Thanks to our wonderful volunteers from YWAM who put this together for us!
AMP's impact in 2014
Over the last year, AMP has continually prioritised and worked to improve our monitoring and evaluation systems. This has been achieved with the help of outside consultants as well as internal staff,in particular, Emily Westerlund, our M&E officer. As a result of this M&E focus, we were able to take real stock of the impact we made through our Peer Support Group Programme in 2014.
In 2014 AMP ran 23 support groups through our Peer Support Group Programme, serving a total of 206 beneficiaries. Our support groups acheived an overall attendance rate of 77%. A majority of the individuals served were Congolese or Malawian, mostly between the ages of 26 and 35 years old. The majority were also unemployed, and a significant percentage undocumented, indicating that AMP serves a particularly vulnerable group.
Last year AMP became a grantee of the US Department of State Bureau for Population Refugees and Migration. Through this partnership AMP has committed to scaling up our Peer Support Group Programme for this project period in order to serve nearly double the amount of beneficiaries to what we had been reaching in the past.
This transitional phase of scaling up and expanding has been a very challenging and exciting one. We developed our internal capacity by hiring a programme coordinator, Deo Katongole, in October of last year. In his new role Deo has played a very important part of coordinating our field staff and efforts to build our networks, grow our partnerships, and scale up our programme. Our Peer Counsellors spent the month of January preparing for and recruiting participants for our 14 support groups which launched in February (in contrast to the 7 groups we ran in September last year). We have established a presence in a number of new communities. Our current groups are being held in Parrow, Wynberg, Athlone, Maitland, Hout Bay, Observatory and Retreat.
We held a final celebration event in December last year for the fifth round of support groups that have been implemented since our Peer Support Group Programme launched in April of 2013. This event is held to honour those who have committed to the 10-week Peer Support Group Programme and to celebrate the skills development and personal growth they have achieved as a result. They are presented with certificates of participation in the programme which highlight the skills developed in the groups.
The ceremony was held in the Observatory Community Centre hall and hosted about 55 support group members and a handful of special guests. AMP Peer Counsellors Genevieve and Simba were MCs of the event, keeping the audience engaged and entertained throughout the morning. Before the support group members went up to collect their certificates, a few of them were invited up to the front to share with the rest of the group how the programme had impacted their lives:
“Once you make peace with yourself, it’s the starting of everything. Because you can’t make peace with another person while you are not in peace with yourself.”
Last month the AMP team celebrated a very special milestone in the life of a very special woman. It was the 70th birthday of our long-time volunteer Wendy Williams, who has travelled to Cape Town annually over the last four years from her home in Wales to volunteer with the Adonis Musati Project.
Wendy has played a very vital role in AMP over the last four years as a field work volunteer. She has helped us largely with community mapping and networking, braving the streets of unfamiliar areas to research available service providers to whom we can refer our beneficiaries. She has also been a great mentor for our Peer Counsellors, helping to build their capacity to network and develop a level of confidence and professionalism that they employ in the field. We truly admire Wendy’s adventurous spirit, her courage and determination, and most notably, her ability to connect with individuals from various cultures and backgrounds and adapt to new environments. She is a woman of many talents and it is inspiring to see that she still puts time and energy into using these talents to help others.
“One of the most rewarding experiences for me working as a Peer Counsellor is to learn, listen and share together as refugee women who have experienced many challenges from the countries we are coming from and in the country where we now find ourselves as refugees. By knowing each other and sharing our testimonies I feel encouraged and empowered, and I take the opportunity to strengthen other women.
I am also rewarded by the work I am doing in different communities. I have reached more than 120 women by giving them powerful skills such as: how to set goals by using the SMART criteria; conflict resolution; problem solving; how to deal with loss, stress, depression and healing; and information about human rights, documentation and health. Those topics were positive experiences for me to see how after the 10 days of meetings many of the women have sent their CV and gotten a job. And we empowered and encouraged women who did not know how to read and write English, and now they attend English class and begin to know how to read and to communicate in English language."
The AMP team celebrated the closing of 2014 with a trip to the Cape Wheel at the V&A Waterfront and lunch at the Spur. For most it was their first time on the wheel, with a few having to brave their fear of heights as they stepped into the gondola. It was a wonderful to be able to spend time away from the office as a team and to enjoy some of the sites that Cape Town has to offer, especially the beautiful panoramic views of the city from the top of the wheel! Afterwards we enjoyed a 3 course lunch at Spur and exchanged gifts. The afternoon wrapped up with the Spur staff singing Happy Birthday and serving a special dessert to one of our Peer Counsellors, John, who was also celebrating his birthday. We owe a big thanks to the Cape Wheel for providing the tickets to AMP’s staff free of charge, and Spur for organising a special discounted menu.
Standard Bank | Adonis Musati Project | Acct: 072548398 | Branch no: 025109