The purpose of this study was to empower educators to mobilise assets and resources within their community in order to enable the community to cope better with the daily difficulties associated with HIV/AIDS. The study was conducted to explore and describe the process of mobilising assets in a HIV/AIDS infected and affected rural community. The working assumption was that the mobilisation of community assets could support and enhance community-based coping with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. A qualitative approach was followed. Purposeful sampling was applied to select an information-rich case for in-depth study (instrumental case study design). The case was a primary school in the Nelson Mandela Metropole. Ten educators participated in the study. The study was theoretically founded on an asset-based approach, with the focus on community-based coping. An interpretavist approach was used to describe and interpret the process of asset mobilisation in coping with HIV/AIDS. A number of data selection strategies were implemented: focus groups in combination with workshops, visual data, observation and a reflective field journal. The ten educators who participated in the study were empowered to identify and mobilise assets and resources within their community and to continue with the facilitation process on their own. The educators identified three priority areas and succeeded in establishing a vegetable garden on the school premises, a support group and an information centre at school, for HIV/AIDS infected and affected members of the community. These initiatives resulted in the wider community being better equipped and empowered to cope with the daily difficulties associated with HIV/AIDS that are being experienced on emotional, spiritual, materialistic, social and knowledge levels. It is concluded that the community, the school and individuals were empowered with regard to effective coping strategies, more specifically in dealing with the challenges associated with HIV/AIDS.
Dissertation (MEd (Educational Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.