3 May 2021

We are pleased to announce the launch of our latest Patch Academy course, created in response to the present COVID-19 pandemic that has left thousands of grieving children in its wake

South Africa remains in the midst of dealing with the catastrophic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic while facing the very real possibility of a third wave and of new and stronger viral mutations. With already over 54,000 deaths of mostly adults, many thousands of children and grandchildren have been left grieving in the wake of this crisis.   In a country that is still struggling to control the epidemics of TB an HIV resulting in many thousands of children losing parents, we are now faced with a pandemic where a large percentage of deaths occur amongst people over 65 years of age. This means that children are now also losing grandparents who, in many cases, have been primary caregivers.

Those who study childhood development are acutely aware of the often traumatising and harmful effects on babies, children and adolescents when they lose a parent or a primary caregiver. If not provided with adequate emotional support, this damage can manifest throughout their lives in poor school performance, unhealthy relationship choices, and unstable mental health. However, when children receive the nurturing care of confident and reassuring adults from within their family, close friends and communities, they can be helped to cope with their loss and learn to be resilient.

Our newest Patch Academy course Supporting Grieving Children in the Time of COVID-19 is designed to provide both theoretical and practical advice and information on how to provide appropriate support to grieving children. It is presently offered completely free of charge and is for anyone concerned or connected with children and adolescents affected by the death of loved ones, whether through COVID-19 or not, and wishes to be better equipped to support them and help them to develop resilience. The course is highly relevant for parents, teachers, health care providers, caregivers, and spiritual leaders.

To find out more and to take the online course visit the Patch Academy website at www.academy.patchsa.org