MASERU- Ministry of Education and Training and the National University of Lesotho (NUL) last week Friday had a meeting to present the Teachers’ Diploma in Psycho-social Care, Support & Protection programme. The project is being undertaken together Sentebale in collaboration with REPSSI.
REPSSI is a non-profit organization working to lessen the devastating social and emotional impact of poverty, conflict, HIV and AIDS among children and youth across East and Southern Africa. It is currently working in 13 countries in East and Southern Africa: Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
REPSSI senior technical specialist Caramel Gaillard said the program aims to build the capacity of teachers to improve the psychosocial environment of their schools so that they can care for themselves and their learner.
She added that the program will also promote and enable environment for communities and families to nurture, protect and empower children and youth to enhance their psychosocial well-being. She noted that REPSSI provides assistance to its partners, to help them provide social and emotional (psychosocial) support services to children, youth, their families and communities.
She added that children and youth affected by HIV and Aids typically faced some stressful events and circumstances, including poverty, dropping out of school, the burden of adult responsibilities, and social isolation and that for these children, the illness and loss of their parents is found to be associated with negative outcomes such as material hardship, social stigma and poor mental health which hinder their education.
In addition to that, Sechaba Mokhameleli from the Social Development department at Sentebale said they have noticed that they really have to work with their teachers, parents and the whole of the community to ensure that the children are free and get their educational rights.
He said they have invested about M600 000 in this program which will start within 70 schools by training 1 700 teachers, and if the impact is good them the whole country would follow.
Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Training, ‘Mapaseka Kolotsane, thanked REPSSI for this life-changing programme that she hoped would bring a brighter future to young people of this country.
She also thanked NUL for agreeing to give training so that the programme could kick-off, saying without them they would struggle on how to start.