Thembakazi Nkunwana talks about managing the mothers' support group in G25

February 2006

Talking to us about problems in parenting at the PATA Conference, was Thembakazi Nkunkwana, the backbone of the support group at the Kidzpositive Project. She started the support group at the beginning of 2005, and has since then also initiated a children's support group.

To meet the needs of children aged 5 years and older, she sees them when they come to the clinic with their moms.

As dedicated mother of three, she knows how to best handle all kinds of small and bigger problems - and since she is also a qualified teacher, she'll really know how to educate these kids. With her dedication and never fading smile she is an important anchor for the mothers who attend the group - and after the PATA Conference she feels even better equipped and motivated to manage the group.

Ms Nkunkwana said that fear of the illness makes parents less fit to meet the needs of their children. Parents, besides having HIV, still need to maintain the sometimes contradictory positions of mother, wife, daughter-in-law and sister. They struggle with the dilemma of balancing self-care with care for others. As a parent, you have no time for yourself. Within the family an atmosphere needs to be created within which people can feel free to express

Interview by Kate Kerber

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