22 new psychosocial counsellors

Training on Psychosocial Counselling was rolled-out to 22 frontline workers from Chibolya School. This training was facilitated by Ministry of Health approved trainers and has already proven successful with ZOA’s other partners.

All 22 participants had prior experience working with children, including the school’s teachers and volunteers who are involved in student welfare.

The training began by increasing their understanding of mental health issues and then proceeded to teach them about Psychosocial Counselling and how to implement it effectively. This included sections on ethics, child abuse, and HIV/AIDS.

Participants demonstrating a 54% increase in knowledge after the training and are now equipped with the necessary skills to improve students’ well-being by providing counselling to vulnerable students.

Why is psychosocial training important?

Our previous psychosocial trainings have led to incredible results for children and their communities.

Back in 2019, after ZOA conducted a programme to train local teachers as mental health counsellors, absenteeism fell significantly and primary school graduation increased from 54% to 100%. This outcome was linked with several key improvements in the mental health of the children who were surveyed, including decreased suicidal thoughts and an increased ability to reach out and ask for help.

Furthermore, after the training programme…

  • More students were happy. Happiness at school increased by 8%.
  • Suicidal thoughts went down by 51%.
  • More students cried, but fewer felt stressed and anxious, indicating the students learnt how to manage difficult emotions.
  • School attendance went up by 41%.
  • Pass rates went up. 100% of the students in this programme graduated from primary school – up from 54% before the programme. 

Mary, one of the young people who benefitted from the programme, said: “I was always sorrowful and thought of committing suicide… With the counselling I have been receiving, it has helped me to understand myself and [I] am happier.” Mary is now training to be a nurse.

Approximately 740,000 children of school age are not in school in Zambia. While the country has achieved a 91.8% rate of primary school graduation, more rural regions report significantly lower rates. Outcomes are worse still for girls; while the northern region reports an overall primary school graduation rate of 81.3%, for female students, this figure is only 72%. 

You are making a difference

Your donations have made all this possible. By giving through Zambia Orphans Aid, you are empowering people like John, Memory and Brian. You are giving them the tools and the opportunities to live the lives they want.

It can take years to change a life. Please consider supporting us with a monthly donation, so we can reach more of the children who need us.