ABOUT SEKWELE Sekwele Centre for Social Reflection was established in 1997 by bishop Hubert Bucher (now retired). It was then known as Bethlehem Social Academy. It was established with the aim of contributing to the reconstruction efforts of the post-apartheid society. The centre is located in Bethlehem in the Free State Province. It is situated at John Paul II Centre, 3km on the outskirts of Bethlehem just off the N5 highway westwards towards Bloemfontein. The target group of this project is situated in the Eastern Free State, in the towns and parishes of the Diocese of Bethlehem. The diocese comprises of four deaneries as shown below in the maps: Qwa Qwa, Mpumalanga, Central and Southern deanery. The project implementation concentrates on activities in the four deaneries and the 54 associated local communities, reaching beneficiaries of 1,140 families and more than 6,000 constituent family members.
Sekwele has four main areas of operation: social-pastoral issues, gender and human rights, health and human security and capacity building as a cross-cutting tool. At Sekwele we believe that families need to be strengthened and supported and we promote “Well-functioning families which are loving, peaceful, safe, stable, and economically self-sustaining, that also provides care and physical, emotional, psychological, financial, spiritual, and intellectual support for their members”. The approach of Sekwele Family Strengthening Programme is informed by principles that are incidentally also part of the guidance from the White Paper of Families in South Africa. These principles include the following:
• Human rights
Human rights are first learnt in functional families. Through socialisation, the foundation is laid for children to be tolerant of views other than their own and become active and responsible citizens in the future.
• Family diversity
There are different types of families in South Africa which are products of various cultures and social contexts. Therefore, the need exists to recognise the diverse nature of South Africa’s families in all initiatives that address their plight.
• Family resilience
Families have inherent capacities and strengths that sustain them in times of prosperity, as well as adversity. It is important to recognise these qualities, so that any intervention at family level will enhance these attributes.
• Community participation
The family remains an integral part of South African society and its continued existence is dependent on vibrant and well-functioning communities. Promoting and strengthening marriages Stable marital unions are essential for the stability of and ultimately society’s well-being. Where unions are flourishing, efforts will be made to promote them and where they are under threat there will be a focus on strengthening them.
• Promoting and strengthening responsible parenting
Family stability hinges on responsible parenting. Parents or caregivers will be encouraged to play their expected roles in the upbringing of their children. Where there is a case of parental breakdown or its absence, means will be sought of strengthening this area.
• Strategic partnerships
Support for the delivery of services by Government and other role-players through partnerships. The family itself will play an active role in matters of self-concern.
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Sekwele Centre for Social Reflection
Plot De Rust / Eden Plots, Old Fouriesburg Rd., Bethlehem 9700, South Africa
Phone: +27 (0)58 303 1459