In this week’s blog, Mrs. Thokozani Poswa explains how Phakamisa manages to reach many people through just a few. Thokozani is the Director of Phakamisa.
Phakamisa works with pre-school children to provide education and also works with care-givers, equpping them with income-generating skills, such as bead-work.
Phakamisa also trains local women in Early Childhood Development, so that they can educate the children in their communities. Through this model of training a small number of people who can then train others in their community, Phakamisa is able to reach many with just a few.
Phakamisa is one of the ministries of the Pinetown Methodist Church of Southern Africa. 42 areas in the surroundings of Pinetown are served by Phakamisa. These areas are composed of rural, semi - rural and urban areas.
Phakamisa provides training in different skills to the care-givers of orphaned children and also trains teachers in Early Childhood Development. I will explain a bit more about both of these programmes.
There are also classes for caregivers can where they are taught beadwork, healthy cooking or sewing. These skills can help in income-generation as products are sold in local markets, for example.
The Care Givers Programme
This programme is delivered to a range of different groups. The members of these groups are the representatives of the community groups. Each member is expected to learn some skills and the go back to the community group and impart the information.
For Phakamisa to make sure that the information is imparted, Care-giver Monitors make field visits for the organisation, where they can see how the information is being shared and utilised in the community.
We have 8 skills groups that meet twice a month at Phakamisa.
If we look at the numbers of these groups, it will give an idea of the reach Phakamisa has.
8 groups with the average number of 55 per group, means we have 440 group members who attend Phakamisa monthly.
The members are coming from community groups, sent as their representatives, and as such they are expected to be part communal gardening. In the gardening programme, there are 220 community gardens, with an average of 30 members for each one. Produce from the gardens can feed local families.
220 group representatives x 30 community group members = 6 600 people reached by Phakamisa through the CareGivers programme!
Early Childhood Development (ECD):
Phakamisa offer ‘Edu Care’ training and Child Minder training with 7 groups. As well as literacy and numeracy, the teachers learn how to organise their classroom, how to make use of everyday items to teach their class, and also how to tell stories or use songs in their lessons. Often the children who attend these classes will also be given a snack or lunch.
In each of the 7 Edu Care groups, there are an average of 20 teachers. These teachers will then go back to their community and teach an average of 45 children per class in their schools. The Child Minder Course is a 6 months course.
Written by Thokozani Poswa
We continue to be encouraged by the ministry and practical support offered by Phakamisa to the community in which it is based, as well as those it neighbours. Through their hardwork, passion and commitment to see change happen, they are reaching many people. Please pray for Thokozani and the Phakamisa staff, the caregivers, children and the communities of which they are a part.
You can learn more about Phakamisa on their Facebook page or by visiting their website. You will also find some photos of some of the beautiful beadwork created by the ladies at Phakamisa.