Piggs Peak: Home Based Care training

Friday 28 February 2014. Fr Makama (priest-in-charge of Regina Mundi Parish - Piggs Peak) had invited me to attend the closing of the first "Home Based Care" training done at his parish. I was grateful for the invitation and made sure I'd be there. 

Eighteen people from the different outstations had been trained in Home Based Care. They had received trainings in the past but this one would put them at the level of those volunteers trained by the government. In fact, this training was a partnership between the Catholic Church (through the Aids Office of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference) and the Swazi government.

Through a song they shared on what they had learnt. It was a kind of refrain they would repeat all the time and in between one of them would talk on a specific aspect of their training. It was very creative. One said: "My name is stress..." and shared on how it affects our lives.

When it was my turn to say a "few words" I told them I was very happy knowing that I had met "stress" but I would not be going back home with it.

I underlined the presence of a delegate of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC). I have the feeling that sometimes matters like Home Based Care, Justice and Peace, Orphans... are not part of the agenda of a PPC. In some places there seem to be the feeling that those services belong to some "specialists" but are not part of the life of the parish.

I then used two biblical texts for them to keep in their hearts. Both of them are well known. The first one was Matthew 25: "I was sick and you came to visit me... in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me". I asked them to remember always that whatever they do for a sick person, they do it to Jesus. This is what they will keep them strong when they will get tired or face problems.

The second one was Luke 10, the Good Samaritan. Luke says that he: "saw him, had compassion, went to him". Three elements that need to be present all the time in their service... to see, to have compassion, to go...

One of them, when thanking the church and the government for this opportunity shared that she too had chosen the parable of the Good Samaritan as the passage they should always be reflecting upon.

There were gifts for some of us. To Fr Makama for all his work making this training possible, to me for being present on that special day for them. They finally thanked God for his every gift.

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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