Welgevallen Community Psychology Clinic's involvement with the Women on Farms Project
The Women on Farms Project (WFP) is a registered South African non-governmental organisation (NGO) working with women in commercial agriculture in the Western Cape Province. The member-based organisation aims to meet the specialised needs of women who live and work on farms.
WFP envisions a society where women play active leadership roles within family, community, labour, economic and government structures; where women who live and work on farms are treated with dignity and respect; where women play a leading role in sustainable agricultural production and are ensured of access to secure employment, food, housing, and affordable basic services such as water, health and electricity.
WFP strives to strengthen the capacity of women who live and work on farms to claim their rights and fulfil their needs. They do this by providing socio-economic rights-based and gender education, advocacy and lobbying, case work and support for the building of social movements of farmwomen.
The students from the Masters Programme in Clinical Psychology and Community Counselling are involved in this project, by providing the WFP staff with regularly scheduled support group therapy meetings. During these group therapy sessions, the WFP staff members are able to discuss the challenges of their work, formulate new coping and work strategies, and receive emotional support of the work that they do. Welgevallen believes that by 'helping the helpers' in this way, a large number of people can be indirectly reached and assisted. The WFP staff may also refer specific families, children or the women that they work with on farms to Welgevallen for psychological services. In turn, the psychology students' involvement in the WFP facilitates their training and exposure to the 'group therapy' milieu.