13 October, 2012

Let's be inspired by a South African methodology !

This week the school of social work at Rotterdam University welcomed a visitor from South Africa: Adele Grosse. She had come here on the invitation of Trivium Lindenhof and FICE to share her evidence-based methodology.
Adele Grosse is founder of IN TOUCH PARENTING and founder the PROUD2B ME Foundation, a community development organisation that provides family preservation programmes.
As all (working) parents all over the world realise on a daily basis, it is a struggle sometimes to balance the priorities in your lives, especially if jobs are very demanding. But sometimes, no matter how important everything else feels, you have to take a step back and realise that parenting your child is more important than cleaning the house or getting some extra work done, Adele claims. And how right she is. By association, I can still remember the surprising and urgent appeal that a keynote speaker made at the end of his address at a major European social work conference in Parma, Italy (in 2007): "don't forget to be a social worker in your own family too !".
Although parenting means different things to different people, parenting is in fact a skill that needs to be learned and mastered by each and every parent.
It's exactly this issue that Adele Grosse addresses, "remember a responsible parent = a responsible home = a responsible child !" All too often we tend to forget that parents' behaviour has a huge impact on children: "children see, children do".

Habits die hard and there's always a reason to continue things the way they are. Making changes is not easy, so realising that, Adele set out  to develop a tool kit and a unique 5-week programme based on four pillars, each pillar being covered within a week. The focus of the four pillars is on:
  • role & responsibility (as youth/parent/educator)
  • self-esteem & affirmation
  • effective communication skills
  • values & discipline
This preservation programme bases itself on the assertion that: a responsible me = a responsible home = a responsible school = a responsible community = a responsible nation.
By approaching the tasks of parenting from 3 different angles (youth, parents and educators) simultaneously and by working in support groups, a longer lasting change can be achieved. Moreover, by this joint effort these 3 parties learn to speak the same language of transformation, making the change more sustainable in the communities as well. As this methodology was seen to bring change and hope to the communities and townships in South Africa, interest in this unique model grew in different parts of the country.
With appealing posters and short videos, the message was spread : "Each of us has the ability to change things around us by becoming the change WE wish to see in this world. Come on SA, let's demolish the bad habits in our communities! "
In her heart-felt, inspirational presentation Adele made the audience realise more than anything else that our societies desperately need wholesome and responsible parents who empower their children to reach their full potential by creating a loving, nurturing environment that strengthens the family and society. 
"Change starts with me .... everything starts with me .... Don't think it, ink it" ! Get up and get started, why wait any longer ? That's how Adele Grosse has done it and achieved so much.