Hundreds receive training and support

04 August 2021 | Local News

Windhoek [email protected]
At Side by Side Early Intervention Centre, one of the key factors to success is the parents’
workshops, designed to provide education and skills to the community for assisting in the caretaking
of children with disabilities.
Between January and June this year, 534 people were enrolled in their programs and received
training and support. This included parents, healthcare workers and students. “The parents’
workshop was designed to cover nine topics over the year. The sessions give parents the opportunity
to meet one another and offer emotional and mental support,” says founder Huipie van Wyk.
In the progress report from January to June 2021, they had to modify their groups to smaller ones
due to Covid. The teams already concluded four training sessions in Windhoek and one at Osire
refugee camp. The camp is home to more than 2 000 refugees from Angola. “One of their social
workers reached out to us to assist with basic training on disability. At Osire, there are 12 children
with disabilities being cared for by their family members. We trained 28 people, including 12 parents
and the rest were staff members and healthcare workers at the camp.”
Due to Covid restrictions, the day care rehabilitation centre was not open, however they were able
to see parents and children on a one-on-one basis. “Through this program, we can evaluate and
support each child attending our program.”
There are currently seven therapists and care workers attending to 69 children per week. During
these sessions, parents are trained to maintain therapy at home providing support for the children
to prevent regression. “We appointed an occupational therapist in February to show our
commitment to working on a program that can benefit children and give us a measurable tool,” she
said.
Although they are unable to reach the children in quantities, this method delivers quality. “Now we
can reach our goals and have sustainable results. By being forced to change our methods we can do
more focused training sessions.”

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