Life of a TVT Home Visitor – Nhlakanipho Dlamini
1)How long have you been working at the TVT?
I have been working at the TVT organization from 2016 to date.
2)How many families and children have you interacted with?
I have been assigned to work with 200 beneficiaries and currently I’m sitting on 206
which is made up of 91 family households with 115 children. They are all being
served as TVT beneficiaries.
However, as we all know that there are many more community members facing
societal ills, and they all need a helping hand. I have helped more than the number
assigned to me and continue to assist affected people that I encounter.
3)An exciting day at work
There was this one day I woke up early in the morning and started doing home visits as usual part of my everyday job.
I was doing Child Stimulation that day.I entered the premises of this homestead, and when I was about to pass by the window I overheard one of the children calling out my name. When I looked through the window I saw the children were alone and no parents were present. Two of these children were TVT beneficiaries and I didn’t know the third one. I stepped back a bit to listen and heard them doing a role play, and had assigned themselves into different roles. One of the children took my role as a facilitator and called himself by my name, “Malume Nhlaka”. The other two acted as learners. The one who imitated my role was teaching them how to count. They were using stones as learning tools.
Seeing that made me feel very honored because it showed me that the effort we put into supporting the community members is being valued, and the children are now placing high value on studying and using their playtime to self-actualize without the help of an adult person. That was the happiest day of my life.
Reporting day: Friday. This is one of the exciting days of my work with the team as I am out in the field with the community and I experience many challenges and often don’t have a solution. During reporting time with my colleagues, I get advice and we discuss ways and find a solution.
There was this family of three; a mother, father and a child. Both parents were HIV positive. The wife was taking the treatment even though her viral load was high and the husband was not on medication.
I intervened by conducting sessions where by I was giving HIV/AIDS lessons.
a) CD4 Count and viral load
c) Healthy Diet
Furthermore; I accompanied the husband to visit the local clinic to get help and counselling, where he received medication. I continued to do home visits, and the wife told me that the husband has stopped taking medication. I, again sat down with him, and let him know the importance of Adherence and acceptance and also discussed topics related to the situation. He went back to the clinic for his medication. Ever since then he’s eating healthy, and adhering to his medication.
4)What I love about my work?
As a community development worker, my job is to help communities, bring about social change and improve the quality of life in the local area.
This strengthens my values as a human being, increases my self-confidence, self-esteem, brings life satisfaction, and a sense of identity/ belonging.
5)How has your life been impacted working at TVT?
I have had many downfalls in my life . Some were more severe than others. I could see my life fading. But one day I sat and had self-introspection, that’s where I changed my mindset and said no, I can do something meaningful with my life.
I got hired at TVT and enrolled in Higher Education and Training pursuing my studies to become a teacher. I am about to complete my course.
Ever since I changed my mindset, I am a better person than I was yesterday and have found more meaning in my life and have become more supportive to my community where I am faced with many struggling families..
The variety of training I have acquired at The Valley Trust has changed my perspective of how one should raise a child, how to conduct myself as a member of the community and how much I can positively influence people in my community. Now I have seen lives change before my eyes because of my intervention. I’ve seen parents who were neglecting their responsibilities starting to connect with their children, playing with them with the intention of educating and prioritizing their child’s holistic development.
6)What is my dream for the future?
My dream for the future is to see all the societal ills lessen.
To see every individual become an active participant in the community, being able to live freely, being advocates for themselves, working hard to self-actualize and be better independent individuals.