Responses of non-governmental organisations to the needs and expectations of volunteer trauma support workers within the victim empowerment sector in KwaZulu-Natal.
Khoza, Richard Vusindaba.
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The study examined the responses of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) within the victim empowerment sector in KwaZulu-Natal, to the needs and expectations of volunteer trauma support workers. The objectives of the study were to determine whether or not NGOs have volunteer care and support programmes and what challenges or constraints exist in providing such programmes. Systems and ecosystems theory were used as the theoretical framework guiding the study. Firstly, it provided a basis for understanding reciprocity between organisations and the environment. Secondly, it provided a framework for understanding the context in which volunteers and NGOs operate. A qualitative approach was used. This allowed the researcher to gather in-depth data necessary for the study. The study made use of non-probability sampling. Ten organisations were purposively sampled for the study. These included two organisations from Pietermaritzburg, and eight organisations from Durban. All organisations are affiliated to the Themba Lesizwe network. Data was collected by use of in-depth interviews, using an interview guide. All interviews were tape recorded and transcribed. The results of the study have shown that, although volunteers were recruited to provide trauma support work, they were also providing generic work including community interventions. The organisations' major reasons for utilizing the services of volunteers were shortage of staff and lack of funding to employ fulltime staff. The study found that whilst all organisations had care and support programmes in place to support volunteers, in the form of training, supervision and debriefing, these were uncoordinated and unstructured. The major finding of the study was that out of ten organisations, only one had a volunteer policy. All participants in the study agreed that there was a need for a volunteer policy and recommended that volunteer policies be developed.