Social work lecturer, Dr Maud Mthembu visited the Ma’at Institute (formerly the Afrocology Unit) to hand over copies of her recent children’s book Uhambo Lwami ngesikhathi seKhividi. The books will be used as a tool to initiate COVID-19 related conversations between children and social workers.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Humanities Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize accepted the books and extended his gratitude to Mthembu for supporting the work that they are doing with the community.
‘The purpose of using this book is to hear directly from children about their experiences, emotions and feelings. The book is language appropriate to effectively and fully understand children’s perspectives of COVID-19,’ said Mthembu.
She recommends that it be used as a tool by social workers as well as IsiZulu teachers to initiate COVID-19 related conversations with children from different socio-economic backgrounds. ‘This book was written in a manner that was children-led, being based on a true story; the children were the centre of the focus,’ added Mthembu. ‘It will help children to express their different experiences, and validate their emotions and feelings around the issue of COVID-19.’
The Ma’at Institute was established within the School of Applied Human Sciences within the College of Humanities to respond specifically on providing multidisciplinary human and social interventions that are embedded in the African world view, philosophy, values and belief systems.
The renaming of the Afrocology Unit to become the Ma’at Institute was prompted by strategic factors such as the COVID-19 Psychosocial Internship Project (CPIP). The project emerged as a support mechanism in response to the pandemic and provided psychosocial support and service to people affected by COVID-19, including hundreds of individuals, institutions and communities presenting with diverse challenges.