminars give all of them a place to air out their grievances, and build more togetherness as a working family unit.

We're hoping these seminars will improve overall service to the children at the Children's Village, and our goal is to give these guardians the tools to give the best care possible to these children.

A special thanks here to Mzee Ndelwa, and we welcome him again any time- Karibu tena!

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