COUNSELLORS GOING THE EXTRA MILE
It seems that every week at LifeLine takes on something of a theme. Last week, the dominant awareness for me was how counsellors are going the extra mile.
My thanks to counsellors who stepped in when it was necessary – out of the blue. My thanks to counsellors who recognized that we have clients who need urgent medical intervention in life threatening situations – thought on their feet and took action. As I sit here in front of my computer, I can think of 4 particular instances that I am aware of that happened last week. There would be more. And, make no mistake, it would be happening every week. However, it is good to remind ourselves that the work we do with our clients as counsellors is really, really important. We are there for our clients when everyone else is too expensive, too busy, not qualified, not interested – leaving a distressed person just nowhere. That’s where LifeLine comes in. thank you all for taking up that challenge. To be a counsellor takes not only being empathic and being skilled. It also takes courage and resilience.
I am also going on leave since my son Michael is visiting from afar. This is very special indeed. Abigail will take up all matters that will usually come to me. My leave sort of starts today. This first week, I will be at the office for various matters. I am still available. As from 1 December, I will be away travelling around South Africa.
Currently, we are in the throes of advertising for a social worker for the Victim Empowerment Programme. This is because Matome Moremi, who has been a very valued member of our team resigned. He is moving on to other career opportunities. Matome will be leaving us at the end of November. While it is sad to say goodbye, at LifeLine we also pride ourselves in being a space for young people to develop and grow, to learn and to move on to bigger opportunities. In a sense, we see this as part of our contribution to our community.
And now, for some of the notable happenings of last week – in no particular order, here we go.
Every third Tuesday of the month we have a board meeting. You will find that many NGO’s have a board meeting only every quarter. We at LifeLine make our board work a lot harder, and they do it cheerfully too! To have frequent board meetings is a good thing. At this particular meeting, Sebenzile reported on NGO governance, Matome reported on his recent Monitoring and Evaluation Training and the importance for the organization of this area and Bernadette reported on the progress and developments in the Corporate Training department. This is over and above the general matters discussed and reported on at every board meeting. At this point, for LifeLine it is a matter of so far so good. – Always with the awareness that in the NGO world particularly regarding funding anything can happen! That is always the concern and we try by all means to protect and enhance the sustainability of the organization.
Zelda Nhlapo from Alex, one of our counsellors, did counselling for a SABC1 Mokaphelo client. The actual counselling is not filmed of course. The client is interviewed after the session. The counsellor is also interviewed about the issues the particular episode of the programme is focusing on – in a generic way and not pertaining to the client. This is to protect confidentiality. It is probably the third time we are filming for Mokaphelo, if not the fourth. Thanks Zelda, for stepping in so ably. The TV crew was really happy about the results.
We also facilitated an interview with a radio station in Mafikeng passing it on to LifeLine Mafikeng. This is how LifeLine centres work. When we get media requests and the radio station or TV studio is in another province, we pass it on to the other LifeLine centre in that area. We get media requests quite frequently, usually with little time to spare – but we jump to make it happen.
GIRLS AND BOYS ON THE MOVE
Girls and Boys on the Move had another dialogue last week with learners that went through the programme. Forty Learners and 11 parents attended. It is really difficult to get parents to attend. So that 11 parents came to the event is an achievement. Thanks to Maphaladi and the team for all their good work.
A reminder that the events mentioned here are the non-routine stuff we do. Every day there is over 100 LifeLiners in various capacities quietly serving the community and doing remarkable work. That is always our biggest achievement.
We’ll chat again next week.