Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Mainstreaming PSS

RAY OF HOPE FOUNDATION has adopted the following strategies in fulfilling its mandate:

Strategy 1: Use advocacy to promote the mainstreaming of psychosocial care and support in all aspects of child development.

  • Strengthen national orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) networks to mainstream psychosocialsupport into their member organizations’ policies and practices, for example REPSSI participated in the Namibian National OVC conference in 2005 during which their National OVC Strategy was inaugurated. REPSSI’s role focussed around ensuring that there was child and youth participation in this process.

  • Sensitize, encourage and support partners to mainstream activities and forms of organizations where children and youth assume responsibilities as social actors. The Vijana Simama Imara programme in HUMULIZA - a kids savings club from Tanzania - is an amazing example.

  • Develop mainstreaming guidelines for enhancing the capacity of multi-country organizations tointegrate psychosocial support into policies, practice, and care. REPSSI is currently working with Save the Children UK in scaling up community sensitization to psychosocial support through the ‘Journey ofLife’ tool

  • Support policy development and enforcement at both regional and national levels.

Strategy 2: Develop, share, and disseminate knowledge, skills, and expertise in the application ofpsychosocial care and support with partners at all levels.

  • Use reflective and interactive processes for capturing, developing, and sharing knowledge with community groups and organizations. An example here is Memory Work itself, which is both a therapeutic tool as well as a powerful participatory reflective and qualitative research instrument. By engaging with their own stories and sharing them with others, this kind of work spills into another domain which is very useful in communicating and understanding a wide range of complex issues not easily captured by empirically structured quantitative research methods.

  • Through collaborative processes, harness the knowledge and experience of recognized partner organizations to efficiently and effectively develop, share, and disseminate knowledge, skills, and expertise. Via its website and the regular production of resource materials containing REPSSI latest research findings as well as useful resources developed by partner organisations, knowledge and skills are widely disseminated.

  • Create a healthy psychosocial support environment for all children by working with and supporting teachers and other organisations providing services to children.

Strategy 3: Work in partnership with existing organizations that interface with children and youth toenhance and promote the provision of psychosocial care and support.

  • Develop internal skills and capacity that enable REPSSI to communicate with partners to extract, enhance, and share psychosocial care and support knowledge and skills.

  • Provide widespread technical support throughout the region via a mobile psychosocial support task team.

  • Share psychosocial support knowledge with partner organizations through productive and collaborative dialogue.

Strategy 4: Ensure quality psychosocial care and support service delivery while meeting the very urgentpsychosocial support demands of the region.

  • Consolidate and harness internal skills and capacity to provide quality assurance both internally and externally.

REPSSI’s goal therefore, is to facilitate and increase the overlap between knowledge development, transfer, and scale-up. Primary elements to the REPSSI scale up strategy include:

  • Psychosocial support model development and testing, working with organisations that havepsychosocial support expertise.

  • The creation of partnerships, alliances, and networks – to facilitate psychosocial support model transfer and scale up.

  • Training and mentorship - Regional Pool of Facilitators, the Youth Development Diploma and the New orphans and vulnerable children degree being developed in partnership with UNISA & UNICEF.

  • Information creation and dissemination - Knowledge Net Centres;

  • Advocacy, Community mobilisation for better care and support of children -Journey of Life - a community mobilisation tool; and

  • Material and technical support for mainstreaming psychosocial suppor

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