Counselling and outreach

Most of FOCHTA’s student beneficiaries have been through, and often continue to live in, very difficult circumstances. Many are traumatised by the illness and loss of parents and have been left to provide for themselves and younger siblings with little or no income.

FOCHTA staff visit our students at home on a regular basis in order to monitor their condition, both mental and physical. Staff assess how the student is coping with their studies, their overall mental and physical health, and the condition of the house itself. FOCHTA maintains an Emergency Relief Fund which helps support any special needs identified in these visits, such as doctors visits, extra blankets or clothing, essential household repairs, and so on.

In Malawi, there is a strong social stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and many people who are infected or affected by the disease find themselves isolated, with little emotional or social support. FOCHTA offers trauma counselling to its students to help them deal with the loss of their parents, the weight of their new responsibilities at home, and the isolation they may experience in the community. Staff receive training in counselling from FOCHTA co-founder, Stephen Labana, who has experience in this field while working with MSF.