Tafta on Ridge, the newest member of the Eden Register in South Africa, attributes a lot of the growth and transformations in this community to a group of empowered residents.
Jackie Snyman, wellness facilitator and social worker shares more about this group.
“The Eden group was started about two years ago with the volunteers (residents opting to help out) at Tafta on Ridge (TOR). These volunteers helped the occupational therapy technician with different tasks in the community. The group meets once a month for about an hour. They initially received training on the Eden principles and the application of these principles were discussed in each meeting.
The aim of the group is, with the staff members, to be responsible for implementing the Eden Alternative philosophy at TOR. Also to have conversations with the other residents about Eden and get some feedback. Each floor had a representative at the group
At first members were hesitant to be upfront with ideas as they were used to the staff deciding about things. As they understood the philosophy, their confidence grew and they started to make suggestions. Residents became more involved in the daily activities and more vocal on what kind of activities they would like on a daily basis.
This led to many changes over the past years. One was changing the plastic cups in the dining room to glasses. The lounge changed from a place that residents identified as cold to a place with a warm, relaxing atmosphere. This was all thanks to suggestions made by residents and discussed at the Eden group. I discussed the suggestions with the staff team and all their ideas were implemented.”
Currently we are at the stage where new members are recruited. Now that TOR became a member of the Eden Register in June, residents are even more vocal on what they want their home to be and look like. The group supports each other even when the need arises to be firm with each other. Group members are encouraged to build relationships amongst themselves and also with the rest of the TOR family. The Eden group assists with family days – inviting family members, welcoming them etc.
I can count on the group to get plans implemented, and they are happy to do it, as it originates from them and contributes to their own well-being and confirms their identity and autonomy. They are truly active participants in their own community, not passive recipients.”
Thank you Jackie, Patience and the Eden Group – you are indeed World Makers! Like all communities on the Eden Register, this group is open to share more about their journey should others want to learn from them. Contact Jackie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org