The Psychosocial unit at AmaJingi has partnered with Community Keepers in a new venture that aims to provide support to all learners in the region in their daily needs. With an expected reach of over 1500 learners, the goal is to create safe spaces for all learners within the Amajingqi region. We’re so excited about this new partnership that will bring much needed care to our learners!
The care facilitators are fully committed to providing the best possible support to children in distress. They act as a mental "first aid point person" and are always ready to respond to any situation that may arise. They offer a sense of safety and protection, as well as guidance and emotional support to children who are crying, feeling suicidal, or simply need someone to talk to. In addition to their role as a source of emotional support, they also carry out important administrative duties. These include explaining referral processes to parents and children and ensuring that they understand the need for consent before meeting with a social worker. They also conduct safety checks to ensure that the child is safe and secure, manage waiting lists for appointments, and follow up with both the child and the parents to ensure that they are receiving the care they need
The value addition of care facilitators has highlighted the importance of ensuring that every child receives the support and care they need. With only 2 social workers for our 8 schools, Care Facilitators make it a priority to place the needs of children first. They ensure that there are no backlogs of cases or unattended needs by building relationships and trust with the children. Care facilitators are also responsible for overseeing the smooth running of the Community Keepers office at each school.
The working relationship between a Care Facilitator and Social Worker is essential in offering comprehensive case management and therapy sessions while ensuring a positive and supportive office environment. This duo works together in reducing case backlogs, prioritizing cases accordingly, and conducting thorough assessments such as baseline assessments for learners. In true Axium “Masambeni” spirit, this team works towards maintaining school safety and raising awareness on mental and emotional wellness.
Through the Community Keepers partnership, a prefabricated unit has been placed at each of the eight schools.“Over the years, as an individual who has provided counselling in schools, I have come to understand the crucial role played by designated office spaces.” Nomfundo, Learner Wellness Manager. These offices provide confidentiality and privacy, and have made learners feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings without any fear of interruption. They help break down boundaries and eliminate any fears that learners may have, allowing them to open up and share their thoughts more freely.
From left to right, a Care Facilitator with a Social Worker outside their prefabricated office at school
The integration of care facilitators has been met with positivity from both educators and learners. Our learners are receiving these changes with open arms, they absolutely love it! The team receive messages like: “sisi nam I am waiting to be called.” in their letterbox. According to Nomfundo, It's also heartwarming to see that even “learners as young as grade 1 are eager to communicate with us and share their thoughts and feelings.”There has also been a decrease in destructive issues and an increase in teaching time. Learners have displayed a keen eagerness to learn, with fewer instances of absenteeism and bullying being reported. The care facilitators have proven to be a valuable asset to the school team, as they aid in referring students who require assistance and work hand-in-hand with parents.
The psychosocial unit is committed to ensuring that every child they work with receives the care, attention, and support they need to thrive - all part of Axium’s vision to see every rural child leave school with purpose, agency and options.