Hospice Africa UgandaBack to Case studies
“Both to mentor or to be mentored helps me perform better in my role. The training was well-facilitated, very educative and realistic for our organisation.”Participant
Hospice Africa Uganda
Oasis’s work with Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU) reflects our experience supporting organisations as they develop systems for mentoring, coaching, supervision; facilitating such programmes; working with hospices and working in Uganda.
Hospice Africa (UK) was founded in 1992 with a mission to develop a ‘model’ hospice in an African country for delivering palliative care. The model would be affordable and culturally acceptable and could be adapted for other African countries.
After a feasibility study in 1993 Uganda was chosen as the country where this ‘model’ would be created and developed.
The model is based on a ‘hospice at home’ approach and is now well established in Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU), creating a model for service, education, research and affordable clinical care that is appropriate for other African countries.
There is now an international programme that is supporting the development of palliative care in Malawi, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
Building mentoring into infrastructure
It was through Clare and Brian Fitzgibbon that Zena Bernacca first visited the mobile hospice, Mbarara, in 1999.
Zena remained in contact as HAU developed, and was approached to deliver Organisational Development in 2006.
HAU were looking for help to build mentoring into their infrastructure and to facilitate mentorship workshops for their trainers in Palliative Care.
HAU approached the process of mentorship development by recognising the need to support and develop staff as they undertook difficult and challenging work, particularly in a culture where issues faced in the lives of patients are often also faced by staff and/or their close family and friends.
Benefits of Mentoring
Mentoring is a cost-effective and flexible way to share skills and develop a learning culture.
It can increase morale, encourage commitment and a feeling of belonging and improve communication – across departments and projects.
A common framework can bring more focus and discipline to meetings, increasing productivity.
Organisations developing mentoring schemes demonstrate their investment in people and acknowledge the skills of existing staff members, improving staff development and succession planning.
We used a Whole Person Learning approach, requiring participants to engage with their own questions in relation to mentoring and to engage with colleagues and facilitators.
Creating and embedding a shared culture
Oasis’s involvement ensured that sustainability was built in. The mentorship programme was not designed as a one-off, but as a vehicle for embedding the mentoring scheme in HAU.
The programme was not just about developing mentors, but an attempt to embed a shared framework of practice and a culture of learning and development into the organisation.
Oasis delivered workshops to enhance understanding, skills and knowledge of mentoring, to begin the process of embedding mentoring throughout the organisation and to establish the Staff Support Programme.
We worked with two groups through a five-day programme to develop mentorship skills and understanding with trainers in the education and clinical departments.
A managers group also met for two days to develop their understanding of the concept and the organisational implications of taking on mentorship.
Follow-up days were also delivered, giving participants the chance to air difficulties and concerns, to practise skills and comment on the implementation of mentorship across the organisation.
By embedding mentoring into the infrastructure, staff, and thereby the organisation as a whole, have been able to develop and implement its overall OD strategy.
The association between Oasis and HAU continues. In May 2011 Zena was seconded to Hospice Africa Uganda for 13 months as their Chief Executive Director and has decided to stay on to continue the work.