Francis Tsawayo WINDHOEK THE Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare last week held a week-long Psychosocial Support Training workshop for twenty-five caregivers of children in residential care, who received certificates upon completion. The course, delivered by Philippi Trust Namibia (PTN) was aimed at empowering caregivers with knowledge on topical issues that included the risks children face, children’s needs, abuse, loss and bereavement as well as basic counseling, among others. Speaking at the ceremony, Steve Njembo of PTN reminded participants that the aim of the course was to help children deal with poverty, death and abuse. Impressed by the eagerness to learn and the active participation of the group, he urged caregivers to return and share their experiences with other people in their communities. Njembo noted that efforts by the child welfare ministry had not gone to waste as it was clear the group had learned a lot from the endeavour. In a speech by the deputy minister of the child welfare ministry Angelika Muharukua that was delivered on her behalf by Helena Andjamba, she urged participants to go and share information about the services of the ministry and importantly, to share the training with other caregivers on how to provide emotional support to children who are vulnerable. She called for the participants to share and train their colleagues as a way of extending these services to the communities. She also thanked UNESCO and the US government for their continuous support. Representatives of the group took the podium to give feedback on the workshop. In their testimonies, they expressed gratitude for the endeavour. They felt they had gained a lot and urged one another to go and apply practically the knowledge they had gained. Participants also called for more follow-up workshops and thanked the efforts of the ministry. Also attending the workshop were social workers whose task was to familiarize themselves with issues facing society. They took the opportunity to meet the caregivers and make them aware of their service and presence. The weeklong workshop came to a close on a note by Gender Equality and Child Welfare Minister Marlene Mungunda on the opening day, that the participants are all teachers and have something to teach and learn from each other.
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