We suddenly realised that looking at this Blog you would think we have done nothing over the year since Lesley came back from Lusaka - we have however been pretty active. It was clear from what she came back with that there was support for consolidating the training through Training of Trainers (ToT) but that we still had a lot to establish and to learn about delivering ToT.
We also needed to explore funding both for more feasibility work and the longer term plan that hopefully would emerge. As part of this I attended an All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health ( Mental Health ) meeting in February which was focusing on how to make INGOs aware of the importance of Mental Health in sustainable development- really useful material in the report and in the paper "10 things you need to know about mental health". In some ways it was reassuring to find that larger well established INGOs were finding it hard to attract funding for mental health - not just us!
I linked us to MHIN ( Mental Health International Network) and the recent launch of MHIN Africa which hopefully will help to keep us in the loop!
ZTA is also now a member of Zambia UK Health and Workforce Alliance (ZUKHWA) and Lesley joined their conference in May ' Measuring Effective Partnerships',
We joined a THET webinar on Training of Trainers. These events have provided us with some useful models and learning from other programmes which we will be able to put to good use in our future plans and inputs.
We are expanding too - Simon who joined as Trustee and has - thank goodness taken over the role of Treasurer has been generally making us more organised technically and he is looking forward to being part of the January trip. We have also met up with another Art Therapist with good relevant experience who is interested in in joining us in 2017 later in the year.
We arranged a full Board meeting in August borrowing a lovely chalet in Aviemore - situated in woodland by a burn and where we were rewarded by sight of a red squirrel leaping past the window!
Sadly Beverley had car issues at the last moment but was able to join us on skype particularly to share her experience of different training and assessment approaches.
Lesley and I gave a presentation and workshop for the Art Psychotherapy trainees at QMU Edinburgh which was very interesting as we focused on how the most simple art making activity seems to open communication, good feed back from them and useful for us!
We have stayed in close contact with our colleagues in Lusaka, helping to plan how we go forward - great support as always from Sylvester in MHUNZA- and getting things set up to deliver training at UTH and Chainama in the New Year.
We have had further support from MAITS ( Multi Agency International Training) who have agreed yet again to give grants to us all which helps greatly towards our flights and without which this January trip would be impossible.
MAITS Capacity-building for Disability and Mental Health
Anyway we have flights booked for January, rooms booked at Gossner Mission - managing to secure the same 2 bedroomed small lodge so we can use that as a good working base - back to sitting on the veranda to review the days progress. At least it won't be so hot this time - maybe a bit wet still but that is always good for the emergence of interesting wild life of the creepy crawly variety. The future is generally looking really positive and we can now see how the next few years could pan out.