A support group was started at Nkodibe High School in May 2009. It wasn’t an easy initiative to implement but we surely got away with it. The support group is for learners from grades 8 to 12 who are affected by and infected with HIV. The learners responded positively to the initiative and now the group is growing stronger everyday. The group was officially named in the presence of all the members. We are called “THANDIMPILO SUPPORT GROUP”. We meet every Tuesdays and Fridays.
The support group is there to help the learners find coping mechanisms in dealing with the everyday challenges that come with being an HIV positive learner. The learners will give and receive support from their peers in the group as they share their similar experiences. I believe that the support group will provide a chance for the learners to face their fears about HIV/AIDS in a safe and understanding environment, they will also be able to share their experiences with people who will not judge them, but give them support.
The support group is also meant to empower and motivate the learners. We have started making bead ribbons and we will soon be starting a garden project. Both the ribbons and the vegetables will be up for sale and we hope that our Mpilonhle Family will be our greatest supporters.
The group sessions are very relaxed, I must say, of course we do have those very emotional sessions.
To Unit 3 and the Social Work Department thank you very much for the tremendous support you are giving us.