Facilitation & Training

The Facilitation, Education and Training Programme is a unique people development initiative that uses applied drama games, exercises and activities to make learning experiential and transformative.

The programme is driven by the premise that you cannot give what you do not have; hence the focus on internal processes first for employees that seek to develop them in self-care issues, community building, and management of group dynamics.

This is achieved by using drama therapy supervision where employees process their work, their relationships and their body response to their activities, their emotions and their intellects through embodied work under the tutelage of competent drama therapists.

These uniquely and thoroughly trained and developed employees of Themba are then sent out to “give what they have” to communities, youth institutions, churches, organisations, corporates, universities and schools. They provide training and facilitation in the areas of HIV/Aids knowledge and peer education, general wellness, human rights, life skills, knowledge, attitude, team building, diversity, sexual health and reproduction.

Central to the interventions offered by Themba is behavioural change, through which transformation becomes possible.

Themba Interactive is the official implementing partner of the University of the Witwatersrand’s Drama for Life programme. During their learning period, students from across Africa are given the opportunity by Themba Interactive to participate as interns, learn and contribute to the processes of the company. Themba Interactive also provides a bridge for many South Africans to enter the university’s Drama for Life programme at diploma or degree level. The Drama for Life and Themba Interactive partnership is the epitome of synergy as the two organisations bring to the table the two important developmental elements of research and practise.

Our current interventions include:

Correctional centres project
This is a socially responsible project that touches lives and aims to contribute to the individual and collective change processes in correctional centres. Themba Interactive has come in to augment government’s attempt to move away from a punitive approach to inmates at correctional centres to a transformative approach.

The Themba method gives inmates the opportunity to evaluate their behaviour and reconsider their ways through experiential applied drama processes. On a weekly basis, well-trained and supervised facilitators hold workshops with inmates in safe and democratic spaces, giving them the essential human face in an environment where they are locked in cells.

This human face aims to provide a psychological reminder that the world outside prison still exists, and that society out there has not forgotten them and is willing to help them transform and receive them back in society.

We were named Best Service Provider by the Correctional Services in 2009.

RATED project – proudly funded by NLDTF
The aim of RATED (Reaching Adolescents Through Educational Drama) is to use participatory applied drama methods to engage mentally, emotionally and physically, to influence conversations and dialogue for change among the youth.

RATED equips adolescents with life skills, to live quality lives and make informed decisions on HIV/Aids, sex and sexuality and behavioural change in general. The activities that participants go through are crafted in such a manner that self-esteem is an integral part of the learning process. This is achieved through providing open, safe and democratic spaces. Themba has worked in institutions such as the Home of Hope, and with the Diepsloot youth, Don Matera and others.

Safe Parks – proudly funded by Comic Relief
Safe Parks is a four-year project focusing on building a layered care and support system for child care advocates (CCA) aged 35 and above, peer educators between 18 and 30 who live around the delegated safe parks and older orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) between 18 and 30 in the Ekurhuleni region and identified areas in Mpumalanga.

A Safe Park can be defined as any building or premises used and maintained exclusively for admission, protection and temporary or partial care of children between six and 21.

Themba Interactive is running this project in partnership with HABSR (Highveld Anglican Board of Social Responsibility), which manages the Safe Parks and organises various training programmes and activities within them. The main goal of the Safe Parks project in 2012 is to build a layered support system between CCAs, peer educators and OVCs in Safe Parks in the Ekurhuleni region.

Themba Interactive facilitators train CCAs in basic applied drama and mentoring skills, to equip them with ways to mentor peer educators, who run applied drama sessions with OVCs. Applied drama and peer educator training will also take place with peer educators, who will run applied drama-based workshops with OVCs.

The main purpose of the training sessions are to provide care and support, build the confidence of the CCAs and the peer educators, and provide them with creative tools (applied drama) in order to deal with their own challenges as care workers. By building them with skills and support we envision the CCAs and peer educators being better equipped to enable OVCs to deal with their challenges in a safe and creative space. These challenges and/or topics include HIV/Aids, peer pressure, career prospects, drugs and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, crime, poor living circumstances, family pressure, self-esteem and self-confidence.

University of Johannesburg Peer Education Project
Themba Interactive uses applied theatre to equip peer educators working under the auspices of the Institutional Office for HIV and Aids (IOHA) within the University of Johannesburg, which is responsible for equipping students with strategies to assist them deal with the impact of HIV/Aids in partnership with internal, external and international partners.

Working together with students at their three campuses, the IOHA has created a group of volunteer students and peer educators known as LINK who work among the student population to mitigate the impact of HIV. IOHA only caters for students’ welfare, while staff wellness affairs sit within the human resources office of the institution.

In a survey carried out under the auspices of the Higher Education HIV and Aids Programme (HEAIDS), 1.6% of the student population surveyed was found to be HIV-positive. Of the academic staff surveyed, 2.7% was HIV-positive; (3.9% administrative staff and 13.3% of service staff); 49% males and 31% female students had more than one partner in the past year. Condom usage was higher among students than staff. The older the participants, the less likely were they to use a condom. Stigma was also clearly an issue as 66% of students and staff did not think they would receive family support. (UJ HIV and Aids Report 2009-2010). Other concerns raised were around multiple and concurrent sexual partners, including transactional sex, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as peer pressure.

Internship project
Themba Interactive offers a practical and applied drama learner programme to members of communities. Interns are engaged to undergo an intensive learning programme in the areas of actor/education, facilitation and training, under the supervision of competent mentors.

The programme aims to give opportunities to young people from disadvantaged learning backgrounds. Applied drama processes that are interactive and experiential are created, and the interns go through them and look back and speak to them, as well as try to understand their own reactions and responses to them. This is a learning space that in our opinion is a ”road less travelled” in this day and age.

The internship includes training and education in the following areas:

  • HIV/Aids education, prevention and rehabilitation
  • Sexual health, reproduction and wellness
  • Human rights and social justice education
  • Diversity training

After the internship, interns might become permanent members of staff depending on the availability of funding and staffing needs.