Mental Health and Psycho-social support sits at the heart of Moya Centre’s activities. This department differs from others as most interventions are not planned, and are an immediate response to the needs of the children of Lobamba Lomdzala community. Every program within MC is tied directly into the PSS program; from identifying needy children within other Moya programs, to the motivational workshops given by the PSS staff to peer supporters in schools and parents, along with the handing out of uniforms, food, Restorative Justice clothing and for emergency situations.
The change that the PSS interventions make to the individuals & families we service is unmatched. They prevent distress and suffering which in most cases would have escalated to severe challenges including mental health issues.Dumsile Dlamini, Mental Health & Psycho-social Support Manager
Counselling & Monitoring
Counselling and Monitoring Cases is a critical component of the PSS department. It is a service offered to beneficiaries of all Moya’s programs, along with any community member who is identified as needing support by a Moya Caregiver, or who walks into Moya seeking support. The graph above shows the breakdown of the Adult PSS Interventions with counselling leading in numbers. PSS Officers do not hesitate to refer cases and often work very closely with the local police department and the social welfare department. It should be noted that the PSS staff puts a strong emphasis on identifying gender-based violence cases, and uses a restorative justice approach to resolve conflicts.
Child Protection Unit
The Child Protection Unit is a crucial aspect of the counselling and monitoring program. Five trained community counsellors who had excelled over the previous years were selected to form a team whereby they work together, under the supervision of the PSS Officer Vuyisile, to resolve the most sensitive and complex cases as a unit. The CPU has been of huge benefit to the PSS department and to the community. This project serves as an example of how Moya Centre continues to evolve to better serve the people of Lobamba Lomdzala, while working effectively with partners to keep children safe.
Peer Supporters, Workshops & Additional Support
The Peer Supporter Program was started in 2014 and has proven to be invaluable to Moya’s partner schools. It uses the best resources possible, the children and youth who need assistance. Each year the school counsellors from 7 of Moya’s 8 partner schools select students to be trained and to practice peer supporting for that year. The students receive training on essential peer supporter skills: active listening, basic counselling and proper referral skills. They assist school guidance counsellors with identifying students in need of extra support. This training also includes the Journey of Life workshop.
The PSS Officers at Moya Centre are responsible for facilitating a plethora of workshops during the first term of each year. These includes Peer Supporter training, Preschool parenting skills training, and motivational workshops for sponsored students. In addition, the yearly profiling of all children in our programs gives the PSS department a clearer picture of those who need additional help. Assistance may include: uniforms, stationary, blankets, lamps, and in the most dire situations, food support is provided. This assistance has increased during the two years of Covid-19.
Since initiating the Peer Supporter program in 2014, the most common issue reported is the lack of basic toiletries for proper hygiene. Such items include: sanitary pads, soap, deodorant, lotion, toothpaste, etc. The absence of toiletries is a catalyst for truancy, drop-outs and bullying within our partner schools. Through Peer Supporters, guidance teachers, and community caregivers, the Moya PSS department is able to identify those most in need of Dignity Packs, which are also referred to as hygiene hampers. To help us provide dignitary packs for the children in the community, please donate to our Global Giving Project: Monthly Dignity Packs for 120 Swati Kids in 2020 – GlobalGiving