14-16 June 2017, Cape Town: Linda Theron and Optentia Research Focus Area (NWU) will co-host Pathways to Resilience IV with Michael Ungar and the Resilience Research Centre, Canada.

See http://resilienceresearch.org/ptr
for details.
Linda Theron

Linda Theron (D.Ed.)
Professor
Dep. of Educational Psychology
Faculty of Education
University of Pretoria, South Africa
Psychologist (Educational; PS 0063622)

Tree growing from rocks
South African students explain their resilience processes Video - South African students explain their resilience
processes

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Pathways to Resilience

Flyer
Flyer

Introduction to Khazimula

(See Pathways to Resilience Page for the complete list of videos )

New international resilience project

Photos

Included photos / drawings are copyrighted; photos taken by Prof Tinie Theron or Mr Eswill Theron

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Professor Linda Theron, School of Education Sciences, North West University, South Africa will deliver a lecture entitled ‘Stories of South African Youth: Doing well in challenging contexts’ in the Jonathan Swift Theatre at 5pm on Monday 24th February. The event is hosted by the School of Social Work and Social Policy in association with Children’s Research Centre. Professor Theron is principal co-investigator in the five-country Pathways to Resilience Study and the two-country SISU Study (see www.Lindatheron.org).

( taken from : http://socialwork-socialpolicy.tcd.ie/ )

In November 2014 Lesley Ann van Selm, the director of Khulisa Social Solutions, approached Prof Linda Theron about the possibility of Khulisa collaborating with The Pathways to Resilience team. Her enquiry was prompted by Adien Lindström, a member of the Advisory Panel to the Pathways to Resilience Project – at a meeting of stakeholders from Bethlehem, Adien and Lesley Ann met and Adien suggested that in order to support youth in the Bethlehem area optimally, Khulisa should build on the work of the Pathways to Resilience Project.  After a couple of meetings with Prof Linda Theron, Lesley Ann invited the Pathways Team to train Khulisa’s master trainers in the use of the NWU-accredited short course on Khazimula. Khazimula is the intervention program that flowed from the Pathways to Resilience Project (explained in detail in previous Optentia newsletters). Following the Pathways to Resilience Team’s (particularly Prof Linda Theron, Tamlynn Jefferis and Angelique van Rensburg) compilation of a short learning program (SLP) on Khazimula, it was formally accredited by the NWU.  The SLP consists of four modules: (i) an introduction to resilience and a social ecological explanation of resilience processes; (ii) an explanation of how  systemically supported dreaming informs resilience processes and suggested activities to stimulate such resilience-supporting dreaming; (iii) an explanation of how  systemically supported connecting informs resilience processes and suggested activities to stimulate such resilience-supporting connecting; and (iv) an explanation of how  systemically supported doing informs resilience processes and suggested activities to stimulate such resilience-supporting doing.

On 4-5 February 2014, members of the Pathways to Resilience Team (Prof Linda Theron, Tamlynn Jefferis, Angelique van Rensburg, Puleng Serathi and Tonette de Jager) engaged 12 master trainers from Khulisa Social Solutions in the SLP on Khazimula. This dynamic group of trainers came from Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, North West Province, the Free State and the Western Cape.   After two days of intensive training, this group was enthusiastic. Amongst other things, they were eager to actively promote resilience in youth across South Africa and believed that the flexibility and comprehensiveness of the Khazimula program would support this intention.  Moreover, the trainers saw many parallels between the Khazimula activities/aims and current Khulisa programs. These synergies made them even more enthusiastic to start using Khazimula.

However, the trainers are not accredited Khazimula facilitators yet. They have a month to implement Khazimula and prepare a visual portfolio to demonstrate their use of Khazimula which will be assessed by the Pathways team.  Successful completion of this assessment will lead to the trainers becoming the first NWU-accredited Khazimula facilitators. A second round of training has been arranged with Bethlehem Child and Family Welfare in April 2014 and a possible third round in Cape Town in July 2014. The Pathways to Resilience Team is thrilled that the findings of the Pathways to Resilience Project are making their way back to South African communities in the form of Khazimula in ways that should be sustained even when the project comes to an end in December 2014.

Tamlynn Jefferis, Angelique van Rensburg and Puleng Serathi faciliating the learning of Khulisa trainers

Tamlynn Jefferis, Angelique van Rensburg and Puleng Serathi faciliating the learning of Khulisa trainers

amlynn Jefferis, Angelique van Rensburg & Puleng Serathi facilitating the training of Khulisa staff.

amlynn Jefferis, Angelique van Rensburg & Puleng Serathi facilitating the training of Khulisa staff.

The first SISU team meeting was held from 20-24 January at the University of Helsinki (UH), in Helsinki, Finland. SISU is a Finnish word that is broadly understood to mean resilience. The SISU project (co-led by Prof Kristiina Kumpulainen, UH and Prof Linda Theron, Optentia) investigates the social ecologies of resilience among at-risk children starting school in Finland and South Africa. It is a visual participatory study. The purpose of the first team meeting was to revisit the research plan which has been funded by the NRF (2013-2015) and the Academy of Finland, and to train the PhD students in the use of the participatory visual methodologies that inform SISU. The entire South African SISU team (Profs Tinie and Linda Theron, Prof Tumi Khumalo and PhD students Carla Bezuidenhout and Carlien Kahl) participated in this valuable first meeting. The meeting was reported by the Academy of Finland (see http://www.aka.fi/en-GB/A/Programmes-and-cooperation/Research-programmes/Etusivun-elementit/Resilience-key-to-getting-off-to-a-good-start-at-school/).

First SISU team meeting

First SISU team meeting - The SISU Team (Back row: Prof Kristiina Kumpulainen, UH; Anna Mikkola, PhD student, UH; Saara Salmi, PhD student, UH; Prof Linda Theron, Optentia; Prof Tinie Theron, Optentia. Front row: Carlien Kahl, PhD student, Optentia; Carla Bezuidenhout, PhD student, Optentia; Prof Tumi Khumalo, Optentia).

Not only did the meeting offer the Finnish and South African teams an opportunity to bond as the SISU team, but it also gave the SA team an opportunity to experience first-hand what very different risks threaten the development of Finnish children compared to South African ones. For example, the Finnish team will recruit children who are placed at risk by their coming from very affluent homes where parents have too little time for their children and/or too high expectations of their children. In comparison, the South African team will recruit children from economically disadvantaged communities as this is a pervasive context of risk in South Africa. The realities of the South African context were expertly demonstrated in the presentations made by the PhD students Carla Bezuidenhout and Carlien Kahl.
Even though the very warm welcome by the Finnish team made up for the bitterly cold weather (-14C to -18C), the next meeting will be in November 2014 in sunny South Africa. Linda Theron and the Pathways to Resilience & Post-traumatic Growth Program is looking very forward to welcoming and hosting the Finnish team. In the meantime, both teams will be engaged in rigorous data generation.

 

Symposium

Symposium: Promoting resilience processes for youth with complex needs: Cross-cultural experiences of service use Left to right: Janice Ikeda, Michael Ungar, Linda Theron, Linda Liebenberg Absent from this photo: Macalane Malindi, Robyn Mumford, Jackie Sanders

At the recent IACCP conference, held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Canadian, New Zealand and
South African researchers collaborating in the Pathways to Resilience project were invited to present
a symposium on some of the project’s early findings. The symposium, which was well received, was
entitled Promoting resilience processes for youth with complex needs: Cross-cultural experiences of service use.

It included the following papers:

The symposium will be structured as follows:

1. Introduction to the Pathways to Resilience Study – Linda Theron (North-West University, Vaal
Triangle Campus)
2. Resilience as mediator – Linda Liebenberg (Dalhousie University)
3. South African youth perspectives on risk, service use, and resilience – Macalane Malindi
4. Canadian youth perspectives on risk, service use, and resilience – Michael Ungar & Janice Ikeda
5. New Zealand youth perspectives on risk, service use, and resilience – Linda Liebenberg on behalf
of Jackie Sanders and Robyn Munford
6. Implications for practice – Linda Theron (North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus)

With the support of the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Humanities, Vaal Triangle Campus, North-West University and Optentia Research Focus Area, Linda Theron and the South African Pathways team hosted Colombian, Canadian and Chinese researchers and community members collaborating in the international Pathways to Resilience project. From 28 July to 1 August 2013, researchers, community members and students reflected on the findings emerging from the Pathways project and considered meaningful ways of disseminating these findings. In particular, there was focus on finding effective ways of partnering with communities so that the quality of available services would be emphasized in interventions towards resilience, and so that interventions would be tailored to the complex cultural contexts in which youths are embedded.

withthesupportofthedean

Students, community members and researchers of the international Pathways to Resilience Team on the Vaal Triangle Campus

Lecture on researching resilience

Lecture on researching resilience

In recognition of her resilience-focused research, UNISA’s Department of Psychology of Education invited Linda Theron to be the first guest speaker hosted by this newly constituted department. Linda delivered an address drawing on her experiences of conducting resilience research in South Africa. The address, which urged the audience to challenge the hegemony of western explanations of resilience, was entitled: Researching resilience: Methodological and theoretical reflections.

Linda Theron was invited to organize symposia for both the July 2012 IACCP conference and the July 2012 ICP conference. Both symposia will showcase findings from the five-country Pathways to Resilience Project, that is being led by Dr Michael Ungar (Dalhousie University, Canada; www.resilienceresearch.org). The IACCP symposium is entitled Promoting resilience processes for youth with complex needs: Cross-cultural experiences of service use. The ICP symposium is entitled Pathways to Resilience: Lessons of positive adaptation from a five-country study. Prof Dr Michael Ungar and Dr Linda Liebenberg (Dalhousie University, Canada), Dr Macalane Malindi (NWU, South Africa), Prof Dr Guo-xiu Tian (Capital Normal University, China) and Prof Dr Xiying Wang, (Beijing Normal University, China) are some of the presenters of the papers in these symposia.

The Pathways team has started to disseminate some of the findings about how young people are encouraged to resile. The first dissemination was in Bethlehem on 23 March 2012 in the school hall of a local primary school. Some 57 community members (teachers, principals, religious leaders, newspaper reporters, NGO representatives, social workers and psychologists) accepted the team’s invitation to learn what youth the Bethlehem area report as resilience-promoting. Those present were enthusiastic about the findings and urged the research team to engage in follow-up vi-sits.
The Advisory Panel (AP) that forms an integral part of the Pathways project also received certificates of commendation on this occasion for their selfless service to the project.
The researchers, AP, and community members made much of an opportunity to talk more informally and ask many questions whilst enjoying refreshments.

Some of the AP members and researchers. From left: Mr Tsotetsi, Mrs Linstroöm, Mrs Mokoena, Prof. Linda Theron, Mrs Moloi, Mr Ndaba and Dr Macalane Malindi