The NACCW closed the conference with one of the most transparent formal meetings this writer has witnessed. First, in the
morning, prior to the last breakaway the youth delegates entered to make their presentations. Each of 20 or so young persons
came to the podium to report on his or her group's message. There were nerves, courage and wisdom in these statements which
focused upon safe sex, healthy living, education. a concern for police corruption among other topics. The sincerity in these was
notable. Following the messages, the chaperones for the youth were introduced and thanked with gifts.
Following the breakout the plenary session took the form of a web cast going out to 150 or so guests of the event. South Africa has
55 million people spread across a huge and often challenging landmass. The NACCW operates in all 9 provinces and as in
Canada they have to be innovative with communications. Following the web cast, resolutions were taken from the floor in a rather
unstructured yet respectful way, each seconded by a member and verbally voted upon by the delegates.Thoughtful resolutions
committing the NACCW to advance these over the future. Amazing.
The afternoon ended with the suggestion that the
sunset be viewed. A local, Adele Grosse offered to
guide the group and show us the moon as well. We
drove beyond the familiar waterfront along the coast
south arriving at the shore just as the sun was
setting. Then it was further down and around the
coast in places where the mountains literally meet
the ocean beaches. Then there was a long climb
up one of the mountains to arrive in the dark to view
the moon coming up over the lights of Cape Town.
Near by on a conical shaped mountain called the
Lion's Head wee lights flickered looking like distant
fireflies. These blips of light were the headlamps of
climbers who go up to watch the sun set, moon rise
and climb on to greet the sun in the morning at the
top. They do so over steep terrain, chain climbing
ropes and danger on every step. Perfect metaphor
for the child and youth care experience!
The closing plenary took the form of a web cast moderated by Zeni Thumbadoo. Jim Anglin addressed definitional framework, Thom
Garfat CYC characteristics, Zeni reviewed para-social service competencies, Jack Phelan touched on Supervision, Rev. Robert
Shubwa spoke of the transfer of the Isibindi model to Zambia and finally Ms. Aziwe Magida reviewed the statutory regulations for South
African CYC workers. In this way, web cast guests were given a conference in a call experience. The professional certification of CYC
professionals continues in South Africa with 7000 now being certified and hundreds more in training to follow. The nation and its
partner the NACCW are committed to creating a care system that will address the needs of child and youth and their families in the
least socially disruptive way.