Projects and Programmes
Jelly Beanz provides evidence-based individual and group therapy to children and their caregivers in order to help them effectively deal with the consequences of the abuse or trauma. This involves weekly individual sessions for approximately six months (although this may vary according to the needs of the child and family). The therapy is provided mostly at schools to make the service more accessible for the children.
Children have given us feedback about their healing journey:
I’ve never told anyone that I am HIV+, and my mom and dad are too. Last week I told some of my friends at school. My Jelly Beanz aunty who I have been chatting to since the beginning of the year then came and spent some time chatting to me and my friends about what HIV means. We also spent some time talking about girl stuff. It was so nice to finally tell someone and my friends were so nice about it too! Thanks Sibongile, Grade 4.
It helps to talk to someone about how I’m feeling. A while back, I tried to commit suicide, and although I still have bad and sad days, it doesn’t feel quite so hectic anymore. I hope I will feel better soon. Ntombi, Grade 10
No-one would want to be me! My mom didn’t want me, my foster mom didn’t want me and then my granny didn’t want me cause she died. Now I live in a children’s home. I like going to Jelly Beanz cause I know my play aunty likes me. Stephen Grade 1
Children who have been exposed to sexual abuse or to inappropriate sexual behaviours are themselves at risk of acting out sexually with other children. Children who also grow up in poverty and deprivation, who are neglected, who witness domestic violence and substance abuse or who have learning problems are at increased risk of abusing other children sexually or having inappropriate sexual behaviours. Childline South Africa estimates that 43% of all cases of sexual assault reported to them have been committed by other children under the age of 18. Because of the far-reaching ripple effect of abuse, trauma, neglect and other un-child friendly stuff, Jelly Beanz feels strongly about providing therapy for children with inappropriate sexual behaviours to deal with the root causes of this behaviour, and to help children find effective alternative more constructive and healthy ways of expressing themselves. A bonding or attachment programme forms part of the treatment programme and is aimed at improving the relationship between children and their primary caregivers to provide a more caring and supportive home environment. This approach of focusing on parent-child interactions jointly within the context of dealing with inappropriate sexual behaviours is a relatively new approach in South Africa, and thus far our pilot studies have shown great promise. This therapy programme is facilitated in both an individual and a group format depending on the needs of the child and it includes a variety of mediums such as animal assisted therapy, music and art therapy, and relaxation techniques.
Stopping child abuse should never be the responsibility of children. We cannot place this burden on children. Stopping any unhealthy, damaging, traumatising behaviours should always be the responsibility of adults and communities. But, our children are seeing inappropriate touching and sexual acts on TV, on the internet, on cell phones, and in their communities. In a way, sex has become something that many children are exposed to every day like the weather, yet sex is just not discussed with children, so they find other ways of understanding things… and most of the time they are not healthy, or safe. For this reason, Jelly Beanz has embarked upon a project that provides children in Grades R and 1 with a 12-session programme that involves basic information on healthy sexuality and on what child abuse is all about. Armed with this basic knowledge, their vulnerability to inappropriate behaviours or relationships could be vastly decreased.
Training & Mentoring
Many professionals come into the child protection and mental health sector with very little knowledge and skills in working with children who have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect. However, an in-depth understanding of trauma in children is required to enable professionals in the field to be effective in their work in protecting and treating children. Jelly Beanz has staff who are considered experts in the field. They present and facilitate seminars and workshops, while the training can be provided on-site, or online. Training courses focus on child protection, child mental health, assessment and treatment, inappropriate sexual behaviours in children, play therapy, etc. Jelly Beanz is very proud and honoured to be the leader in the field of online training within the child mental health and protection sector. Online courses We currently have two courses on-line: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in South Africa. The ADHD course has been accessed by 1000+. The CSA course has been accessed by 900+ healthcare professionals
We also host the annual Africa Child Trauma Conference: http://childtraumatraining.co.za
The information provided was so realistic and was presented in a modern way. We would definitely like more workshops by this organisation; they clearly know what they are doing. It was an amazing experience.
Even though I have been a social worker for 20 years, this was a whole new learning process. I am motivated to make a difference in the world of children again. You have really inspired me to do more and go the extra mile.
The workshops by Jelly Beanz Inc. were extremely motivational and taught me skills in how to deliver better service to children and families. This will help me make a difference in children’s lives.
This was an eye opener. I learned important stuff to help me with the children in my care. I now have with me a lot of tools and skills. I am inspired.
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Development of Resources
South African research shows that 1 in 3 children will be sexually abused before they turn 18. Boys and girls are at equal risk of being sexually abused. Disturbingly, just over 40% of sexual abuse is perpetrated by other children.
How do we protect our children from being exposed to sexual acts and related issues in everyday life and in the virtual world? The best way to start protecting our children is having open and honest conversations about such issues. Jelly Beanz has launched an activity book to assist parents and teachers to initiate discussions with young children. ‘Our Bodies’ promotes education and understanding regarding issues of sexuality and body safety so that caregivers and children are empowered to make positive and informed decisions.
This is a volume of 25 stories written in such a way as to educate, provide support and some form of healing. They cover themes such as loss, sexual abuse, domestic violence, depression, divorce, poverty and deprivation, and bullying in children’s lives within the African context. Parents, teachers and the children’s caregivers could read the stories to and with children, and discuss the content of the stories using the guidelines provided in the book. The authors include a psychologist, teacher and social worker as well as some prominent South Africans. The foreword was written by Zelda le Grange, honorary grandchild of Nelson Mandela. All the beautiful illustrations were created by children. The book is published in English and has been distributed nationally. We are particularly humbled that each primary school in the Western Cape has a copy of our book. Children, teachers, caregivers and principals continue to share with us the joy and healing that these stories bring. Our wish is for the book to be translated into other African languages, and to be distributed widely to more children Over years of work in the child protection field, I have come to realise the immense value of storytelling in the development and healing of children. Storytelling can be a safe way of giving messages that children process over time and slowly integrate into their thinking and being. This book can be used with children in a variety of contexts – by caregivers and parents, therapists and educators – and in the process, many adults may find the stories of value to their own lives. Joan van Niekerk, -Director Childline (ret), South Africa and President International; Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Where there is hurt, there is the wonder of healing. Where there is fear, there is a future of hope. Let us embrace this wonderful opportunity to give healing hope to our children. It has been a great privilege to be part of this unique project. May the healing begin and may we never give up hope! Monique Strydom, Matla Abana.
The Child Trauma Conference has been one of the leading conferences in South Africa to address child trauma and abuse, and brings together clinicians, researchers, policy makers, media and members of the community in the promotion of child protection. You may find our reports from our past conference below