Memory Box Workshop a Great Success

Wed, 8 September 2010

‘My best moment was painting the Memory Box.’ – child participant

REPORT 1: South Coast Hospice Association: Memory Box Workshop Project

HIV and AIDS are severely affecting children in South Africa, both directly through infection and indirectly as their circles of care break down due to the loss of family members. The South Coast Hospice Association designed a workshop that encompassed focused and specialised psychosocial intervention with 20 children affected by HIV and AIDS. This workshop provided them with essential life skills for their emotional development.

This project commenced in June 2010 and will be completed by January 2011.


  • A five day Memory Box workshop was held at Bhobhoyi, Ugu District, KwaZulu-Natal, from 28 June to 2 July 2010. Twenty children infected with and/or affected by HIV and AIDS participated in this meaningful intervention.
  • Four follow-up visits to each child are expected to be carried out within four to six weeks of the workshop. To date, one to two of these visits to the children and their families have taken place. Visit 1 served to identify where the Memory Box and hero books are kept, and to ascertain whether anything new had been added to either the contents of the box and/ or the book. In addition, genograms were drawn. Visit 2 dealt with the family story. This offers the child the opportunity to hear their family story from their carer.


  • In terms of the planned activities which have already been implemented, the Memory Box workshop has been very successful. The children appeared to be very happy and comfortable in participating in the workshop, and a more qualitative and accurate result will be obtained at the Family Evaluation.
  • The final visit to the children and family entails the final post-intervention assessment test. Evaluation results will be assessed against a baseline and the impact of the programme established.


The total budget for this project is R31 020 which has been paid in full.

DescriptionTotal BudgetTotal Expenditure
Project co-ordinator fee8 8008 800
2 child carers8 8008 800
20 x Memory Boxes 1 2001 200
20 x photographs 100100
20 x Duduza Dolls 1 0001 000
Crayons, glue, paint and aprons 1 4001 400
Catering 4 4004 400
Road travel 2 0002 000
Telecommunication costs and printing costs 500500
Support Services 2 8202 820
TOTAL31 02031 020


External challenges include:

  • Resistance by families to get their children tested for HIV South Coast Hospice is considering linking with the specific school that provided the venue for the Memory Box Workshop and which has elected an HIV and OVC Coordinator. South Coast Hospice is committed to ensuring that its inter-disciplinary team draws in all resources in an effort to properly understand and manage complex social and cultural issues.

  • A high crime rate within the community. One of the workshop participants, a young girl, was the victim of an extremely unfortunate and frightening incident (a stabbing) which occurred during the week of the workshop. The child was traumatised and her emotional wellbeing was further compromised.

Internal challenges include:

  • A lack of an adequate number of internal referrals. The OVC Programme Manager has scheduled meetings with the intent of discussing improving relations between the OVC department and the South Coast Hospice Integrated Community-based Home Care teams.

Monitoring and evaluation

The pre- intervention assessment tests were carried out as planned.
The follow-up visits will provide the opportunity to conduct post-intervention assessment tests, deepen the work on specific topics such as family trees, and enable the organisation to effectively monitor and evaluate the impact of the workshop. This activity has commenced and continues until the end of the project in January 2011.

The final visit to the children and family entails the final post-intervention assessment test. Evaluation results will be assessed against a baseline and the impact of the programme will be established. These results inform the OVC department whether or not a child can be discharged from the programme (i.e. if they are coping) or if further referral is required.


The Memory Box programme forms part of the overall work carried out by the South Coast Hospice Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Programme. It is a comprehensive and well thought out programme managed by highly skilled professionals and specially trained Children’s Caregivers. South Coast Hospice recognises the value of the Memory Box workshops and the organisation remains determined to continue hosting them.

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