Sep 3, 2020

Coping with Covid

GBV & PSYCHOSOCIAL SERVICES

As part of our effort to combat the ill-effects of Covid-19 in our communities SSI teamed up with the Department of Gender Affairs in Mochudi to hold multiple weekend training sessions on Gender-Based Violence Prevention [GBV]. These sessions were targeted towards grannies, who are often the primary caregivers for vulnerable children throughout the country. And we all know, grannies are the best at giving the most sound advice! So who better than grannies to learn about different ways they can influence the prevention of GBV.

As we know, The COVID19 virus has impacted more than just our social lives but mental health as well. During this time, SSI had the opportunity to provide psycho-social support to Form 3 students and their teachers at our partner school; Bakgatle Junior Secondary School. We heard from participants about what challenges they’re facing as a result of the pandemic and worked with them on coping skills to manage their stress. 

We took psychosocial support an even bigger step forward through our partnership with other NGOs to provide counseling services through WhatsApp! As part of our ongoing ‘Freedom From Fear’ initiative, we are doing our part to make it easy for GBV survivors and others to report abuse and access services through one simple, quick link!

 

SOCIAL SUPPORT DAY

In partnership with Angels at Work, we hosted a “Social Support Day” inclusive of mental health services for our beneficiaries following a recent national lockdown. We prepared a soup kitchen and distributed food to participants while holding debriefing sessions to discuss the impact the Covid-19 virus as had on their lives. The event was well-attended (but socially distant!).

 

Whew! We sure have been busy, but there is still more work to do! We continue to see increasing demand for counseling support services, food and other basic items. We’ve expanded our services and access points, but there are still many unmet needs, sadly we’ve had to turn people away. Help us double our impact this month through GlobalGiving’s Little by Little campaign so no child or family gets left behind. For five days straight (Sept. 14-18), online donations up to $50 will be matched at 50%, and matching funds will not run out! This is a great opportunity to double your good and to share our project with others. As always, thanks for your support, we’ll see you next time!

Aug 28, 2020

Creativity is revolutionary!

Young artists at work
Young artists at work

Maxx Moses also known as Pose2 paid a visit to Stepping Stones International to inspire students, teaching them self-expression through art.Pose 2, based in San Diego is a professional and an innovator within the graffiti and street art industry. “The artwork of Mr. Maxx Moses promotes an environment of longevity, growth, wholeness, and spiritual well-being. The viewer is instilled with an overall feeling of peace and serenity as they derive the value of his paintings”.https://posetwo.com/ 

The day activity started with painting two walls at SSI with a message of hope and love. His main message to the children was that artistic expression has various mental health benefits, especially adolescents that are going through so much growing up. Maxx told students that they can channel their anger, stress or sadness and transform it to something else artistically.

Educators were also taught the importance of moving away from traditional teaching methods of ‘four walls of the classroom’, and encourage students to express themselves through art as it sparks creativity in young minds leading to many innovations. Stepping Stones international extended an invitation to four local schools to send some art students to join the session. He was joined by students and educators from surround schools and painted two murals. The children who painted learned how to free their minds and decompress while painting. 

The day culminated in the children at SSI sharing a song and their talents with Maxx Moses in honor of his birthday… and of course, the delicious cupcakes with American flags.

We hope Maxx Moses visits again to inspire us. In the meantime, the youth at SSI plan to use graffiti for sending out messages to cut down on gender based violence, especially against children.

Special thanks to the US Embassy in Botswana, in collaboration with Young Africa Botswana for organizing the ‘America on the Move’ project that brought Maxx Moses to Botswana.

Birthday Wishes and Sharing of Talent wIth Maxx
Birthday Wishes and Sharing of Talent wIth Maxx
FInished Product and Pose2
FInished Product and Pose2
The Crew with Maxx Aka Pose2
The Crew with Maxx Aka Pose2
US Ambassador Cloud, Maxx Moses & SSI staff
US Ambassador Cloud, Maxx Moses & SSI staff
Maxx hanging with the children
Maxx hanging with the children
Apr 21, 2020

Perma Gardening

The perma-garden methodology is an economic strengthening activity for caregivers and parents of the orphaned and vulnerable children. This allows for them to produce food throughout the year by teaching them the natural principles behind productive gardening and matching those principles to best practices. This allows them to feed their families independently and produce for the market to earn an income.

Designing the garden

These plots are made in way that water use is limited. The soil holds moisture for a long time since the mix of ingredients supports the soil to produce enough carbon. The caregivers first measure the garden to the size they want and turn over the dirt. They add manure, wood ashes, pounded egg shells, add fertilizer and cover up with the soil. The next stage is the building of ridges in the garden then more lightly sprinkled charcoal, pounded egg shells and fertilizer is added on top. After maintaining this for a few days the caregivers plant their seeds of choice. The carbon is important also for the growth of plants.

Benefits

A total of 189 (Female 99; Male 90) were reached with this evidence based food security design. This includes the caregivers and their children who have been impacted by the gardens. Our families sell these vegetables to benefit them economically. When marketing the produce they also use the sales point as a place to impart information on nutrition.


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