We work with local clinics to give psycho-social support to youths living with HIV.
Through intergenerational dialogue, meaning making and validation of feelings, people with forgotten, silenced or traumatised memories retrieve their history and develop resilience.
HOW DO WE HELP HIM MAKE SENSE OF LIFE?
Jabu can hardly remember what his mother was like before she got sick. The little boy’s earliest memories are of his mother lying in bed, too weak to even lift her head from the pillow … the community caregiver coming every second day to wash away the stench of sickness and prepare meals her mother couldn’t eat … neighbours shaking their heads and speaking in whispers.
And then, one day, his mom lying still and cold … being taken away … and never coming back.
In the community where Jabu lives, HIV/AIDS is rife. Many children have experienced the trauma of watching parents get sick and die. And many don’t understand what has happened. Because, as adults, we tend to want to ‘protect’ young children from the painful reality, by hiding the truth from them. We say things like, “Mommy has gone to heaven” – leaving children wondering why she went away and when she is coming back.
At Sinomlando, we believe that an honest and compassionate conversation about sickness and death is beneficial to children. They need to know what happened in their family before they can move on through the grieving process towards acceptance. If children know the history of their parents, they are better able to overcome the pain of loss, and take comfort from the memories they hold within themselves.
We show children how to create a “memory box”, which contains their parents’ story, a family tree, and various meaningful objects such as photographs, certificates and small personal possessions or items of clothing that remind them of their lost loved ones.
Why do I have to live with something that I didn’t ask for?
Despite huge strides forward in the treatment of HIV and AIDS, being diagnosed with the condition is still a massive shock, especially for young people. Our Friday group sessions offer a safe space for HIV+ youth, drug addicts and homeless young people to share their fears, questions and experiences with others in the same situation.
Please watch this video to see how Sinomlando helps these young people come to terms with their situation and find new hope for the future.
Psychosocial and academic support for young people who are susceptible to, or already involved in, drug abuse and other behavioural problems.
Young people with leadership potential are taught life and leadership skills, how to work as a team, problem solving, communication, events management, negotiation and report writing.
Often parents themselves have their own emotional baggage and benefit greatly from our psychosocial support. Without it, they may be unable to understand or support their children and grandchildren.
Our first radio outreach, led by the Sinomlando Young Reporters was a huge success. It was amazing to listen to...
Our team attended a Community Conflict and Mediation discussion in Maqongqo, led by Africa Unite. Africa Unite strives to build...
Every Friday, Sinomlando Centre facilitates drawing and drama activities in Northdale with the youth, asking meaningful questions that explore feelings...
Our third Memory Work Camp took place at the end of October with children from Montebello. We engaged children in...
Memory Work is the process of engaging with an individuals cognitive and physical past through various forms such as storytelling,...
At the beginning of October, the Children’s Radio Foundation hosted the annual Youth Radio Awards event in Cape Town. Having...
On Heritage Day – 24 September – Sinomlando Staff attended a gathering in Maqongqo with one of our partner organisations....