Memory work in schools is an extension of the work done so far by the Sinomlando Centre in various communities by way of family visits or children’s camps. It is a direct response to the psychosocial needs of vulnerable children in our neighbourhood. Children spend a considerable amount of time in schools. Their educators are sometimes the first to identify psychosocial problems but often do not have the resources or the time to deal with these problems.
In some schools up to 50 percent of the children are orphans, the majority of them as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Sometimes they stop attending classes because, without their income-earning parent or parents to provide money, they cannot pay the fees. But even if orphans can meet the financial obligations of education, the stigma of their tragedy is so great that they do not want to face their peers and teachers in the classroom.
In 2005/2006 a pilot study was conducted by the Sinomlando Centre at Julukandoda Primary School in KwaHaza and the Esigodini Primary School. In 2008 three partner organisations in Lidgetton, KwaMashu and Port Shepstone requested Sinomlando to help them to do memory work and psychosocial support to orphans and vulnerable children in the schools in which they are working.