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In recent years, the Blue Cross Treatment Centre Thaba Bosiu for alcohol- and drug-related issues in Maseru, Lesotho, has increasingly received children as young as eleven or twelve and slightly older youths among its clients. A disruptive family setting is a major factor that can contribute to child misuse of alcohol and/or illicit drugs. The Centre’s staff members noticed early on that the majority of the child clients had challenging family backgrounds that were characterised by poor interaction between children and caregivers. They recognised the need for caregivers of the children to be involved in the treatment processes.

The Project: International Child Development Programme (ICDP)

The Centre investigated existing good practice and identified the ICDP – a psychosocial intervention programme – that could be applied to the field of addiction treatment as well as prevention. The aim of the programme is to strengthen caregivers’ involvement with their children in a positive way, to give them confidence in their own capacities as caregivers, to facilitate those relationships that support children’s development and to prevent those relationships and conditions that may lead to neglect and abuse of children.

The Centre’s staff members decided, in close collaboration with partner organisations active in the field of childcare, to organise a series of trainings to become certified ICDP facilitators. Between 2009 and 2011, three ICDP workshops were carried out in Maseru by the Centre’s Norwegian partners. To date, 18 participants have been certified as ICDP facilitators. Five of these certified facilitators will undergo further training to become ICDP consultants. They will act as local resource persons responsible for replication and multiplying the effect of ICDP beyond the centre within the network of childcare organisations in Lesotho. The centre runs prevention programmes, which incorporates elements of ICDP, at 5 schools and reached 1011 learners this way in 2011. Furthermore 79 clients and 54 parents and spouses where sensitized through ICDP. At community level 5 sensitization groups were established, sensitizing 59 community members.

Lineo MOKOTJO, ICDP Programme Manager, Thaba Bosiu, Lesotho has this to say about her experience in applying this innovation to the African context: “We are proud to report that the Centre has successfully mainstreamed the ICDP approach into the existing treatment programmes, also comprising motivational therapy, individual counselling, and family therapy, and prevention services. Of course, we are facing some challenges, mainly with regard to cultural norms and beliefs on child rearing. But we believe that culture is dynamic and can change and that, through positive experiences, the acceptance of ICDP will grow among our people.”

You can play a role!

You can have a hand in shaping the future lives of Lesotho children, by donating towards training of caregivers who will positively empower the children they are responsible for.


Click here to make a donation towards this project.

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