MoP’s new staff addition

2015-10-21 06:00

MOTHER of Peace (MoP) recently­ secured the services of Dr Marina Botes, an expert in social work and teaching and entrepreneurship and brings with her a wealth of experience to the organisation. Botes completed her doctorate at Potchefstroom University, now University of North West.

“My first job as a social worker was at leprosy missions in Transkei and Pretoria, which collected statistics on lepers in South Africa and delivers a multiprofessional service.”

Later years she joined Weskoppies Hospital in Pretoria as supervisor. “When my husband retired, we relocated to Bloemfontein, where I worked in psychiatrics at Oranje Hospital,” she said.

Botes and colleagues started a drug rehabilitation centre for the hospital. She also worked at the SAVF and for the government, where she did research work and was involved in the initial phase of revision of the Children’s Act.

Next, her career came full circle when she was approached by the Head of Department of Social Work at Potchefstroom University to complete her masters and applied and was appointed lecturer.

Botes then changed her career and became a financial advisor for Absa. Her husband died in 2005 and in 2006 she opened a catering business, which she ran from 2008 to 2013.

When a child was placed in her foster care, Botes returned to the corporate­ world by starting a teaching career at Kings School in White River. Her passion for social work saw her returning to work for the Christian Social Work Council. Hoping to relocate to the coast, Botes applied for the position at Mother of Peace.

“My vision for Mother of Peace is to involve children in group work and focus on empowerment. I will follow up with individual therapy where needed. I will be actively involved in the assessment of scholastic performance and will do evaluations with management and teachers to place the children in the best schools for them,” she said.

Botes will also handle all tertiary education placements of the children and liaise with outside social workers to see if reunification with parents is possible. She will conduct group and individual sessions with foster mothers and caregivers. “I hope to empower them in their involvement with the children and to identify problem areas and sort them out,” she added.

Botes says the biggest challenge is that many children come from single-parent homes and a lack of contact with their families. When not working Botes enjoys walking, reading and browsing the internet.

She likes travelling and often undertook trips to the Kruger National Park. She has been to New Zealand and Australia and hopes to do more international travelling

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