Ngesikhatsi is a Swaziland-specific, locally developed four-week, small-group grief support course, specifically designed to be presented within the current local ministry structure, by Swaziland Leadership Academy (SLA) students and staff of Adventures in Missions (AIM) / Children’s HopeChest (CHC) Swaziland.
‘Ngesikhatsi’ is a Swati word generally used to indicate a term meaning “in a while”, “in a bit” and/or “in good time”. It is more directly translated as “as time goes by”. When waiting for someone to arrive at a destination, you might ask, “When are they coming?” The general retort would be “Ngesikhatsi…”, which is to be interpreted as “in a while”. There is no firm time-commitment to the word; everybody knows that ‘in time’, it will happen.
Growing through grief and processing the impact of a loss-experience is much of the same process; there is no firm time frame within which one “gets through” the loss. It takes time; everyone moves through his or her individual experience at different pace. Ngesikhatsi offers those who attend the course support along this journey, and helps them:
- Make sense of their loss-experience.
- Incorporate the loss into their lives.
- Identify with others who have experienced similar losses.
- Understand God’s presence and plan for their lives despite the heartache.
- And most importantly, grow through the experience to become more resilient and deeply rooted in the belief of their Godly purpose.
Ngesikhatsi was developed to empower AIM / CHC Staff to assist young people/kids and communities to have a chance to talk about their experiences of loss, and therefore take them on a ‘deadline-less’ journey of growing through their respective losses. Growing through painful experiences of loss takes time. In this case, Ngesikhatsi ‘allows’ time to pass, as kids complete the four-week course, which aids them to grow through their loss-experiences.
Content of the course
Ngesikhatsi takes kids on a journey of discovering the various feelings related to loss experiences, and helps them identify what they feel in relation to the loss they have experienced. Furthermore, the course also helps young people to identify the valuable relationships they still have in their lives, despite the fact that they might have been displaced, a parent or loved one might have died or house might have burned down.
Through a variety of games, worksheets, conversations and interaction, group members embark on the journey of growing through the pain, and finding hope for their futures. As the course is presented in small groups of six to eight, kids also get the opportunity to identify with peers who might have experienced similar losses, and encourage one another on the journey of healing.
The Ngesikhatsi course is written from a Christian perspective, allowing attendees to experience the comfort of knowing that God is with them through the journey of healing. Various scriptures – shared through stickers, worksheets, conversations, song and prayer – help kids to understand that God, who is the Alpha and Omega, knows our today’s and tomorrows; in His arms, we find healing for our hurts, as time ticks by.