I have given this post that title as I am sitting here at Gossner wearing almost every garment I possess! We knew it would be colder but were not prepared for quite such a wintery feel. Thick walking socks, shawls the lot have come into use! Anyway enough complaints - it has been a short but eventful trip as usual and we have been very lax at posting anything I am afraid. We have been three this time, Simon, myself and a new Scottish based Art Therapist, Liz Hall.
"Sitting here in the garden sketching the cacti, and reflecting on my first trip to Zambia, I am struck by how well they capture the experience ~ beautiful, thorny, difficult to grasp, and yet full of life affirming substance. The paradox of these aspects all coexisting at once is perhaps what life always is, but in this unfamiliar place they become illuminated in their stark opposition and challenging extremes. During my time here I have given two presentations and a puppet workshop on art therapy and child trauma abuse, and visited mental health facilities, nursery, primary and special schools to gain a broad introduction to childrens' services here. It has been a stimulating, thought provoking time, both professionally and personally, and I am thinking about the possibilities for my next visit already." Liz.
Liz is going to be a valuable addition to the Scottish based ZTA group,
This trip has been the first of our year of Capacity Building, based on a Scottish Government Small Grant so the emphasis has been divided between completing Trainings and Training of Trainers and starting the consultations with various stakeholders to look at how we build here in Zambia the capacity to integrate, coordinate and develop the training and practice of Therapeutic Art. Margarate Munakampe is helping us with this aspect of the programme. There have been 2 training programmes, one at Chainama Hospital for UNZA nurse students on Mental Health placement, this was delivered by Kestone Lyumbai to complete his certification as a trainer and the other in Ndola general Hospital, Psychiatric Department for unit staff. Here Susan Ntengwe completed her Training so there are now four certificated Zambian trainers. The Scottish Grant sadly does not cover everything we need to do and it was owing to a Grant from the Schehallion Group that we were able both to bring Liz over here and fund the training in Ndola so Susan could complete Stage 2. Though the Hospital there provided funding for materials and refreshments which was a great help. We have had a good range of responses to the training from the different trainee groups with a lot of emphasis on the new experience of what simple art making can achieve and how sharing this with patients has challenged assumptions and changed attitudes.
We held an gathering last evening of all the Zambian Trainers. It was really great event with a wonderful meal cooked in the Gossner kitchen by Miriam with help from Felisitus and Patricia. We had time to enjoy ourselves and have useful discussions about the way forward and what needs to be prioritised. It is a powerful team and they are going to play an important part in the next stage of the programme.
Simon and Liz have now left and I am going to Dar es Salaam to find out more about what is happening there and then returning in August to continue the Training programme and the development work.