Tafta to host Fulbright Specialist Programme

In partnership with the Fulbright Commission and CommonAge, Tafta will host a flagship international educational exchange programme, from 10-21 June,  coinciding with Tafta’s commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June. Facilitated by Dr Renu Abraham Varughese of New York, USA, the Fulbright Specialist Programme  allows for United States academics and professionals to provide short term training and expertise to international host organisations.

“From discussions within Tafta and our Older Persons networks, a need was identified for capacity building for staff and family caregivers who provide care to older persons experiencing challenges related to dementia and psychiatric illnesses,” said Carmel Murugen, Divisional Manager of Research, Development and Strategy at Tafta. Murugen shared that the programme will focus on neurological changes in ageing, impact on the cognitive and physiological functioning of older adults and how best to manage challenging behaviour presented by older adults with cognitive deficits.

Tafta CEO, Femada Shamam, said the organisation was honoured to facilitate the training and to engage with the Associate Professor of Mercy University (New York).

“Dr Varughese comes highly recommended with extensive experience, expertise, academic and professional achievements in the fields of gerontology, dementia, educational facilitation and curriculum design,” she said. “We are privileged to have her equip our Social Work, Nursing, Activity Coordination and Occupational Therapy staff with enhanced insight in their respective fields. The format of this ‘Train the Trainer’ programme requires participants to carry forward their knowledge and train a minimum of 6 colleagues, thereby building staff capacity to facilitate and design programmes,” she added.

Tafta has opened its doors to fellow organisations and relevant government sectors in South Africa and other Sub-Saharan countries to be a part of the project.  We are pleased to have received positive responses from participants in Botswana and Kenya. Queries relating to the programme can be directed to Tafta’s Carmel Murugen on 031 332 3721 or email carmel@tafta.org.za.