Critique of an intervention programme for educators affected by the HIV
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As South Africa is one of the countries with the highest HIVJAids prevalence in the world, many South Africans are affected by the pandemic. One of the structures being endangered by the HIVJAids pandemic is the education system. Educators are especially affected by the impact of the pandemic due to the fact that they not only have to cope with infected colleagues who are often absent, but are also burdened with numerous orphans and vulnerable children at their schools because of the pandemic. Sometimes these affected educators even have to care for their own loved ones who suffer from or die of the disease. The impact of the pandemic is personal stress, such as depression and suicidal ideation, plus professional impairment such as through increased workload and staff negativity. Affected educators are vulnerable, struggle to cope and are desperately in need of support, due to the pressure they experience regarding the pandemic. Current literature reports little support for educators affected by HIVJAids with regard to the personal and professional impact of the pandemic. This study focuses on determining the efficacy of REds (Resilient Educators), a support programme compiled to empower educators who are affected by HIVJAids, the implementation of which was also piloted by this study. A qualitative research design which included experimental and action research which focused on the latter (action research) was used. A purposive convenience sample consisting of eight volunteers from local primary schools participated. The researcher made use of a mixed-methods design for the pre and post-tests which included both qualitative and quantitative measuring instruments. REds was implemented over a period of nine consecutive weeks in a group setting and was continuously evaluated by the participants who proposed changes in order to improve the programme. In spite of being realistic about the obstacles they will face with regard to the HIVIAids pandemic, participants reported to be relieved, empowered and motivated to fight the effects of the pandemic. The quantitative results show some improvement in participants' experience of secondary trauma resulting from the impact of the pandemic. The results suggest that REds was efficacious, but that educators need continued support. Some modification of REds is also suggested action research affected impact.
- Education