Intaka Island Outing
By Zodwa Mabusela (Senior Child and Youth Care Worker)
We started our support group for the second term at Silversands Primary School on the 19th April.
We had our first session at Intaka Island, where we had our introduction and built clay boats. The learners enjoyed the outing to this wonderful place and were freely participating and eager to learn.
At the end of our day, we took them for a boat ride around Century City; which we kept as a surprise until it was time for the boat drivers to come to fetch us. We had told them that there would be a surprise at the end of the day’s programme. When they found out what it was, they could not hold their shouts of excitement and joy they felt. On this day we did not only learn about grief and loss and making boats, but the interesting story of Century City and its surroundings. The boat drivers also had a surprise for us. They invited all those who had upcoming birthdays in that month to steer the boat. What an excitement this created for the children, and their facilitator, Zodwa Mabusela who would also celebrate her birthday on the 29th of April.
The sessions following the introduction has been good. The children are responding well to the support group, and are opening their minds to the previous experiences they had. They are relating to every session and are willing to share their stories freely. One child shared how it affected him when his mother was sick. He had to take care of her, making her food and giving her medication before he went to school. Sometimes he would not go to school because he was worried of his mom’s condition. This boy said even when he was in class, he would sit there and be thinking about his mother while the teacher and other children are busy. His teacher would ask to talk to him as she would pick up that something is wrong. He would tell his teacher what the concern was, and the teacher would make him feel better.
Sometimes children start experiencing loss even before the actual death of their loved one. Without proper support, they may take longer or not know how to deal with it appropriately.