Since September 2002, PTN has applied its expertise in counselling to providing psychosocial support to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC), both directly and through the training of Group Leaders in their communities. PTN recognises that the scale and the impact of psycho-social support programming in the community, is directly proportional to the degree to which the capacity of the community has been build. PTN is therefore committed:
- To raise the awareness on the plight of vulnerable children and protection of all children.
- To prepare community members to understand the impact of HIV on children and how to effectively respond to it, and
- To help people understand that children have strengths and that people who are united can contribute towards building those strengths.
The overall goal of Philippi’s Psycho-social support programme for OVC is to contribute towards improving the quality of life of OVC.
What is Psycho-social support
If we want the best for our children, we must help them grow and nurture them on a physical, spiritual, mental, social and emotional level.
Psycho-social support gives attention to all aspects of a child’s wellbeing including their feelings, their values, their hopes and dreams, their immediate environment, their culture, their traditions, their personal relationships with family, their community and their friends. This state of wellbeing is called psycho-social wellbeing.
Psycho-social Support in Schools and Clubs
PTN’s staff and group leaders conduct sessions with children in schools, and various community points on training material developed and designed with Namibians involved with technical support from REPPSI:
- Tree of Life, a psychosocial tool based on narrative practices that uses tree parts as a metaphor for different aspects of our lives. The tool helps trained counsellors and paraprofessionals facilitate conversations with children about loss and bereavement in a way that helps them also share stories of hope, shared values and connections to those around them as well as those who died.
- Hero book: Children are motivated to make their own hero books and as authors and illustrators of their own stories are taken on a “victory journey”. Each child highlights how they named and identified strategies to overcome their challenges.
- Journeying towards our dreams: a series of participatory activities that can be used by key stakeholders in school communities to change schools into centres of care and support. Aimed at school communicators and members of the school community and can be used in other places where children’s wellbeing is involved.
Experiential Learning Camps
The goal of Experiential Learning Camps is to enhance the child's coping skills in dealing with challenging and stressful life situations.
Children from various institutions and communities are invited to participate in these camps. At these camps, children who are orphaned or vulnerable due to circumstances are taught to overcome fears and difficult situations. Through participation in team-building and fun activities such as abseiling and obstacle courses, the children learn practical coping skills. Instructions on topics such as 'self-esteem', 'loss and bereavement' and 'sex and sexuality' provide additional intellectual stimulation and enhance the learning experience.