The Memory-Box Making Technique as a Tool for Community Care and Support

In: From microscope to kaleidoscope

The intention of this chapter is to move away from simply adding to the existing body of knowledge on the contentious topic of the HIV&AIDS pandemic. Thus, this chapter aims to encompass relevant information pertaining to psychosocial care by volunteers in HIV&AIDS susceptible communities, adding to the new focus and insights regarding the practices and behaviour brought to the forefront of the pandemic. Specific reference will be given to the use of the memory-boxmaking technique as a means of psychosocial support, as well as its contribution to the field of community care and support. The aim of the study therefore was to explore community volunteers’ use of the memory-box making technique to support coping with HIV&AIDS. Research was carried out by using an interpretive paradigm through qualitative research. Data was primarily collected through interviews with community volunteers who acted as participants in the study. The findings of the study suggest that volunteers were able to acquire, apply and adapt the memory-box making technique in both their personal and professional lives. The findings add to theory, as existing literature has thus far not focused on the importance of psychosocial care and support by community volunteers in HIV&AIDS-susceptible communities. The research conducted for the purpose of this study confirms the pivotal role played by community volunteers in supporting communities coping with the effects of HIV&AIDS, especially with regard to their role in guiding the grieving process of affected families. The research findings regarding the use and application of the memory-box making technique by volunteers especially adds to the field of educational psychology, and specifically to systems theory in terms of volunteers impacting on groups within the community, sharing and applying their knowledge to support those individuals suffering from the emotional effects of HIV&AIDS.