Can you tell me more about the Mudita Foundation’s team?
Our team is small and consists of a registered educational psychologist, a registered counsellor, two social workers and two student interns. We also have a few volunteers, who helps us with our programmes, admin and tutoring.
Learn more about volunteering with us here.
Who are the board members of the Mudita Foundation?
Alison Carstens: Educational Psychologist (CEO)
Dr Liezl Van Pletzen-Vos: Archeologist (Chairperson)
Stephanus Erasmus: Educational Psychologist (Treasurer)
Alicia Hoorn: Social Worker (Director)
Christo Van Tubbergh: Engineer (Director)
Ezra Jivan: Software Developer
What kind of measures do you take to prevent relapse after the 12 week treatment programme?
We run an aftercare programme, which takes place every Friday after school. During this time our counsellor and social worker delivers the 12-step programme (AA groups) as well as sometimes repeating parts of the 16 week intensive outpatient treatment programme if necessary. The aftercare programme includes age appropriate educational videos on drugs and alcohol, which the learners discuss afterwards while being supervised by a counsellor and/or social worker. About 2-3 times a year we organise an outside speaker to come and address the learners. They enjoy the break from their usual counsellors and the time spent with the speakers is usually refreshing for them, and, often ‘puts things into perspective’.
The aftercare programme is also used for recreational/down time, especially over the holiday periods where the learners are invited to engage in other recreational activities such as arts and crafts, watching movies, playing video games etc., and we usually have music in the background along with pizza and other treats. This down time teaches learners to enjoy normal activities without the use of drugs or alcohol.
During aftercare, learners are drug tested frequently to map their progress and are also comprehensively assessed if needed. Aftercare is offered to all learners who completed the initial 16 week programme and they may access these services as long as they are still in school (must be one of the three schools we currently service as we do not have the manpower to go far and wide)
Our aftercare programme is currently unfunded. Find out how you can help here.
What kind of help do you offer the learners at risk of developing SUDs?
We currently refer learners at risk of developing substance use disorders to our counsellor and/or social workers who then uses screening instruments, observations and peripheral data to obtain a clearer picture of the presenting problems. If they ascertain that there is a risk but that the learner does not fit the criteria for outpatient treatment, they will proceed to deliver individual counselling sessions once a week for a pre-determined period of time. They will continue to assess the learner’s need for services and direct their sessions accordingly or refer where necessary. All of our staff have been trained in the therapeutic technique called Motivational Interviewing (MI) which is, at present, the most widely used technique in treatment of people at risk of developing drug and alcohol problems and people who are dependent on substances.
What things do the learner’s deal with other than SUDs?
Most of the learners who present with SUDs are exposed to daily traumas such as shootings in their community, physical and sexual abuse by close family and/or other community members and gang related violence. Many of the learnets have lost close family members through violence or imprisonment and, as a result of this and other factors, these learners have often suffered neglect from an early age. Some learners feel lonely, misunderstood, unloved and uncared for.