I think we totally fell in love with our Sohanguve/Eersterus group leaders! Every meeting is a celebration with hugs and laughs!
To add to that we started our second mentorship session with a practical demonstration of aggression management with newspapers. A lot of newspaper boxing, shredding and throwing around took place. We even heard newspaper fights in Kevin’s group! The beauty of it is that all felt better and no one was hurt! A perfectly acceptable way of getting rid of bad feelings.
In the end we made a ball of newspapers and the one with the ball had to share his group’s story before throwing the ball to the next one to share. That’s when we encountered the heights…as in high mountains of challenges! Parents share their pain of daily abuse for which group leaders seek advice. Some groups have only illiterate parents with a deep desire to be able to read. Our link with Project Literacy came in handy in that case.
With much talk on rights of children, parents and grannies are scared to take control of their parenting role…which is why we are here – to empower these parents with information and guidance. One of the huge complexities is sex education in situations where Mom and Dad are not together, other parties are involved and a family of up to 10 people live in a one-roomed house. Is it still a wonder that 25% of the parents represented in my group are teenagers? The “how?” and “what next?” get stuck in my mind…
The bright spots were there as well. Group members asked their leaders why the Botswadi programme is not presented at schools as well. “Yes! Yes! Yes!” said my heart! In another group the parents were concerned for the safety of their children after school. Ubuntu was at work! Before the end of their session they had a granny who would take care of the children. They also went to the crèche to discuss the possibility of after care facilities. That’s exciting!