Good Shepherd Centre a Model for All
A centre run by the Good Shepherd Sisters in Madidi, North West Province, was declared the best-practice model of integration of services by the provincial department of social development’s HIV/Aids directorate.
Since its inception more than 20 years ago, the Good Shepherd Community Learning Centre has been running programmes for students from 16 up to age 85.
A team of ten representatives from the social development and education departments visited the centre in Madidi in the Bojanala Platinum District municipality.
Sr Colleen Simpson, managing director of the centre, said the main purpose of the visit was to learn from the Good Shepherd integrated model in preparation for provincial community care centres, to be adopted at six North West sites.
“Good Shepherd has been marked as one of the best models in the country, in terms of integrated learning and self-sustenance, which the departments want to adopt provincially,” said Sr Colleen.
Gerzia Ratshefola, a government senior social worker who heads the Zeerust region, said she was impressed by the quality of the centre, and the passion and commitment of Sr Simpson and her staff.
Ms Ratshefola said she was amazed that throughout the centre one feels the presence of God and peace. “My experience is that Sr Colleen puts God first in everything she does at the centre. Everywhere in the building there are different signs expressing the power of God, and every item around the building expresses the importance of God at the centre,” she said.
Vivian Maletlhogonolo Nickson, a social work policy developer under the directorate of partial care and early childhood development services in North West, said that when she was told about the centre, the picture she had of it was a “little blurred”, but coming there was an eye-opener. “It is a picture-perfect painting,” she said.
“As I entered the centre I experienced harmony, love, and peace. I wish all the municipalities of the province could practise the same model and have centres like this,” Ms Nickson added.
She also said the centre is the best-practice model for psycho-social support, and the best-practice model for behaviour modification.
Last year, higher education minister Naledi Pandor visited the Good Shepherd Centre and hailed it as one of the best of its kind, with excellent programmes.