EVEN AFTER A DECADE SHE STILL PERSEVERES

Travelling down the dusty rocky dirt roads of into the bush of a sprawling mix of thorny cactus, ancient aloe plants, and sugarcane, you find huts made of stick and mud alongside modern circular shaped brick houses. Although in this unique rural scenery it tends to be very quiet, within the daily work of Mrs. Zodwa Gama, she hears the echoes the haunting screams of the aftermath of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, drought, poverty, domestic violence, and child neglect.   Currently, Zodwa is a paraprofessional caseworker at Cabrini Ministries Swaziland. Zodwa has stated that there tends to be misunderstandings about what a caseworker does especially in the rural areas, but once her role is explained most people realize that can get more from the faith-based organization than just Healthcare Services, OVC care, and education support.

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She has worked over ten years within the organization. For the past three years, she has been a caseworker in the Family Services Department. Although her matrimonial home is in the city, Zodwa chooses to return to the area that she grew up in as a child week after week to work with the most poor and vulnerable in Swaziland’s Lubombo Lowveld. The Lubombo rural lowveld has some of the highest rates of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and poverty in the country. Zodwa’s daily tasks as a Family Services Caseworker include visits to homesteads, conducting comprehensive family centered assessments, liaising with community partners, and providing psychosocial support. The aspects that she loves about being a case worker is working with people and getting to know them individually. Zodwa believes that a person being respectful, being able to assist families with identifying their strengths and needs, not making false promises, and adhering to confidentiality are the most skills needed by an effective case worker. Zodwa believes that the major result of her work and that of the department and the overall organization is to bring back the hope to children, youth, and families especially those who feel like they have no hope for a brighter future.