The Ark and Mark Trust https://www.arkandmark.org/, has been developing ICDP since 2017, sponsored by the RVTS WEST Norway (a centre on violence, traumatic stress and suicide prevention).
In 2020, a group of facilitators started to receive training at Trainer level. The first workshop at Trainer level was conducted over four days from 10 – 13 March 2020, at the Staywell Hotel in Mogoditshane. It was attended by 12 participants, 6 were from the Ark and Mark Trust and 6 from the Thamaga community. The training was conducted by Patrick O’Loughlin and Chiku Mkalu.
The participant trainee trainers planned to carry out their practical ICDP tasks in Ramotswa, a village about 40kms from Gaborone, where they were supposed to start forming new facilitators. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic they were unable to embark on their projects. After consultation with the local Social Welfare & Community Development office in Ramotswa, it was decided to continue with the ICDP training in 2021.
“A mini research was conducted in 2020 to get feedback on the status of the village during the challenging times. It transpired that family relations were being challenged due to the imposed quarantines, and as a result of not knowing how to accommodate each other in their confined spaces – something ICDP propels beautifully and effortlessly. One of the police officers talked about the rise in child related cases in 2020, saying that he wished for ICDP to resume soon, because they had begun to appreciate a decline in such cases during the years ICDP was implemented”. – Tshepiso Sekopo, therapy and training coordinator.
Activities in 2021, up until June:
Training of trainers: The first virtual meeting with Patrick and Chiku took place on the 19th of May 2021 and it was a preparatory meeting for trainee trainers, who will be training 50 facilitators (40 from Ramotswa and 10 from Thamaga).
THAMAGA: The Implementation of ICDP in Thamaga was resumed in April 2021, with the support of the village leadership and the Social Welfare office. Ark and Mark Trust mobilized 26 facilitators. The challenge was that some of the facilitators relocated for various reasons and others, especially teachers from secondary schools are not available as they are fully engaged at schools due to COVID-19. The 26 facilitators have managed to reach out to 110 caregivers and 364 children.
GABORONE: Ark and Mark Trust have initiated the implementation of ICDP at one of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) camps. These camps are a community within the greater community of Gaborone and face unique difficulties because members of the force often leave their families for long periods of time – as a result of which, the army families face significant challenges. The ICDP programme was introduced as a possible solution. The reception by the Social Welfare office has been very positive. They see ICDP as a programme that can add value to the families and children at BDF. The participants are happy with the ICDP course and are always ready to do their home tasks and bring their feedback to the next ICDP session. There are noted improvement in their homes regarding their family interaction. The biggest challenge is with regard the time schedules to run the parent groups due to the imposed quarantines. This contributes to a delay in the completion of the programme as the facilitators are often having to reschedule the ICDP sessions. Four ICDP facilitators are running sessions at BDF for 24 participants, at a ratio of 1:6 due to the pandemic. The Ark and Mark Trust provided voice recorders to facilitators to enable them to capture the content of sessions for entry into their log books – this was necessary because only one facilitator is running ICDP sessions, whereas usually they work in pairs.