Free copies of Stepping Stones with Children, read on for more information!
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Welcome to the February newsletter and a happy New Year from the Salamander Trust!
Celebrations at the 21st anniversary party
Back row, l to r: Laura Pulteney, Ellen Bajenja, Angelina Namiba, Alice Welbourn Dominique Chadwick, Gill Gordon,
Nigel Padfield, Alison Williams, Keith McAdam
Middle row: Jamie Hartzell, Angela Hadjipateras
Front row: Silvia Petretti, Sue Holden, Luisa Orza, Glen Williams
2016 was an eventful year for the Salamander Trust. Amongst other things:
  • Two new publications, Stepping Stones Plus and Stepping Stones with Children were launched
  • With the support of our partner organisations PASADA and Kimara Peer Counselling, we delivered two workshops training facilitators in the use of Stepping Stones with Children (one in Tanzania and one in Lilongwe)
  • We celebrated the 21st anniversary of Stepping Stones
We also undertook many other projects, all related in some way to the themes addressed in Stepping Stones programmes also. For more info about all the other projects, read our latest annual report or look at our projects tab on our main Salamander Trust site. 
We couldn't have done all this without the support of our partner organisations, workers in the fields of health, education, gender and social justice from around the world...

In this edition of the newsletter, we have information about how to acquire free copies of Stepping Stones with Children, a summary of the 21st anniversary of Stepping Stones, and interviews with two members of our community of practice. Read on!
Wishing all the very best for 2017!
HAVE YOU SEEN OUR NEW WEBSITE?
 
We have just launched our new 
website. For this you will need to sign in when you access the site for the first time on each device you have (computer or tablet or mobile.)
This is only once for each device.


We have found that many people are moving jobs much more often than they used to. So they are inadvertently falling off the database. We are moving to this new database system so that you can keep in touch with us through your own personal email and not just through the email of your current job. If you want to do this please keep subscribed to this newsletter on both your email accounts! You might have received more than one copy of this newsletter. If you only want one copy in future, please let us know which email you would rather use. Thank you!
Stepping Stones with Children: Preliminary Findings
Initial findings from four communities in Tanzania where Stepping Stones with Children has been used indicate important outcomes such as:
 
- Increased disclosure to children about their HIV status
- Better adherence to treatment and greater improvements in CD4 counts among the children, compared to a control group who did not participate
- Greater self confidence among the children
- Better school attendance 
- Change in attitudes against using physical punishment  against children
- Attitudes which are more gender equitable
- Better knowledge and attitudes about sexual health
FREE COPIES OF STEPPING STONES WITH CHILDREN

We have free copies of Stepping Stones with Children for organisations and trainers who fit our criteria. To apply, please complete this form.



STEPPING STONES CELEBRATES 21 YEARS
Guests and members of the Salamander Trust, Positively UK, Mentor Mothers. From right to left, Angelina Namiba, Sophie Strachan, Memory Sachikonye, Alice Welbourn, Rebecca Mbewe, Winnie Ssanyu Sseruma, Silvia Petretti, Luisa Orza and Charity Nyirenda
In November the Salamander Trust celebrated the 21st anniversary of Stepping Stones. CAFOD (the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development) in London kindly provided a space for a gathering for guests and speakers. Guests included academics and students in the field of health promotion, HIV activists, older and newer users of Stepping Stones and many more.
The evening began with a beautiful rendition of ‘I say a little prayer’ sung by Malika, the daughter of Angelina Namiba. This was followed by a warm welcome from Alice. We also heard about the 21st anniversary edition of Stepping Stones, entitled Stepping Stones & Stepping Stones Plus and the new programme which focuses on children aged 5-14 and their caregivers, entitled Stepping Stones with Children. The latter was developed with our partner organisation PASADA, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with extra support, from Kimara Peer Counselling. Unfortunately many of the co-authors were unable to travel to London for the celebration, but we believe they were celebrating in spirit. To access the presentation providing background information, please click here.

 
Glen Williams from Strategies for Hope, the original publishers of Stepping Stones, spoke about the origins of the training package. To read his speech, click here. Ellen Bajenja provided an insight into her experience of using Stepping Stones in Uganda in the early 2000s. Her full speech can be found here. We also heard why and how Stepping Stones with Children was developed from Gill Gordon, the lead author of the new programme. For more information click here.

Dominque Chadwick of Social Films then spoke about the participatory films project, whereby children storyboarded, shot and edited their own films, based on their experiences as 9-14 and 5-8 year olds. Two of these films, ‘Give her a chance’ and ‘Kigadoro’, which were shown on the night, highlight just some of the issues children face and indicate the need for Stepping Stones with Children. To view these and all the films, click here.
 
Angelina spoke about her experience of the training of facilitators workshop in Dar in March 2016. To read it in full click here. We also heard from Beth Mbaka of Comic Relief.
After the speeches and films, there was time to catch up and meet new people over drinks and delicious snacks. ZZUK Africa United provided a feast!


Image 1: Malika opening the celebrations
Image 2: Ellen Bajenja sharing her experience of Stepping Stones
Image 3: Gill Gordon presenting how Stepping Stones with Children was developed
Preventing and Responding to Violence against Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean


 
In December 2016, Alice went to a conference in Panama organised by UN Women. The conference was about Preventing and Responding to Violence against Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean. Alice was asked to present an overview of the Stepping Stones programme over the years. To view this presentation click here.

 

 


This year, Alice Welbourn was very surprised and honoured to learn that the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists had decided to confer on her the title of Honorary Fellow, for services to women’s health.  
 

 
Read on to find out more about members of our community of practice.
In this edition, Stepping Stones Feedback spoke to Mwikisa and Mason
Introducing from our Community of Practice…Sam Mwikisa!



Name; Mwikisa Samuel Mwibawa
Organisation; Copperbelt Health Education Project
Lives; Kitwe, Zambia
From; Mongu, Western Province, Zambia
"Women need to be empowered so that they are able to educate their children like in my case being schooled by my single mother."
What do you do in your current role?
I am currently working as a Training and Research Centre Coordinator at Copperbelt Health Education Project (CHEP) heading the department responsible for skills development and capacity building of CHEP staff and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in CHEP areas of operations. The department is also tasked with research responsibilities in the areas of health and income generating activities through which communities are empowered. 
 
What do you consider to be the greatest need in your community at the moment?
The greatest need in my community is reducing the incidence of HIV which has adversely affected the education of boys and girls, and has increased their vulnerability in society. The prevailing attitudes and beliefs in my community are patriarchal and rate men as superior to women. This affects how men regard women, especially when it comes to equal participation in decision making and economic empowerment, where women and girls are largely disadvantaged.
 
High poverty has led to cost sharing which adversely affects the female completion rates of education at all levels of the school system. Where there are limited resources at household level, in providing financial support to education, preference is given to boys over girls. Most girls are married off by their parents when they are still very young and at school- going age. Although the government has enunciated the pregnancy re-entry policy, not all girls are able to return to school. In traditional societies, there are generally poor attitudes to the education of females resulting in girls not going to school. The prevalence of HIV and AIDS has forced girls to drop out of school so that they can help in domestic chores which include bringing up orphans and caring for the sick.
 
What or who inspires you?
I get my inspiration from my mother Ms Ireen Monde Sitaana. As a single mother, she managed to put a family of 8 and 14 more dependents in school. She was jobless but had a small scale farming business. She is my hero and has shown me that education is the best gift one can give to a child. People like Hakainde Hichilema, a politician, Dr and Mrs Mwila Joseph of Dayspring, who put orphans in schools, make the fatherless and motherless feel supported and cared for, make unending list of my source of inspiration.
   
What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is when I am able to put a smile on someone in need of my help. Providing social services is something that makes me proud and most importantly, I continue to feel proud providing support to parents and caregivers in building sustaining relationships with each other in pursuit of providing continued support for their children and provision of care and support to the sick and orphans.
 
What positive message would you like to share with the Community of Practice? 
Life is a journey with many problems but there is no problem without a solution. In whatever we do women need to be empowered so that they are able to educate their children like in my case being schooled by my single mother. Every child needs to be in school because education is one route to solutions of many social problems we face today. 
Introducing from our Community of Practice…Mason Matowa!


Name: Mason Matowa

Organisation; Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ)

Lives; Bindura, Mashonaland Central Province, Zimbabwe

From; Bindura, Mashonaland Central Province, Zimbabwe

 

"What we need to strengthen as a community of practice is our abilities to “stop, reflect and act” to the best interest of all children."

What do you do in your current role?

Currently, I am a project officer responsible for water and sanitation within a UNICEF funded project. I have worked for FCTZ for over 15 years in various capacities in diverse fields such as early childhood development, child protection, health including HIV and AIDS, livelihoods and water and sanitation. My main motivation in all these programmes was the welfare and protection of children.

I have always found passion in children as I am a proud father of 2 girls and 2 boys. Besides my current role in the organisation, I am also a trained Master Trainer for psychosocial care and support with an organisation called REPSSI. I have been involved in various PSS trainings that are targeted to child care practitioners such as teachers, nurses, police officers, social workers, government extension workers as well as civil society development workers.

I am also currently mentoring a six modular certificate programme that is being championed by REPSSI with technical and quality assurance by the University of Kwazulu Natal. So far I have mentored 3 cycles of Bindura students and am currently recruiting the next batch of students.

I am one of the Trainers for Stepping Stones with Children in Zimbabwe, certified by Salamander Trust, after having gone through a rigorous 2 week training workshop in Malawi in May 2017.

What do you consider to be the greatest need in your community at the moment?

Resilient qualities to go on with our lives. The ability to protect and provide for our children. That ability to take another step and move away from the vagaries of poverty, HIV and AIDS as well as domestic violence which have a devastating effect on the lives of children. The ability to make that critical step towards emancipation. With added economic and educational support, the creation of resilient communities can become a reality.

What or who inspires you?

My parental values are an inspiration to everything I do. I have learnt to regard people as able human beings who become sharpened through challenges. People who continue to require support even in their moments of ignorance and who can go beyond the Godly adage, “Love one another as you would love yourself”.

What is your greatest achievement?

To be able to realise my worthiness and contribution to the close communities that I interact with on a day-to-day basis. Being able to carve a niche as a child care practitioner who has developed “double lenses” in protecting children, especially through training others.

What positive message would you like to share with the Community of Practice?

You will never satisfy children’s needs in your lifetime because they also evolve with time and become adults. What we need to strengthen as a community of practice are our abilities to “stop, reflect and act” to the best interest of all children.

Our thanks to Mwikisa and Mason for taking the time to speak to us. 
Keep in touch!

Stepping Stones has a brand new website! Check it out here. If you’d like to find out more about Stepping Stones, and read previous editions of the newsletter, click here.
 
Have you joined our Facebook groups? Do join our Salamander Trust group, and Stepping Stones Feedback group. We love to see how you are using Stepping Stones, so please continue to share your photos and videos, (but please ensure you have the consent of those being filmed beforehand, and respect the confidentiality of children especially).
 
Keep an eye out for our Twitter campaign, which will feature a taster of Stepping Stones with Children@StStFeedback and @SalamanderTrust
 
And, if you would like to purchase your own copy of Stepping Stones with Children or Stepping Stones & Stepping Stones Plus which are available from Practical Action, click here.
 
Copyright © 2017 Salamander Trust, All rights reserved.


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