NAMWEZA is a participatory programme using a learning-by-doing approach to enable people to become aware of and learn more confident and assertive ways of relating to others. It creates possibilities for behavioural change, by raising self-esteem and confidence so that participants feel empowered and able to act as change agents in their own communities and social networks. NAMWEZA is relevant to all those who share the experience of being un-empowered or lacking self-esteem, confidence and assertiveness to make their voice heard. It could therefore be relevant to people who are finding acceptance by society difficult, living as part of a marginalized society, like those living on the streets, living with drug and alcohol dependence, with mental illness, in prison. NAMWEZA is at eh moment being implemented successfully as a public health intervention to help promote self-esteem and improving coping strategies in the response to HIV.
The NAMWEZA programme embodies 5 key life skills:
1 – Using Appreciative Inquiry to discover what abilities and resources people already have
2 – Communication skills of circular questioning to develop reflectiveness and empathy
3 – Assertiveness skills
4 – Meditation and relaxation
5 – Dreaming/envisioning the future and backlighting the dreams to the present so a path to the desired future becomes realisable