Being an older sister to momsCommon Good
At the heart of Sikunye’s Home-Visiting programme is relationship. Women are trained to visit mom in her home and support her through the crucial window of time that is the First Thousand Days. This relationship is a powerful platform for moms to be encouraged and strengthened.
Listen in to the experience of four home-visitors recently trained by Sikunye.
Hazel from de Doorns shared, “The Home Visiting training really gave us a tool to empower families and households in our community. As a church we really needed that equipping to reach out to families around us”
Once Sophie from Villiersdorp got started, she quickly shared this feedback with us, “I started my home visits yesterday. This mom lost her boyfriend in a fire about a month ago. The twin boys are 6 months old and their older sister is 2 years old. Together we made the rattles and a ball (from Session 16 of the Home-Visiting Manual). I sung songs to them and one of the twins was laughing. His grandmother said she couldn’t believe it because he is always so serious. I had such a blessed time with this little family.”
Khanyiswa in Mfuleni reflected on how she doesn’t have to be the expert with all the knowledge, but can partner with other service providers in her community: “I’m so grateful for the information [Sikunye] gave us about the importance of the First Thousand Days (which I didn’t know anything about) and how to start caring for a mother while she’s still pregnant. By giving her love and care, she is able to love her babies. I can help where possible but if not, I now know I can refer the mom or child to the right place”
Leona from Wynberg shares how the training impacted her personally, “I have learned how to be more aware of my emotions, so that I can empathise with mom’s emotions more easily. I am better able to relate to other people’s feelings, now that I know how to dig inside of myself and remember back to the time that I felt the same”
This idea of being an older sister is something that is recognized as an important part of supporting families: “Parenting support programmes, a proven intervention for building constructive parental-child relationships and effective parenting practices, are critical for parents who are raising children in the context of high levels of poverty; chronic illness and disability; violence; and other social risk factors.” (National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy of South Africa, 2015).
If you want to explore being a home-visitor, explore our training at https://sikunye.org.za/get-equipped/home-visitors/ . You can grow a team of home-visitors so that all the families in this important stage of life are seen, cared for and supported.