From the Director’s Desk
By Deborah Diedericks (Director)
In the past few months I have been privileged to address and/or train a range of audiences on the subject of bereavement support:
- Oral presentations at the annual Child Trauma Conference here in Cape Town and at REPSSI (Regional Psycho Social Support Initiative)’s biennial Psycho Social Support Forum in Arusha, Tanzania.
- A skills building session, as part of the annual grantee workshop for the U.S. Ambassador’s HIV and AIDS Community Grants programme.
- Training workshops with social workers based at Western Cape Child and Youth Care Centres (more commonly knows as Children’s Homes).
- A training and mentoring programme for social workers running bereavement support groups for parents of murdered children as part of a pilot in the Cape Metro South.
- A poster presentation at the 13th AIDS Impact International Conference.
I am really left with the feeling that the media misses the plot in terms of who they think is newsworthy. Instead of covering stories of petulant populist presidents and all their sordid nonsense, we should be reading stories of academics and programme developers who try to develop and implement evidence based programmes to support the psycho social welfare of orphans and vulnerable children. NGOs and CBOs who constantly fight for financial survival in order to provide services to the most marginalised children. To be more specific: where are the accolades for the rock-star social workers who get up in the morning to run support groups for the parents of murdered children. Social workers who work with children who have been abused, neglected and removed. Social workers who work with deep empathy with children who had to be institutionalised because they killed someone. Social workers who work with children in palliative care institutions being with them and their families as their life force trickles out.
I salute you all.