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Ububele – a Psychotherapy Resource and Training Centre

Children enjoy their time at the Ububele Kindergarten

Ububele is a psychotherapy resource and training centre based in Alexandra Township, just outside Johannesburg. Community H.E.A.R.T. was involved in supporting this organisation when it was first set up by Tony and Hillary Hamburger. Alexandra is a large township which has a great deal of unemployment and poverty. Added to this the HIV/AIDS pandemic is a source of concern for many of the inhabitants with many affected directly or indirectly. The organisation provides a much needed service in the community.

The importance of this organisation can be summed up by an extract from a letter in support of Ububele by Albie Sachs (Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa),

Much is being said today, and rightly so, about the importance of delivery of homes, electricity, water and access to health services for millions of South Africans still living in intolerable conditions. What the Ububele project points to is the need to focus as well on the urgency of bringing about deep emotional repair. It provides practical ways of responding to the emotional bruising that lies at the heart of so many of the profound human problems that affect our country.

Ububele is made up of:

  1. a Psychotherapeutic Nursery
  2. a Training Faculty
  3. a Group Couselling Training division
  4. an Early Childhood & Families Training Division

A number of projects are being developed or expanded:

The Psychotherapeutic Nursery

The nursery currently caters for 50 children and will be doubled in size by 2012. As well as catering for the children it also offers training to preschool teachers and provides a resource for post-graduate interns and professionals.

Ububele-Persona Dolls Project

Persona Dolls
A UK supporter views the persona dolls.

This helps children to talk about their experiences and express necessary feelings. The project trains counsellors and teachers to effectively use the Dolls. Ububele employs women from the local community to manufacture the Dolls in-house, thus also providing much needed employment in the local area.

The Ububele- Umdlezane Parent Infant Project

This project concerns assisting vital mother and infant emotional attachment when this becomes “at risk”. The project provides support to hospitals and clinics to help them provide better and necessary counselling services to mothers and fathers with infants. View the short film about this project

Preschool Counsellors Project

This offers a one year training course for lay counsellors who will initially service 45 schools in the community and will provide psychological assistance and a referral service to over 10,000 children. This is a very important project as it trains local women as lay counsellors who can talk to the children in their mother tongue as well as providing employment in the local community.