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17 March 2016

The future lies with mothers

Vodacom Change The World is helping vulnerable mothers support their children by assisting Tales of Turning in KwaZulu-Natal.

Jenna-Lee Strugnell is one of the inspirational Change The World volunteers who has dedicated a year of her life to sharing her expertise with the Narrative Foundation by setting up and running the Tales of Turning project. Tales of Turning is dedicated to providing support to mothers in South Africa.

Vodacom Change The World gives volunteers the chance of a lifetime by paying their salary for a year to work with an NGO of their choice.

Making real changes

One of the achievements over the last few months has been the creation of Mothers' Support Groups in Durban and a homework group for kids. 

'Through narrative therapy techniques, the mothers have shared more about their stories as well as their dreams for their own lives and those of their children. During the sessions the mothers expressed how important their children are to them. In accordance with their hopes for their children, one of our mothers groups decided to run a homework centre every Saturday for the children in their community,' says Jenna-Lee.

With sponsorship from Vodacom Change The World, Tales of Turning was able to secure resources to set up the homework group and children now have a space where they can complete school projects. Educational resources, such as puzzles and worksheets, contribute to the development of the children’s skills and volunteers from the wider community have joined the group to support the mothers in their new endeavour.

They were also joined by occupational therapist Tammy Hunter who demonstrated activities to help kids reach their developmental milestones. Moms learned fine motor activities and exercises to help children with reading and writing.

Film festival debut

Tales of Turning released their first short film at a film festival hosted at Grace Family Church. The film offers viewers insight into narrative therapy techniques and shares the hopes and dreams of the moms in the project.

Directed by actress and singer Caitlin Kilburn, it features animation work by animator Tessa Comrie. Londiwe Ngema took the leading role in the film to represent the mothers who are part of the Tales of Turning project.

Eleven NGO films were shown at the festival and attracted viewers from throughout the Umhlanga community as well as NGO representatives. Not only was it a fun occasion, it was also an exciting opportunity to learn more about the other NGOs who are working hard to play a role in community upliftment.

End of year celebrations

The Tales of Turning year-end function last year honoured the participants and the contribution mothers make to our society. While the children enjoyed face painting, singing, dancing and fun party games, there was plenty of time to reflect on the progress that the Tales of Turning project has made.

Jenna says: 'We enjoyed hearing the mother’s feedback on how they felt respected and honoured during the groups. We also responded to the needs of the mothers by adding additional aspects to our programme. Activities to develop family identity and share family stories were particularly successful. 

'Our mothers also enjoyed learning how to make toys for their children and how they could facilitate development in their young kids. During our sessions the mothers shared their expert knowledge about their lives and different ways that they find to spend time with their children. The programme was built on these ideas and emphasised the importance of spending quality family time together. All in all it has been a year of growth, development and sharing.'

Find out more at

Vodacom Change The World

If you feel you have what it takes to change the world, then now is the time to apply to be one of the 2016/2017 volunteers. You will need to approach an NPO and gain its support and agreement on your role, goals and proposed monthly salary, then apply online at   
Applications close on 20 March 2016.