Good Shepherd Catholic Centre in Madidi Declared By The North West Department of Social Development As the Best Practice Model of integration of services
One would say Sr Colleen has done it again. This time she impressed North West Department of Social Development HIV and AIDS, who declared Good Shepherd Catholic Centre as the best practice model of integration of services.
From the toddler to the 85 eldest granny in the centre is what Good Shepherd Centre is catering for since its inception more than 20 years ago. Those who studied in it as kids during the past twenty years have benefited from the centre until today, together with their children, their parents and their grannies. They continue to unite in one spirit; fighting the reality of poverty in the forgotten rural village of Madidi and the surrounding areas in the outskirts of Madibeng Municipality.
On the 27th March 2019, a team of 10 representatives from the Department of Social Development, together with some representatives from the Department of Education in the North West Province, got into a special journey of curious discovery of knowing what is really happening in the famous Good Shepherd Catholic Centre in Madidi.
During a short discussion with Sr Colleen Simpson, the Managing Director of the centre, she said that the main purpose of the visit was for the Department of Social Development HIV and AIDS Directorate to learn from the community centre model in preparation for the operationalisation of their Community Care Centre model and to learn of how sister Colleen is implementing their integrated model which is expected the be adopted throughout their 6 centres.
According to Sr Colleen three programmes in the Department were represented and the initiative was also conducted by HIV/AIDS programme of the department, as the centre also is involved in capacity building for those who are affected and infected by the pandemic.
“The visit was a ground breaking for promoting sustainable livelihoods by the department and adopting the best model in preparation for training Centre managers who will carry forward the responsibility of promoting the best model of child development”, said Sr Colleen.
Sr Colleen also highlighted that the tour was specially organised for the officials in the Department of Social Development. She said the reason why the department chose Good Shepherd Centre is because it has been marked as one of the best model in the country, the model which the departments wants to adopt Provincially. “It is one of the best model around South Africa, in terms of integrated learning and self-sustenance” she said.
Ms Gerzia Ratshefola who is one of the Senior Social Worker in the Department of Social Development, heading the region of Zeerust in the project funded by German Bank in developing North West, said she is very impressed by the quality of the centre, the passion and the commitment of Sr Colleen, the commitment of staff in the centre. “I am also impressed by the fact that somebody’s idea for the 20 years has succeeded and she has managed to keep it beyond standard” she said.
In her closing remarks Gercia expressed her amazement that at every corner of the centre one feels the presence of God and peace. “My experience is that Sr Colleen is putting God first in everything she is doing in the centre. Everywhere in the building there are different signs expressing the power of God and every item around the building is expressing an important about the importance of God in the centre of everything we do”, she iterated.
Vivian Maletlhogonolo Nickson, a Social Work Policy Developer under the directorate of Partial Care and ECD Services in the North West Provincial Office said, “This is the best practice of integration of services”. She said when she was told about the centre the picture was little blurred, but coming here it has been an eye opener. “It is a picture perfect painting”. “As I entered the centre I experienced harmony, love and peace. I wish all the municipalities of the province could practice the same model and have centres like this”, she added.
Vivian concluded by saying the centre is the best practice model for psychosocial support, and the best practice model for behaviour modification. “The model should not be taken for granted because it is the best”, she repeated. She concluded by thanking all the staff who have committed themselves in modelling the best centre and said, “You are the best practice model”.
The last evaluation of the visit to the Good Shepherd Centre was done by Octavia Modikwane from Provincial Head Office in Mahikeng, who is a social work Policy Manager in the department, responsible for Home Community Based Care support and Capacity Building programmes in the HIV and AIDS Directorate North West provincial office.
Ocatvia Modikwane said she has learnt from Sr Colleen that there is much one can do for community development instead of a person hiding behind ones limiting profession. She said the centre helps the disadvantaged people to develop their skill, generate income and promote capacity building programs, which are all the core responsibilities of the Department of Social Development.
Octavia ended by thanking Sr Colleen for doing everything from her heart in the service of the community, without making distinction whether a person is young, old different, poor, belongs to different religion or not.
Good Shepherd Catholic Centre is the same one which was visited by the Minister of Higher Education, Naledi Pando, during August 2018, and hailed it one of the best centres through their excellent programs catering for people of all ages.
During her visit to the area minister Naledi Pando also congratulated Sr Colleen for her outstanding work through Good Shepherd Catholic Centre and in alleviating poverty in the area through education. She promised a continuous support to the centre during her tenure as the Minister of Higher Education.