We have delivered our last training workshop at the House of Hospitality on ‘understanding the origins of mental wellbeing’. The aim was to promote psychological understandings of distress and to encourage staff to think beyond diagnostic labels. In discussions with the team, it seems that this was something that had already been introduced previously and today’s session was an opportunity to consolidate their knowledge. Again, the baked goods went down a treat! After the session, we said our goodbye’s to staff and clients, which was much harder than anticipated. We’ve reflected that this could be down to the time we have spent getting to know the service users and staff and the relationships we have built.
This morning, we were invited to another older adult day centre in Masasa. As we mentioned before, this is a fantastic service and is accessible to all over the age of 65. The service offers an integration of different services and promotes physical and psychological wellbeing. We were lucky enough to attend their weekly dance/music session and saw the older adults act out scenes of bewitchment and abuse to raise awareness in their local community through dramatization. The photo below is of the ‘agogos’ doing a traditional dance.
On Saturday, we heard a moving story from a lady we have come to know at the Centre. She spoke about how her decisions in life have been influenced/driven by financial motives and she has compromised her ambitions to meet the needs of her children and wider family. Despite many challenges, she told us of her belief that things would get better and spoke of her unrelenting faith that her “time will come” (either in this life or the next). We have spent time reflecting on the power of faith and spiritual beliefs in the midst of struggles and challenges encountered by the people of Malawi.
Over the next few days, we will be spending time with the children at the Child Development Centre and hope to attend an outreach service for street children. We are aware that we w don’t have much time left in Malawi so we are using every opportunity to soak up new learning and spending time with friends we have made here.
We will endeavour to keep you updated!
Kelly & Hayley