Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Field Trip!

The caregivers for the safe home work hard!  Their work requires a combination of day shift and night shift, seven days a week.  It is a challenge to give the group time off of work because there always seem to be little ones here that need their care and support.

Last week, those of us in a more administrative role risked encounters with kaka and exhaustion to allow the Bo’M’e of the safe home to take a field trip to Beautiful Gate, an orphanage here in Lesotho.  The caregivers wanted to share a little bit about the experience with you!

Group shot in front of the Beautiful Gate building

As we got to Beautiful Gate we were welcomed and started moving places. This is when we were brought together to be told how the organization was started and its operation on a daily basis. Next, we moved around the campus and that’s where we discovered that children who stay there are divided into families being Khotso, Pula and Nala (Peace, Rain and Prosperity).  Tours like this one are very helpful to us because this where we are able to exchange ideas with those who are in the same field with us. Even once in year can be appreciated for us to pay a visit to other orphanage homes.

First and foremost, we pass our gratitude to our managing director ‘M’e Nthabeleng Lephoto who raised the point that we, safe home mothers, should visit Beautiful Gate to go and learn how it operates as far as the kids welfare is concerned.  Apart from that, we also thank our dear fellows Jennifer and Brad whom we do believe that in collaboration with our director also liked the idea.  This is why this was successful.

Furthermore, we pass our thanks to all those who played a major part in looking after the kids and other office duties while we were away.

We are so glad that you enjoyed the trip and brought back ideas to share about how to improve TTL!  I’d like our readers to note that Brad conspicuously returned to America days before the outing occurred. 

‘M’e Nthabeleng and myself have a new respect for the work of the safe home caregivers!  Our efforts to institute group naptime, workers included, were not successful. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Village Health Workers...Our Eyes and Ears

For many Basotho, health clinics are a multiple day journey away via foot, horseback and / or motorized transport.  Village Health Workers (VHWs) are the eyes and ears for both health clinics and TTL; they are an indispensable resource within the community.  VHWs are community members specially trained by the Ministry of Health to help ensure identification of, and timely referral for, myriad childhood illnesses.

Often, trainings for VHWs are far and few between.  Recently, thanks to a donation from The Caring Network, TTL has been able to help VHWs in the Thaba Tseka and Mokhotlong districts receive additional training.  The trainings have two components:  a refresher component about identification of children suffering from malnutrition as well as new training about timely identification of common childhood illnesses, including appropriate referral and how to support the infant or child in the event of a multiple day journey to a health facility.

Though we can’t change the terrain of this beautiful ‘sky kingdom,’ we can help diminish the challenges faced by those living in the beautiful, but remote, mountain villages by ensuring that all available VHWs are empowered with knowledge to make life-saving referral decisions.  

Thank you, 'Me Malefu, for facilitating the session!

Linakaneng VHW training (Thaba Tseka district)