During the last five months, 83 parents from historically disadvantaged communities around Stellenbosch have been taking place in an anti-poverty parenting programme supported by Vision AfriKa.
The initiative, which was developed by Vivienne Schultz, founder of the A2B Transformation Movement, is based on the idea of raising parents’ expectations and aspirations so that they, in turn, will raise the expectations and aspirations of their children. Schultz’s view is that most children in deprived communities are brought up to believe they are “chickens” instead of “eagles”.
Chickens are dependent, do not stand up for themselves and are exploited by people who are more powerful often without realising it, all of which leads to poverty. Eagles, on the other hand, are the opposite and are able to see the bigger picture, which enables them to take more control of their lives.
The parents who participated in the programme belong to a range of local community organisations such as churches and day care centres. They initially invited the A2B Transformation Movement and Vision AfriKa to come and give a presentation about their work.
This presentation was followed by four days of training, each session of which lasted for two hours. Further meetings were then held once a month for three months to provide support and act as a follow-up.
The parents received seven separate tools to empower themselves and help them become better role models. One such tool is “Down anxiety/Up willpower”. The idea here is that parents need to bring their own anxiety levels down in order to elevate the willpower of their children and they are taught useful techniques to do so.