Boniswa Mzimba

Name
Boniswa Mzimba
Qualification
4 year diploma in nursing (general, community, psychiatry) & midwifery (upe/charlotte searle college) ba (health sciences & social services) with specialisation in psychology for professional contexts (unisa) bachelor of laws (llb) (ufh) master of laws (llm) – medico- legal aspects (unisa) – not yet completed
Company
Powerhouse Development Services – NPO- 169-165
Presentation Title
Awakening EAP to the unique challenges of Widowhood
Content Focus Area
Organisational Level
Employee Engagement
Biographical information related to the topic
Advocate Boniswa Mzimba is a highly charged individual with experience as a clinician and a manager in both private and public health care which over 20 years. She has worked in private hospitals in Johannesburg and East London, local government health services and provincial health services. She has diverse experience in Health and the Law and in facilitation, coordination and driving institutional strategy. She was widowed very young 14 years ago and following years of ad hoc work in support of vulnerable women, she formalised this passion by establishing PowerHouse Development Services in 2015. The entity was registered in April 2016 as an NPO 169-165 .She is a registered nurse and a non-practising admitted Advocate of the High Court of South Africa and currently works for the Eastern Cape Department of Health as a Manager for Health Planning, Reporting and Monitoring and Evaluation.
Advocate Mzimba holds a 4 year Diploma in Nursing (General, Community, Psychiatry) and Midwifery, Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences and Social Services (with specialization in Psychology for Professional Contexts), Bachelor of Laws and is in the thesis stage of a Master Of Laws (Medico-Legal Aspects) degree. She has also attended various courses on health management and leadership. Her other professional engagements have developed her into a legal advisor, business coach, counsellor and inspirational speaker.
Abstract
PowerHouse Development Services is an organisation in South Africa which acts as a sustainable voice for the socio-economic development, rights and total well-being of widows. Widowhood is a key developmental challenge. In 2011, Stats SA recorded just over 1.8 million widowers and widows. The Global Widow Report 2015 indicates that, of the estimated 258 million widows in the world, just over 1.4 million are in SA. Many of these widows and their children live in abject poverty. Chief among the causes is the violence and abuse that is perpetuated against them. This includes violation of constitutional rights mascaraed as culture where widows are expected to undergo obscene rituals in order to inherit their rightful estates. They are often evicted from their rightful homes. Many are destitute and impoverished for fear of their lives as they choose to leave their homes and belongings behind.
There is, however, a cohort of widows who, in fulfilling their new role as heads of households and also recognizing their need to provide for their families, fight on a brave frontier by remaining in employment. While national legislation protects the rights of widows and also affords widows much latitude to manage their own affairs and defend their family interests, Employee Assistance Programmes have not been responsive enough in catering for this special and growing group of people.
Widows can act independently and occupy positions of authority, however, the sudden shift in the family status with its resultant challenges can overwhelm even the strongest of individuals. Whilst, grief is a process and workplace programmes do offer psycho-social support services, widows would benefit immensely from a workplace widow wellness programme that is designed for them as part of dealing with their unique challenges, managing diversity and promoting inclusion. Further, the programme will provide EAPs information in order for them to engage employees on this unique challenge as a concerted effort to shape the Ideal Workplace.
The presentation will, among others, give accounts of experiences of widows in the workplace in first year of their widowhood. This information is shared at the workshops and or seminars, consultations etc.
Learning Objectives
The workshop attendees will be able to:
1. Recognise the plight of widows and the unique challenges they face in the workplace.
2. Conduct localised workplace research on the extent of widowhood in their sector and its impact.
3. Develop own workplace programmes that will consider widows and be responsive to the additional services they require.REFERENCES
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 108 of 1996
Global Widow Report, 2010
Global Widow Report, 2015
Ariadne Schmidt (2010) Review of Janine M Lanza ‘From Wives to Widows in Early Modern Paris: Gender, Economy, and Law.’ International Review of Social History, 55, pp 137-139.The presentation will be delivered in English.
It is envisaged that the session will give attention to the suffering of widows and thus expose a specific area of development within Employee Assistance Programmes. The attendees will be challenged to examine whether they can say that, in their quest to assist widows in the workplace, they had adequately provided such assistance, taking cognisance of the generalised nature of that assistance. It is hoped that the presentation will not only incite debate but foster employee assistance programme evaluation.
Session Description
The presentation will be delivered in English.
It is envisaged that the session will give attention to the suffering of widows and thus expose a specific area of development within Employee Assistance Programmes. The attendees will be challenged to examine whether they can say that, in their quest to assist widows in the workplace, they had adequately provided such assistance, taking cognisance of the generalised nature of that assistance. It is hoped that the presentation will not only incite debate but further employee assistance programme evaluation, in view of this neglected group of people.
Learning Objective 1
The workshop attendees will be able to: 1. Recognise the plight of widows and the unique challenges they face in the workplace.
Learning Objective 2
2. Conduct localised workplace research on the extent of widowhood in their sector and its impact.
Learning Objective 3
3. Develop own workplace programmes that will consider widows and be responsive to the additional services they require