| Aug 30, 2023
The Joys of Community Work in Africa!
Training at the church prior to the irons removal
Today, I want to tell you about the often interesting, and laughable situations my staff find themselves in on the odd occasion!
Since Monday 28th August 23, Elizabeth has been training 20 parents on Journey of Life, Children’s Rights and Child Participation. The training goes for 3days. We recruit participants through the Scouts, we ask for their parents to come to training. This is the usual approach.
Last week, we did the same, a different area. We have funding for 20parents to attend, the first day 20 mums came for the training, they enjoyed it so much, the next day we had 24participants, the final day 28 participants. Thanks to your support we could supplement the training budget from an institutional donor and the other participants to join.
Well last week the message was sent out by a very keen Field Officer to have the training in her village, this was a shock to Elizabeth when she found out because although Elizabeth had planned, she had not instructed the Field Officer to send out word yet because a venue had not been secured.
So fast forward to Monday, 20 participants, including the local Induna (community leader) arrive at the Field Officers home at 0900! Elizabeth arrives to find the Induna had made a plan and requested a local church to host the training. Under the direction of the Field Officer, off they go to the church only to find it is locked up. No one is available. Elizabeth rings the Induna to tell them that the church is locked and no one is around to open! The Induna informs Elizabeth she is at the wrong church; it is just as well all these places are within walking distance. So off everyone goes once again to the new church.
The story doesn’t end there! After settling in to her training rhythm, 4 men burst into the church and scare everyone, they demand to know where the pastor is. The story goes that the men put up the corrugated iron roofing and had not yet been paid. They demanded the pastor, who, of course, was not there. Then they literally proceeded to remove the iron from the roof, a whole lot of banging, noise and commotion later, the roof was removed, the iron destroyed so that the pastor could not use it and hire someone else to do the job. The training continued, despite the noise and interruptions.
Once finished, the men came back in to the church and thanked Elizabeth!
What a way to start a training. The joys of working in the rural areas. The ladies were very startled yesterday and a bit fearful, however 18 attended todays training. From the photo you can see the alleged corrugated iron!
The training has had the result already of parents realising that they are the problem when it comes to their children, they are often rude, name calling, spiteful and abusive. The training is very powerful as the adults link with their past experiences growing up with the difficult situations they endured and applied those past experiences to their children. Often the revelation produces such conviction that the parents change immediately.
Elizabeth has done this training in excess of 150 times over 20yrs and she never gets bored, “There are always new parents and the groups are always different with different dynamics however similar outcomes, the adults change their relationships with the children for the better, I LOVE THIS TRAINING!”
After 6months we go back to the parents with their children, to hold a focus group to hear about the transformation which takes place and if it is sustained. It always produces positive, lasting change. It is a wonderful training which causes wonderful positive changes in children, parents, and families.
I hope you enjoyed Elizabeth’s tale. Just one day in the life of a community worker!
Blessings to you