Strengthening psychological services in rural area schools
Thabisile H. Zondi
The challenge that the project addresses:
The legacy of separate development, extreme poverty, the political violence leading up to democracy, the erosion of family structures and HIV/AIDS has led to an increased need for psychological support services.Because there are so few IsiZulu speaking psychologists in the country, rural areas are the last to receive psychological human resources. This makes psychological services for low income rural communities inaccessible and unaffordable.Non availability of educational psychologists internship posts in schools, because the current government internship posts are for hospital based clinical psychologists.
What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?:
- Our organisation approaches Full Service Schools which caters for learners with mild to moderate barriers to learning; to provide them with 10 full days onsite psychological services provided by post grad psychology interns. under the supervision of a registered senior educational psychologist.
- Services are provided at minimum fee of R1000.00 excluding travelling costs from our offices to the school which is 100km plus, per single trip.
- Services include: psychological assessment, child and parent feedback, parent and child psycho education and workshops, educator workshops, handover of child reports with recommendations and closure of the cycle.
Describe the project's impact:
- Psycho-education workshops and feedback given to 45 parents and 55 educators. Some parents were remorseful, in tears, realising their mistakes and thankful for knowing and understanding what their children were going through.
- Contributing to psychological well-being participants and enabling educational psychologist to meet their internship requirements.
- Provided Psychological services to 30 children, 30 parents and 35 educators.
- 99% of reports and recommendations for disability grants were granted by DSD, leading to alleviation of poverty.
- 4 intern educational psychologists have been employed over 2018 and 2019 academic years, two for each year, thus providing employment and qualification of young IsiZulu speaking psychologists.