Grief Counseling

Emotional and Psychological Healing

Grief and loss is an everyday experience for many people living in the vulnerable communities that Children’s HopeChest serves—not only in the lives of children and adults within these communities, but also in the lives of our in-country staff. Our Grief Counseling Program in Swaziland, Ngesikhatsi, is helping children and adults in their community process and move forward from their grief. The staff go through a multi-week four-phase training to equip them to talk about their own experiences with loss on a deeper level, which allows them to help others process their experiences and move toward healing. The programs are broken up into two curriculums—one for adults and one for children. First, the curriculum is offered to children and their guardians at the CarePoint, and later it is opened up for other members of the community.

The Ngesikhatsi Curriculum

The curriculums are developed within their own context and culture of what they have endured and gone through as a country. It is developed together as a group and created together. It is translated into multiple languages within the different regions we are in. Everyone moves through grief in their own timeline. Ngesikhatsi helps individuals process the impact of a loss by:

  • Understanding God’s presence and plan for their lives despite the heartache
  • Growing through the experience to become more resilient and deeply rooted in the belief of their Godly purpose
  • Clearly facing the loss and helping them make sense of their pain or loss
  • Help them understand their emotions and how to process those emotions until they move back into a place of emotional health and wellbeing
  • Learning to identify with others who have experienced similar pain and loss
  • Learning to forgive their parents, in cases where parents died from HIV/AIDS, for no longer being there for them

“At home I have never gotten a chance ever to voice out anything (whether good or bad) that is happening in my life. I could not share my feelings and just had to get on with doing jobs around the house. But at Ngesikhatsi, I’ve learnt that I need to share about my feelings to people I trust. I have also learnt to accept loss and move on with life, making it part of my story. After loss I need to rebuild my life on God and then celebrate my growth. All in all I have learned to come out of ‘my shell’ and face the reality because if I am still living it means my life counts to God, so no more shying away.“

—Temashabalala (age 12)