Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Last trip of this Grant Year.

Feb March trip 2020: Lesley and Joanna: Case study writing and safeguarding training, increasing sustainability for the ZART trainers’ group, and extending the reach of The Zambia Therapeutic Art Course.

Joanna and Lesley in a rare moment of relaxation!
 We (Lesley and Joanna) made the last visit of this Scottish Government funded Capacity Building year with additional support from MAITS.  We staggered the trip, Lesley going out first joined by Joanna after a week or so and she stayed on when Lesley left; so, between us we were there for a month. It was still at the end of the rainy season, so life was interspersed with thunderous downpours and everything was looking lush and green. In fact, the rains had brought some flooding and damage to roads. There was also a brief, and very unusual for Zambia, outburst of community violence which did affect everyday life for a lot of the country. We were safely positioned at Gossner Mission and weren’t attempting to work in any of the most affected areas, so apart from not going out at night – which we don’t do a lot of!  we were not affected. There were, however, some very tragic outcomes.  Fortunately, we undertook this trip just ahead of the coronavirus shut-downs.
The Case Study Writing Training was part of ZTA’s initiative to increase the evidence base for the use of Therapeutic Art (TA), as well as an opportunity for increasing skills in writing for publication amongst ZART and others trained in use of TA.  Wala, a ZART trainer, coordinated the training planning which was delivered by Psychology Association of Zambia. It was a very successful 3 days training and all 10 participants, 6 ZART members and 4 other Therapeutic Art practitioners, enjoyed the process and learned a lot from each other as well as the excellent facilitators. They will receive ongoing support to work towards publication of their case studies.  
Safeguarding training was delivered to ZART trainers (Lesley) and included a presentation from Chief Detective Inspector Siabone from the Zambia Police Service Victim Support Unit.  This introductory training was welcomed by ZART; as the concept of safeguarding is fairly new in Zambia, they were interested in further trainings and also linkage with the victim support unit.
Capacity Building Project Evaluation.  At a meeting with Margarate Munakampe, our Zambian coordinator we discussed her findings on the data gathering initiatives and the concept of safeguarding and its growth in Zambian organisations. 
ZART team progress. ZART members gave feedback regarding the progress of the project over the year and updates on their experiences of delivering The ZTA Course independently from ZTA trainers. They also gave feedback about the ZTA Course Manual and some useful and thoughtful alterations and additions.
 Future planning. Meetings with the Ministry of Health (MoH) 
Cielle with Lesley and James
mental health team led to some useful discussions as to how to continue to extend the reach of TA in health institutions across Zambia. Extending the ZTA course to Community Mental Health staff was also discussed as a priority. ZTA and the MoH will work together to progress towards these joint goals. Other meetings focusing on extending the reach of The ZTA Course, were with ‘Challenges Zambia’  who are going to do a  scoping exercise, and a visit to the Centre of Excellence (Paediatric HIV), in UTH which will hopefully yield training opportunities as the team there were very interested.  A meeting with the Health Professions Council of Zambia was also valuable in exploring how TA skills could fit into continuing professional development staff frameworks. Useful meetings with leads from CIDRZ (Centre for Infectious disease Research Zambia) Mental Health Unit and CBM enabled networking and our sharing of our different and related initiatives. One aim is to collaboratively coordinate our efforts to strengthen the delivery of Psychosocial therapies within Zambia. A visit from an Art Therapist, Cielle, interested in setting up a similar TA training in Zimbabwe was an added pleasure. She was introduced to the ZART team and the UTH psychiatry department and has now introduced us to interested mental health professionals in Zimbabawe.
slowly and steadily!
As always being in Lusaka, catching up with friends and colleagues and enjoying the haven of Gossner Mission was a welcome break from the Scottish winter. Overall, this busy and intensive trip was very productive. It feels as though the awareness of Therapeutic Art and its value is growing and deepening and the experience and confidence of ZART is continuing to develop impressively. We seem poised to move on to the next stages of our Strategic Plan.

Friday, 29 November 2019


So our website is well under way- real thanks to Scott Renton who joined us this year as a Trustee for his expertise and work in doing this - but it seemed a good idea to update our recent doings. I, Joanna, made the next trip from Scotland in September. An action packed few weeks, some interesting developments. Dr Sheikh from Livingstone had arranged for more training to be delivered to  his staff team and for a previous trainee to get certified as a trainer. This necessitated a 2 week trip to Livingstone - someone has to do it! With the support of the Hospital management and the Ministry of Health Humphrey was seconded from Chainama to do this bit of work with me so not only did 11 Mental Health professionals receive the ZTA training but Mwazanje Mwale, a Clinical Officer in the Mental Health unit, is now a Certified Trainer and Humphrey a Master Trainer able to train other trainers!
Did manage a bit of down time and saw the amazing sight of the Falls with virtually no water as well as rhinos scarily close. Also caught some of the traditional regional ceremony which was taking place around Livingstone at the time.
Either side of this visit I met with colleagues at UTH to discuss how best data about TA use could be collected and had a very productive follow up meeting with some of the people who had attended Liz's training earlier in the year. There is real enthusiasm for more training for people working with children in special education, prison services and the Centres of Excellence. Hope fully we will be able to take this forward during 2020.
I joined meetings with ZART and was able to join them for one of the Bongo Hive workshops. These, run by Challenges Zambia and funded as part of this year's Capacity Building work by the Scottish Government have proved very positive and a very good foundation on which to build an operational structure for ZART  over the next couple of years.

I also met with Dr Jacqueline Folotiya about arranging training in Case Study writing. After discussion it was agreed we had not thought through well enough what was needed and did not at that point have the budget to support this. However we have been allowed to reallocate funds from the grant not now needed elsewhere and are hopefully getting this arranged for early 2020.

I also made useful links with the INGO forum so we can link in with other INGOs keeping in the loop and learning from their experience especially about shaping our Safeguarding and other policies.

Another useful contact was with Sapphira Mulemba at CIDRZ and we hope that will lead to a fruitful partnership. It was good to also catch up with Maragarate Munakampe about the work she is doing as part of the crucial data collection and other MEL systems.
There was a very positive meeting with Zaliwe Banda at the Ministry where the support for expansion of the training was reaffirmed with a plan to extend it to Community Mental Health teams when possible.
It was also good to meet up with other colleagues and friends. ZART and ZTA are certainly becoming a recognised part of the Mental Health scene in Zambia and getting the message out about the training to a wider audience. Keep up the good work!
All in all an interesting four weeks and as always the base at Gossner Mission really appreciated, it is such a peaceful and friendly place to be.

Monday, 12 August 2019


 Not before time you might say we are getting our act together and using part of our Scottish Government grant and the expertise of our new Trustee Scott to get a web site up and running-SOON!
So we may not use the blog for while as we see how the website goes. Thanks for your interest. The work goes on!

In the first 3 months of the year we completed work on our first Capacity Building programme. The report on this was submitted to our funders, the Scottish Government, in April. The new ZTA Strategic Plan 2018-2022 was completed and launched in February 2019. It sets out our aims and direction for the next 4 years.  It is the culmination of all our capacity building work in 2018-19 and was produced thanks to our grant funding from the Scottish Government.

Liz Hall and Simon Willoughby-Booth made a visit to Zambia,  in April/May 2019. Liz delivered a very successful workshop for teachers, psychologists and others who work with children. The training workshops were on trauma recovery approaches for children and young people and were held at UTH. Twenty two people completed the training and, based on the very positive feedback we received, this may be a future strand of work for ZTA. Liz's visit was funded in part by MAITS,  (Multi Agency International Training and Support). Simon was able to with some key  people in Zambia and with the Zambian trainers group, ZART,  to support and plan the next phase of the group's development.

We held our AGM on 28th May and said goodbye to Colin Boxer, who is stepping down after 2 years as a trustee. His input has been invaluable and he has helped to guide ZTA through a period of development and growth. Two new trustees have joined the Board - Scott Renton and Rachel Bruce and Lesley Hill has re-joined the board. We are looking forward to working with them. Our trustees are now Joanna Pearce, Vera Steele, Simon Willoughby-Booth, Scott, Rachel and Lesley. Joanna gave the Chair's report on our work over the last year and our successful application for a second Capacity Building grant from the Scottish Government for 2019/20.

Margarate Munakampe, presented a poster titled "The Zambia Therapeutic Art Course: Improving Mental health in Zambia" at the Zambia Quality Improvement Conference, held in Lusaka from 4-6 June. Margarate is our link person with SCHEME at University of Zambia. Kestone Lyambai, one of the ZART trainers and a lecturer at UNZA, was also able to attend the poster session and the conference. This was the first time we have been represented at this conference and we are delighted to get wider recognition for our work.

Joanna presented ZTA's work at the International Art Therapy Practice/Research Conference, 11-13 July in London, England. She was part of a joint presentation, Art Therapy in Africa: Now and Next, with four other presenters who described very varied approaches to developing work in sub-Saharan Africa. The panel session was well attended and was our first opportunity to present the work in Zambia to an international audience of art therapists.

We began this year's Capacity Building work during the visit to Zambia in April, focussing on developing training projects for the ZART trainers in response to their requests and on developing the fundraising and digital resources of the charity in Scotland. We have established links with Challenges Worldwide who are a social enterprise training NGO, based in Lusaka, and with the Psychology Association of Zambia. We plan to set up training packages with their involvement.

Joanna will be making the next visit to Zambia and will be there from 29th August to 30th September. She will taking forward the training projects, linking to a wide range of key Zambian people and organisations and setting up a new Therapeutic Art training in Livingstone. It will be a very busy month and we have lots to do to achieve our aims in this year's capacity building work!

Thursday, 30 August 2018


Some of the evaluation responses
Quite sad to be leaving as the purple haze of the jacarandas is just starting to show and I think they are one of the most wonderful sights you can see anywhere. But time is up and the scheduled trainings all completed. The RMHN students were a lively crowd and entered enthusiastically into the training. The 3 Trainers Trainers also gave it their all so I had a very easy time by enlarge. I managed to catch up with a lot of the senior staff at Chainama to get their views on how the practice of TA might be supported within the Hospital and got some interesting ideas which will be passed on.
2 of the latest Trainers getting their certificates
We also managed another meeting of the ZTrainers group though not everyone was able at short notice but the Group is strengthening its roles and taking on some of the negotiating to be done with places where training might be wanted. It is great to have 7 already to go. So we are well into our Capacity Building year and making good progress!
Lesley plans to be out here in November to work alongside Margarate to build on the contacts already made.

Monday, 6 August 2018

BACK AGAIN and it is warmer!

an Italian meal for Paola's core group
After a fascinating visit to Dar es Salaam I am back to Lusaka to undertake 2 training blocks for the RMHNs from Chainama College. The plan is to use this opportunity for 3 more ZTrainers to complete their certification. At Muhumbili
in Dar I was lucky enough to be hosted by Paola Luzzatto and her husband Lucio who are based there at the moment. Paola is a very experienced art therapist and it was fascinating to be allowed to see her training programme there in Open Studio Practice.

I was able to present our work and to run a couple of workshops. There is a lot of really interesting work going on. I did mange a weekend on the wonderful Zanzibar and then to complete the trip came back on the Tazara train. An amazing journey but unfortunately this time instead of 2 days it took 3! Meaning I had to rapidly appeal to my colleagues here to do some timetable shifting! Today is a holiday so I am just gearing myself up for the next few weeks.

Back home my colleagues have been meeting to feedback from the July trip, to catch up on where the Capacity Building programme has got to and to coordinate the plans for the next stage. A lot of work has been done with the help of our Alliance Mentor to develop our Strategic plan and clarify our roles. 

Thursday, 19 July 2018


I have given this post that title as I am sitting here at Gossner wearing almost every garment I possess! We knew it would be colder but were not prepared for quite such a wintery feel. Thick walking socks, shawls the lot have come into use! Anyway enough complaints - it has been a short but eventful trip as usual and we have been very lax at posting anything I am afraid. We have been three this time, Simon, myself and a new Scottish based Art Therapist, Liz Hall.

"Sitting here in the garden sketching the cacti, and reflecting on my first trip to Zambia, I am struck by how well they capture the experience ~ beautiful, thorny, difficult to grasp, and yet full of life affirming substance. The paradox of these aspects all coexisting at once is perhaps what life always is, but in this unfamiliar place they become illuminated in their stark opposition and challenging extremes. During my time here I have given two presentations and a puppet workshop on art therapy and child trauma abuse, and visited mental health facilities, nursery, primary and special schools to gain a broad introduction to childrens' services here. It has been a stimulating, thought provoking time, both professionally and personally, and I am thinking about the possibilities for my next visit already." Liz.
Liz is going to be a valuable addition to the Scottish based ZTA group,

This trip has been the first of our year of Capacity Building, based on a Scottish Government Small Grant so the emphasis has been divided between completing Trainings and Training of Trainers  and starting the consultations with various stakeholders to look at how we build here in Zambia the capacity to integrate, coordinate and develop the training and practice of Therapeutic Art.  Margarate Munakampe is helping us with this aspect of the programme. There have been 2 training programmes, one at Chainama Hospital for UNZA nurse students on Mental Health placement, this was delivered by Kestone Lyumbai to complete his certification as a trainer and the other in Ndola general  Hospital, Psychiatric Department for unit staff. Here Susan Ntengwe completed her Training so there are now four certificated Zambian trainers. The Scottish Grant sadly does not cover everything we need to do and it was owing to a Grant from the Schehallion Group that we were able both to bring Liz over here and fund the training in Ndola so Susan could complete Stage 2. Though the Hospital there provided funding for materials and refreshments which was a great help. We have had a good range of responses to the training from the different trainee groups with a lot of emphasis on the new experience of what simple  art making can achieve and how sharing this with patients has challenged assumptions and changed attitudes.

We held an gathering last evening of all the Zambian Trainers. It was really great event with a wonderful meal cooked in the Gossner kitchen by Miriam with help from Felisitus and Patricia. We had time to enjoy ourselves and have useful discussions about the way forward and what needs to be prioritised. It is a powerful team and they are going to play an important part in the next stage of the programme.

Simon and Liz have now left and I am going to Dar es Salaam to find out more about what is happening there and then returning in August to continue the Training programme and the development work.