Week commencing 09 January 2017.

Read our previous entry.
We’ve arrived in Harare and its raining! Can you believe that? We leave the cold and frozen UK for Africa and its raining!! January is apparently the rainy season, we were warned, however nothing can quite prepare you for the deluge when it comes; lightening, thunder and torrential downpour that can last for hours.
So, why are we here?
Western Counselling is partnering with a not for profit organisation called The Addictions and Recovery Trust who are starting the process of educating Zimbabwe about addictions and recovery. We are assisting them in setting up their first project which is a 12 Step day programme in Harare, The First Step.
Last year, Amanda travelled over to start the process and meet with the team and since September 2016 we’ve had members of the team from The First Step training at Western Counselling learning about treatment programme delivery, referrals and admissions, policy and protocols etc. Its been an honour to host them and have them as part of our team and we intend this to continue in 2017 and onwards. Amanda is back in Harare with Carol and Rob to assist with the launch of The First Step on Monday 23 January.
Western Counselling staff in Zimbabwe
The First Step is delivering a structured and boundaried 12 Step day programme incorporating many of Western Counselling’s unique elements and educational workshops. When Amanda and Rob return to Weston super Mare at the end of January, Carol will stay on to assist Ndaba, Dave, Penny et al to deliver the programme; she will return to us at Western Counselling in February.
Mid January a Loss to Addiction service was organised in Harare in collaboration with the Kurarama Trust. There was a programme of music and speakers sharing their stories of bereavement and loss, candle lighting and an opportunity to share and mourn as a community. Over 100 people attended the beautiful service.
The welcome and encouragement we have received since we arrived in Zim has been incredible. Interest has been received from all sectors of the community and we are all really excited to see what happens as the service develops and grows over the coming months and years.
Are you interested in travelling to Zimbabwe and volunteering with The First Step in Harare? Please follow the work of The Addiction and Recovery Trust and The First Step Africa on Facebook.
Amanda Thomas