We have a group name (and blog); Kibera Soweto East Mental Health Group…SWEET!!!8:18:00 AM
|We created the blog|
Last week I officially began my mental health/digital story telling training inKibera Soweto East’s Resource Centre thanks you the amazing support of Hital Muraj of Cisco Systems and Pollination Project’s #seedthechange initiative. Yesterday we did Day 2 and it was exciting to find that the number of participants had risen to 23 from 17, which to me was an indication that they loved the first class, they just had to tell their friends.
Lesson 1 last week, was a ‘Tujuane’ series of sorts; we did basic introduction of ourselves and the program after my usual mingle mingle, if you attended my poetry nights, you know what I am all about. I then shared about my work and my experience (rape and living with epilepsy and bipolar) and my greater role and aim in life and specifically in mental health. They introduced themselves and also shared their hobbies and ambitions. We then did a questionnaire to test their mental health knowledge and since we are doing digital storytelling, the questionnaire has a few questions on web presence and a few on advocacy and support (you can request for the mental health knowledge test on firstname.lastname@example.org). They will fill this questionnaire again at the end of the training just to see if we have made any progress.
Lesson 2, yesterday, saw us get into groups (after mingle mingle) since some people were getting lost in the crowd and each group has a chair and a secretary. We did an intro to blogging and officially opened group blog http://kiberasowetoeastmentalhealthgroup.blogspot.com (I know the title is forever but follow it NOW). It has no information because that was their first group assignment, to write about their first encounter with me, a topic they chose democratically from a list of group suggestions. We will review the stories next week and the best post will have the honor of being the first post on the blog and that will be a regular assignment after every lesson.
Half the class 11/23, don’t have email addresses (they get on FB via their phones numbers – I learnt that yesterday and there is a fraction who don’t use FB at all). We came up with a second assignment of pairing, where the half with emails will assist the half without to get addresses. Once they all have emails, we will have a Google Group and FB group page where they can share and engage. One of the questions in the questionnaire was on stress and if they have someone to talk to and most stated they don’t…soon they will have each other, you all know we all need someone. I love their participation and spirit, we laugh half the lesson, there is so much positive energy and they bring out the teacher in me so well, they definitely have earned a special place in my heart and I have redone my initial curriculum to suit them based on their answers on the questionnaire and also because I want to give them the best. I am already in talks with partners (specific subject specialists) to schedule sessions with them and give my ‘babies’ the best.
Next class will be on Tuesday 18th, 12.00pm and we will be learning about epilepsy, I am counting down already and thanking God for this opportunity to share and build others through Pollination Project's #seedthechange project. See pictures of the sessionhere and like the page while there.