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Men's Perspectives on the Relationship Between Sexuality and Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt

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This paper addresses men's perspectives on the relationship between female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and women's sexuality in Egypt with the purpose of studying how men and women see a relationship between FGM/C and sexual life. The study used qualitative methods and was conducted in three sites. Men saw FGM/C as the key to ensuring women's sexual morality, and considered FGM/C as the key to controlling sexual relationships. Men were reported to increasingly take part in the decision‐making about daughters' FGM/C. In men's view, FGM/C reduces female sex drive and thereby keeps girls chaste before marriage and women faithful during marriage. Men wholeheartedly support FGM/C for these reasons. However, others are ambivalent due to a concern that the practice might have negative consequences on their own sexuality as a consequence of a negative effect on their wives' sexual feelings. The study concludes that men's role is important and that they should be involved in community activities against the practice. It also concludes that without comprehensive sexuality education, men will continue to hold on to the misconceptions that FGM/C has a positive effect on women's sexual morality through reducing their sexual desire. Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) 1 is a traditional practice prevalent in many parts of Africa including Egypt. The practice involves the partial or total cutting away of the external female genitalia mainly for socio-cultural reasons. In Egypt, these reasons include: reducing women's sexuality, preparing girls for marriage, following religious teachings, and for beautification purposes. There are three basic types of FGM/C 2 : Type I involves the removal of part or the entire clitoris; type II involves the removal of the labia minora with part or the whole of the clitoris; and type III involves a partial closure of the women's genitalia through the cutting and apposition of the two labia, known as infibulation
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PUBLISHING
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Sociology Study
Volume 3, Number 2, February 2013 (Serial Number 21)
Contents
Individual and Society
79TheContentsofanEmpoweringProgrammeforStaffWorkingWithRetiredVolunteers
SanetJansenvanRensburg,HermanStrydom
96TheEmpowermentofElderlyPeopleinSouthEastAsia:TheSocialResponsibilityofthe
YoungGenerationintheRegion
NguyenThiTungUyen,HenryNgunCeuThang,AzlindaAzman
104Men’sPerspectivesontheRelationshipBetweenSexualityandFemaleGenitalMutilationin
Egypt
MawahebT.ElMouelhy,R.Elise.B.Johansen,AhmedR.Ragab,AmelFahmy
Political and Economic Sociology
114TheInfluenceofSocialDimensionsonBriberyinPublicSectorInstitutionsinLibya
SalemM.Abdelgader
134TheTâtonnementofLéonWalrasandDiagonalDominantHypothesis
JoséG.Pelaéz
Institutions and Culture
146CulturalandEconomicMapsWithintheItalianAgriculturalLandscape
AndreaBosio
SociologyStudyISSN2159‐5526
February2013,Volume3,Number2,79‐95
TheContentsofanEmpoweringProgramme
forStaffWorkingWithRetiredVolunteers
SanetJansenvanRensburga,HermanStrydomb
Abstract
Thisarticlefocusesonthedevelopmentandcontentofanempowermentprogrammeforstaffmembersataservicecentre.
Anempowermentprogrammeforstaffworkingwithretiredvolunteerscanbringaboutbetterknowledgeandunderstanding
ofelderlypersons.Thiscanleadtothetargetgroupbeingideallymanagedandunderstood.Thepersonnelworkandinteract
onadailybasiswithretiredvolunteers.Theempoweringprogramme includes matters such as the life circumstances of
retiredvolunteers,the value that retiredvolunteershave,forthefunctioning of the servicecentre,thereasons for utilising
retiredvolunteers,what volunteers expect of staff members,and the motivationofretiredvolunteers to be involved inthe
variousactivitiesofaservicecentrefortheelderlytobenefitthestaffmembersthemselves.Bypresentingandevaluatingthe
empowermentprogramme,staffmemberswillbeabletobecomefunctionalunitsinutilisingelderlyvolunteerstothefullest
possibleinordertobenefitthestaffmembers,theretiredvolunteers,andthecommunityatlarge. 
keywords
Empowermentprogramme,retiredvolunteers,staffmembers,servicecentre,olderpersons
The aim of this article is to design and present an
empowerment programme for staff of service centres
working with retired volunteers. The programme was
identified based on the frustrations of staff experience
with retired volunteers and the knowledge the
researcher possesses has not been researched in
service centres. Important aspects identified from the
research receive attention in the empowerment
programme. In this article, certain results from the
needs assessment of the staff, the needs assessment of
retired volunteers and the leadership qualities of the
staff were presented in this programme of retired
volunteers.
PROBLEMSTATEMENT
Some of the problems experienced by service centres
are a shortage of manpower for rendering the
necessary services to elderly persons. According to a
statement made by Robson (2011), organisations did
not look after their volunteers well enough. Members
of staff are not even always aware of the valuable
contributions retired volunteers make. DuBois and
Miley (2008) and Szala-Meneok (2009) pointed out
that staff working with elderly people must possess
the necessary knowledge of and experience with
elderly people. Brudney (1999) viewed the training of
staff working with volunteers to be very important.
aPotchefstroom Service Centre for Elder People, South
Africa
bPotchefstroom Campus of the North‐West University,
SouthAfrica
CorrespondentAuthor:
Sanet Jansen van Rensburg, PO Box 2089, Potchefstroom,
2520,SouthAfrica
E‐mail:dsanet@lantic.net
DAVID PUBL ISHING
D
SociologyStudy3(2)
80
Laubscher (2010) was of the opinion that professional
persons in the field of gerontology did not receive the
training needed for it. Hence this empowerment
programme is aimed at the needs of retired volunteers
and the members of staff in the employ of service
centres for elderly people.
The meaningful and effective utilisation of retired
volunteers can be valuable for the retired person as
well as the service centre. According to Kleÿnhans
(2009), the need existed among elderly people for
more intellectual stimulation to experience meaning in
life. Stim and Warner (2008) stated that a retired
person had a need for money, good health, a network
of family and friends and involvement in activities
that can provide pleasure. Tang, Morrow-Howell, and
Hong (2009) stated that if more non-profit
organisations depended on older adult volunteers to
render services, it was important to keep volunteers
for longer periods so as to ensure services of a high
quality.
During a seminar presented by the Potchefstroom
Service Centre for the Aged (2009) for retired
volunteers, staff of service centres and retirement
villages, 43 respondents (75%) indicated by means of
questionnaires that an empowerment programme
needed to be developed on the effective utilisation and
management of retired volunteers. An empowerment
programme for staff working with retired volunteers
can bring about better knowledge and understanding
of elderly persons. This can lead to the target group
being ideally managed and understood.
AIM
The aim of this article is to design and apply an
empowerment programme for staff of service centres
for elderly people so as to personally convey more
knowledge to them with regard to retired volunteers
and equip them with the necessary skills, and in so
doing, enable them to work more effectively with
retired volunteers.
HYPOTHESIS
The presentation and evaluation of the outcomes of
the empowerment programme for staff of service
centres for elderly people will equip them with the
necessary skills and thus enable them to work more
effectively with retired volunteers.
THEORETICALFRAMEWORK
The theoretical approach to this study can be seen as
the systems theory and the empowerment approach.
SystemsTheory
The systems theory focuses on the relationships
between individuals, groups, organisations and
communities, the reciprocal influences and continuous
interactions among these various systems and
identifiable boundaries that form a whole (Barker
2003: 427). The existence of a service centre for the
elderly is to a large extent dependent on a relationship
of mutual support and involvement between the
service centre and the community. The focus of this
study is by and large on the development and
transformation of the system (Teater 2010: 17), in this
case being a service centre for the elderly. In the case
of this study, the interaction and relationships of
members of the centre, the retired volunteers, the staff
members and the total community will be included.
This study focuses specifically on the quality of the
services being rendered by this particular service
centre.
EmpowermentTheory
According to Turner (2011: 163), empowerment
entailed that power be given to another, power being
activated and skills developed in order to bring
effective changes in the community. In the case of this
study it means to empower staff members to deal with
elderly volunteers at a service centre in the correct
fashion and thus keep the main aim in mind to deliver
the best possible services to the elderly and the
JansenvanRensburgandStrydom
81
Table1.InterventionPhases
Phase3:Thedesign Phase4:Earlydevelopmentandpre‐test
—Designaclearlyobservablesystem
—Specifyspecificelementsoftheinterventionprocedure
—Developaprototypeforapreliminaryintervention
—Launchapre‐test
—Usedesigncriteriaforthepreliminaryinterventionconcept
community. By presenting and evaluating the
empowerment programme staff members will be able
to become functional units in utilising elderly
volunteers to the fullest possible in order to benefit the
staff members, the retired volunteers and the
community at large.
RESEARCHMETHODOLOGY
The intervention research model (D&D model), as
presented in De Vos and Strydom (2011: 476-489), is
utilised in this study. Phase 3 (the design) and Phase 4
(early development and pre-test) are used in this
article (see Table 1).
Phase3:TheDesign
A needs assessment consisting of various aspects was
done in order to compile the eventual programme. A
literature study was initially done on the topic of staff
working at a service centre, followed by various focus
groups (Greeff 2011: 360-375) with staff and the
elderly. The data were gathered by way of a
self-compiled schedule and a standardised measuring
instrument (Cozby 2009: 100-104). The focus was on
broadening the knowledge, stance and attitude of the
members of staff working with retired volunteers. The
needs assessment was done among the 25 members of
staff and 60 retired volunteers. Deficiencies identified
from the needs assessment were also dealt with in the
empowerment programme.
Phase4:EarlyDevelopmentandPretest
The programme was designed with a view to empower
the members of staff of service centres by means of
group work sessions. A pre-test was done two weeks
prior to the commencement of group work sessions, a
post-test was done a week after the presentation of the
empowerment programme, and six weeks after
completion of the empowerment programme the
post-post-test was completed. This article is directed
at designing and presenting the empowerment
programme for staff of service centres working with
retired volunteers.
PROGRAMMECONTENTS
The contents of the empowerment programme are as
follows:
OverarchingAimoftheProgramme
The overarching aim of the empowerment programme
is to empower staff of service centres for elderly
people working with retired volunteers, to broaden
their knowledge of retired volunteers and to positively
influence their attitudes toward the utilization of
retired volunteers. The following objectives were set,
namely to create group unity, to lay down group rules,
to conclude a contract as well as to develop insight
into the world of older persons and to gain a better
understanding of volunteers, to realise the value of
retired volunteers, and to accentuate volunteers’
expectation of staff. Furthermore, the objectives
focused on the improvement of leadership qualities
and time management, the reasons for retired persons
for becoming involved as volunteers, and the
frustrations experienced by retired volunteers, to
inform staff about what is contained in the service
centre’s constitution and lay down a policy for retired
SociologyStudy3(2)
82
Table2.SchematicRepresentationoftheGroupWorkSessions
Module Session Themesofthegroupsessions
1 —Introduction,orientation,pre‐testandconcludingacontract
1 2 —Theworldofolderpersons
—Theprofileofretiredvolunteers
2 3
—Thevalueofretiredvolunteers
—Theutilisationofretiredvolunteers
—Retiredvolunteers’expectationsofmembersofstaff
3 4
—Whenretiredpersonsbecomeinvolved asvolunteers
—Whyvolunteersterminatetheirservices
—Whatretiredvolunteersdislike
—Frustrationsexperiencedbyretiredvolunteers
4 5 —Effectiveutilisationoftime
5 6 —Skillsandqualitiesstaffshouldpossess
—Howstaffshouldacttowardretiredvolunteers
6 7 —Constitutionoftheservicecentreandpolicyforvolunteers
7 8 —Improveyourleadershipqualities
—Closingandevaluation
9
—Post‐test
—Overallevaluation
10 —Post‐post‐test
volunteers.
SchematicPortrayal
No specific reasons exist why the modules were
presented in this order, except that members of staff
first need to understand the world of older persons so
as to have a better understanding of the other modules.
Table 2 is a schematic portrayal of an
empowerment programme’s modules and sessions,
and of the themes of the group sessions.
SESSION1:INTRODUCTIONAND
ORIENTATION
Session 1 takes place two weeks prior to the
commencement of Module 1 of the empowerment
programme for staff. During this gathering, the
objectives of the empowerment programme are
explained to the group members. Group members are
informed about the group work process that will take
place, the importance of their participation that is
highlighted, and the sample based on their utilization
of volunteers (Engel and Schutt 2010). The group
determines its rules and concludes a contract. Group
members are asked what their expectations are of the
empowerment programme. The pre-test is explained
and the group members are afforded an opportunity to
complete the pre-test.
ConcludingtheContract
The group members mention the following: group
members will always be punctual; group members
will participate spontaneously; group members will
show respect for each other’s opinions and will listen
to one another; honesty will prevail among them,
confidentiality will be fostered; and group members
will see this empowerment programme as an
opportunity for growth.
Expectations
The group members show that they expect the
following from the empowerment programme:
(1) To learn more about volunteers, and in so
doing, become enriched so as to have more patience
JansenvanRensburgandStrydom
83
with retired volunteers;
(2) To know what members of staff do incorrectly
with retired volunteers in order to improve;
(3) To have more sympathy and empathy with
elderly persons in order to better understand retired
volunteers;
(4) To determine why retired persons do volunteer
work and whether they enjoy doing it;
(5) To know themselves better and to know
whether staff members are in the right post and
competent to work with elderly persons. Are staff
members not perhaps blunted?
(6) Do staff members meet the expectations of the
elderly people. Sessions should also be enjoyed by all
present ones.
SESSION2:MODULE1:THEWORLDOF
OLDERPERSONSANDTHEPROFILEOF
RETIREDVOLUNTEERS
Session 2 deals with the world of older persons and
the profile of retired volunteers. This information was
collected on the basis of a focus group consisting of
10 persons.
TheWorldofOlderPersons
The world of older persons refers to the living-space
of man and points to everything man is faced with
internally and externally around him and to which he
attaches meaning. Since giving meaning is a
continuous process, this world of older persons never
becomes complete and the boundaries are time and
again shifted. In the world of elderly persons change
necessarily brings along adaptations so that a
meaningful life is still possible in the midst of
limitations.
According to Strydom and Roux (2006),
elderliness was, as the infant and adolescent stages, a
phase of life in a person’s life cycle and it is
characterised by aging, deterioration and change at
different levels, such as physical changes, changes in
relationships, changing needs and fears and also their
religious experiences. Job 12:12 said: “Wysheid kom
in die gryse ouderdom en insig na baie jare” (Wisdom
comes with age, and insight many years later) (The
Bible, 1983 translation). To age successfully and to
live with joy, elderly persons must necessarily make
certain adaptations. Hence ageing, change and
adaptation are key concepts in the world of older
person.
(1) Adaptation to change
Seen globally, it is clear that social change,
combined with the physical and psychological change,
drastically influences the world of older persons.
Although each person processes this change in a
unique manner, it is nevertheless inclined to influence
elderly persons’ self-confidence negatively. Losses
inevitably bring about restriction of certain abilities
and possibilities. Active involvement in life assists in
effectively utilising abilities that have survived;
(2) Needs
Exceptional needs are, amongst others, the need
for love, acceptance, respect, acknowledgement,
security, independence and a right to
self-determination. Since ageing, however, brings
about so many changes, the possibility of needs
satisfaction can be threatened;
(3) Fears
Concerning change, fears and certain conditions of
anxiety are characteristics of elderly people, such as
loneliness, dependence, rejection, problems with
finances, and weakening. The greatest fear that
generally occurs among elderly persons is that of
dependence due to poor sight, loss of mobility, the
driver’s licence being taken away and that poor mental
ability will land them in an institution (Focus group,
June 3, 2011).
TheProfileofRetiredVolunteers
Attention will be given to the age profile, gender and
membership of retired volunteers:
(1) Age profile
SociologyStudy3(2)
84
The average age of the respondents is 71. The
youngest person is 61 and the oldest 85. Jansen van
Rensburg (2009) mentioned that the average age in the
previous investigation was 72. The average age of
volunteers was 71, according to the Dane Age
Association (2006). A study done in China among
older adult volunteers indicated the average age to be
69;
(2) Gender
Thirty-four (77%) of the respondents are female
and 10 (23%) male. Kulik’s (2006) research, done in
Israel, indicated that out of 375 volunteers, 92 (24.5%)
were men and 283 (75.5%) women, which thus was in
harmony with the relation between female and male as
in this investigation. Le Roux (1985: 114) did research
at 25 service centres which each had an average of 33
volunteers that were older than 60. The ladies were in
the majority with 95% and the remaining 5% were
men. The study, as many others, also indicates that it
is rather women that become involved in volunteer
work than men (Hong, Iris, and Xu 2010);
(3) Membership
It also clearly came to the fore from the research
that members, on the day they enrol as members, also
make themselves available as volunteers and are
prepared to become involved in some of the activities
(Jansen van Rensburg 2009).
SESSION3:MODULE2:THEVALUEOF
RETIREDVOLUNTEERS,THEREASONS
FORMEMBERSOFSTAFFTOAVAIL
THEMSELVESOFTHESESERVICESAND
THEEXPECTATIONSOFTHERETIRED
VOLUNTEERSOFTHESTAFF
Attention is given to the value of retired volunteers,
the reasons for members of staff to avail themselves of
the assistance given by the retired volunteers and what
retired volunteers expect from staff.
TheValueofRetiredVolunteers
Jonker (2010) wrote that she only recently realised
what the value was of volunteer workers. According
to her, she could not have succeeded with her projects
without these towers of strength. Volunteers sacrifice
their time, money and other resources to assist others
in need. Zuma (2010) expressed his thanks toward the
volunteers that inspired so many people to inspire
those who were most heavily struck by the poverty
crisis, to help them through difficult times.
Box (2004) reported to Die Burger that volunteers
were the backbone of non-governmental organisations
and made a considerable contribution to the
socio-economic development of South Africa. Daries
(1999) was of the opinion that retired persons had
valuable time to give up to the community. The value
of volunteers is that they save the paid staff’s time,
that they are an extension of resources, and that they
can give more personal attention to elderly persons
due to the fact that they have more time at their
disposal than the paid members of staff.
The staff of the service centre involved indicated
that volunteers added the following value to the
service centre: Volunteers lighten the staff’s tasks and
work pressure and hold high the arms of the staff.
Retired volunteers are of priceless value, are always
willing to help and create a positive atmosphere in the
service centre. Volunteer work contributes to the
human dignity of retired volunteers and makes them
feel needed. Making use of retired volunteers brings
about a cost saving for the service centre and
contributes to the service centre’s success.
Hence it is clear from the above-mentioned that
retired volunteers are of immense value to
non-government organisations, and in particular to
service centres for elderly persons.
TheReasonsforMembersofStafftoAvail
ThemselvesoftheAssistanceGivenbyRetired
Volunteers
Golden (2010) and Wilson and Musick (2011) were of
the opinion that it was good for the retired person’s
health to perform volunteer work. It cheers them up,
JansenvanRensburgandStrydom
85
makes them smile, and increases their general
experience of feeling good. Hepburn (2011) made the
following statement: “As you grow older you will
discover that you have two hands—one for helping
yourself, the other for helping others”.
A group of people serve in a board without
remuneration and others assist with projects as
volunteers. The value of volunteer and gratuitous
services of financial consultants, attorneys, quantity
surveyors, businessmen and other experts is
incalculable, as Burger (2009) wrote.
Golden (2010) confirmed that volunteer work
exposed one to being able to meet interesting people
that did not fall within the normal circle of
acquaintances. Volunteer work is one way by means
of which ordinary South African citizens can make a
difference and it is good for one’s health. Dyer (2010)
cited studies that had found that members involved in
volunteering lived longer and enjoyed better health
statuses. According to Wilson and Musick (2011), one
enjoyed satisfaction by being of service to others.
Volunteer work can counter antisocial behaviour and
it promotes good health. People who are involved as
volunteers live longer and have a lower risk of
psychological illnesses because volunteer work
strengthens the socio-psychological factors healthy
people enjoy.
DuBois and Miley (2008) as well as Jansen van
Rensburg and Strydom (2010) mentioned that
volunteer involvement provided additional manpower
in a time of increasing decrease in welfare budgets
and the population’s increasing social need. Through
volunteers’ involvement, it is possible to make
community services available. The government is not
capable of rendering all the services, and volunteers
can supplement the professional staff and assist them
with services and tasks that do not require
professional skills.
RetiredVolunteers’ExpectationsoftheStaff
According to Grové (2003), volunteers expected to be
trained so that they could know with certainty that
they were equipped to perform their tasks. According
to the focus groups, the most important expectations
concerning the service centre and staff are the
following, namely staff’s willingness to help and to be
considerate and tolerant, to be friendly, patient,
respectful and to show appreciation toward volunteers
and to receive explicit instructions from the staff in
order to cooperate well. With regard to remuneration
or acknowledgement, Jansen van Rensburg (2009)
found that volunteers would appreciate a cup of tea
after having rendered a service at the service centre,
and a hug as an expression of appreciation was of
great importance to them. According to Van der
Lingen (2007), volunteers could render volunteer
services for longer periods if they were given heavier
responsibilities within the organization, provided that
proper communication took place between the
volunteer and staff member.
SESSION4:MODULE3:THEREASONSFOR
RETIREDPERSONSFORBECOMING
INVOLVEDASVOLUNTEERS;REASONS
FORTHEMTOTERMINATETHEIR
VOLUNTEERWORK;THINGSRETIRED
VOLUNTEERSDISLIKE;ANDTHE
FRUSTRATIONSEXPERIENCEDBY
RETIREDVOLUNTEERS
The theoretical information constitutes the reasons for
retired persons for becoming involved in a service
centre as volunteers, why they terminate their
volunteer services, what they dislike and the
frustrations they experience.
ReasonsforRetiredPersonsforBecoming
Involved
The following reasons were advanced by retired
volunteers for becoming involved in the service centre
as volunteers:
(1) Want to be of service, love for seniors, a
SociologyStudy3(2)
86
Figure1.SegmentPortrayal:ReasonsforInvolvement. 
passion for helping others, enjoy working with people
and care about people. Retired volunteers give back
something of themselves because they want to make a
difference. These mentioned reasons have an altruistic
motive, said by Baio (2001), Kulik (2006), and Van
der Lingen (2007). The altruistic motive is not always
completely pure, because volunteers also do still
expect a certain amount of acknowledgement;
(2) Volunteer work should be constructive so that
volunteers enjoy doing it, and it should also be a
enriching experience. They learn to know others better
by doing volunteer work, meet new people and break
down the loneliness. This is described by Kulik (2006)
as the personal-growth motive;
(3) Those that advance free time as a motive are,
according to Baio (2001) and Kulik (2006), people
who wish to apply their time in a stimulating and
useful manner. Volunteers have time on hand and
would like being busy;
(4) Volunteer work is regarded as Christian
duty—to be thankful and to do something for
fellow-man. Krüger (2010) described these reasons as
the religious motive;
(5) According to Kulik (2006), there was also a
conformist motive. Most people in the society are
volunteers;
(6) Career-related reasons are linked to the
volunteer work to learn new skills or to gain
experience in the interest of their career (Van der
Lingen 2007).
From the portrayal (see Figure 1), it is clear that
servant hood is the main reason for retired volunteers
to become involved and then secondly because they
enjoy it. Hence it is important for staff to make it
enjoyable for volunteers to be of service.
TheReasonsforRetiredVolunteersto
TerminateTheirVolunteerWork
Londt (2002) mentioned three factors that played a
role in the period that influenced service delivery,
JansenvanRensburgandStrydom
87
namely:
(1) External circumstances—the volunteer accepts
formal work opportunities or moves;
(2) Task-related reasons—because volunteers do
not learn new skills, they feel their services do not
make a difference;
(3) Relationship factors—the relationship with
fellow-volunteers, the clients, staff or the organisation
itself. Volunteers that do volunteer work for altruistic
reasons will terminate services when clients or
members of staff do not appreciate their services.
During 1998, a study was undertaken by United
Parcel Service (UPS) Foundation (Stim and Warner
2008), of which the results pointed out that 41% of the
persons regularly working as volunteers terminated
their services due to the fact that the welfare
organization did not fully utilize their time and talents.
WhatRetiredVolunteersDislikeandthe
FrustrationsTheyExperience
Respondents mentioned the following aspects as
things they disliked and that frustrated them:
(1) If volunteers’ services are not desired; if they
do not know where their help is needed; if they are
informed at the last moment that they have to come
and help with something; poor guidance and
indecisiveness; when volunteers are not informed
about what is expected from them; too many people’s
ideas about the way in which tables need to be laid;
disorganised staff;
(2) If meetings start late, things do not run
according to time and if staff do not always take into
consideration the volunteers’ time schedules;
(3) Volunteers do not like doing things they are
not competent at, such as fund raising;
(4) If a volunteer cannot help with a task and the
staff are accordingly unhappy with the choice, and
volunteers are taken for granted;
(5) Mutual discord, if a negative atmosphere
prevails and begging others to become involved;
(6) When volunteers are addressed in a nasty
manner; the negative manner in which instructions are
given; and being treated disrespectfully;
(7) Volunteers like being certain about their rights.
Volunteers do not like being forced to do certain
things, dislike unfairness and are unhappy when other
volunteers do not stick to the rules;
(8) The discontentment of elderly people
themselves.
SESSION5:MODULE4:EFFECTIVETIME
UTILISATION
The group members receive information on effective
utilisation of time and practical hints on how effective
time management can help the group members when
executing their daily tasks.
EffectiveTimeUtilisation
Time is one commodity that is given to all in equal
amounts, said by Marais (2011) and Du Preez (1995).
Wasting time is one of the biggest frustrations in the
workplace. Staff must learn to manage themselves
regarding time. Time management refers to utilisation
of time. Marais (2011) and Du Preez (1995) held up
the following hints regarding time management: See
to it that the work environment is organised; provide a
planning timetable with specific objectives that need
to be reached for the day; do the most important tasks
first and complete them. If a task is not completed,
things need to be re-planned with a specific date and
time in mind; do one thing at a time and do it well;
and control time stealers effectively in the workplace.
It is things such as unnecessary chatting with
colleagues and visitors, the telephone or cell phone
that interrupts their work every now and again,
communication that is vague and unclear, personal
disorganisation, too much coffee and smoking breaks,
insufficient information, poor planning, spending too
much time on the Internet, dealing with everything in
a crisis management style and extended meetings.
Time can be utilised better when staff learn to
SociologyStudy3(2)
88
make decisions quickly and to delegate tasks. Less
important tasks can for instance be left in the hands of
the volunteer. Modern technology must be used
functionally and effectively. Also staff use the small
moments productively. Ingvar Kamprad says that a lot
can be done in 10 minutes. Ten minutes that have
passed are gone forever. A huge waste of time in the
workplace is incompetent and unmotivated to workers
and volunteers; therefore training should receive
priority attention. It is also very important to rest
enough and to relax outside the workplace. A member
of staff’s social life must include variety, and
sufficient physical training is essential. It is a balanced
life. Workers that apply good time management are
more productive, the quality of their work is better,
they can use opportunities meaningfully, their skills
and effectiveness are valued more and their chances of
being promoted are better.
HowEffectiveTimeManagementSkillsCan
HelpStaff
What is meant by effective time management skills is
that one is capable of executing tasks that need to be
completed within a specific period of time. A few
practical hints follow for more effective time
management, as given by Anon (2011):
(1) Plan day-to-day activities;
(2) Do not plan for more than 168 hours per week;
(3) Remember to take into consideration sleeping,
eating and performing other essential activities;
(4) Be realistic when setting objectives.
According to Anon (2011), it required
self-discipline to replace old bad habits with new
positive ones. A member of staff that utilizes his/her
time effectively will experience less stress, will have
more time in the long run and thus will enjoy his/her
life more.
Potgieter (2005) pointed out that the longing to
reach success was dormant in each individual. The
principles for successful tasks or projects, as proffered
by Potgieter, were, amongst others, the following:
self-confidence and trust in the service or product,
knowing what objectives are, visualising the
attainment thereof, gathering knowledge about it or
doing research, getting a mentor, talking with other
people about it, doing thorough planning, determining
what must be done to achieve, tackling tasks with
enthusiasm, and working hard and with perseverance
are all important.
Staff must compile a list of everything their post
entails, as well as all the tasks that need to be
performed. Then they divide it into two categories,
namely those the staff members can do and those with
which a volunteer can assist. Volunteers should be
recruited and trained to perform the specific tasks.
SESSION6:MODULE5:SKILLSAND
QUALITIESSTAFFSHOULDPOSSESSAND
HOWSTAFFSHOULDACTTOWARD
RETIREDVOLUTEERS
The theoretic information includes the skills and
qualities staff working with retired volunteers should
possess, and how staff should act toward retired
volunteers.
SkillsandQualitiesStaffWorkingWith
RetiredVolunteersShouldPossess
Elderly persons must be accepted as they are. Staff
must be willing to help with tasks and activities retired
volunteers have to perform. Reliability is a very
important quality when working with elderly persons.
Staff must have compassion for the retired volunteers.
If members of staff are purposeful, it makes the
volunteers feel safe. To be able to give clear
instructions forms part of the success of the end result.
It is important for retired volunteers to know exactly
what is expected from them. Honesty is a very
important quality for instilling trust. Staff must never
be dishonest to retired volunteers. Retired volunteers
should acknowledge for what they do. Owing to
retired volunteers’ slow tempo they are aware of the
JansenvanRensburgandStrydom
89
younger staff’s impatience with them. More time
should be allowed for completing a task. It is very
important for staff to possess good listening skills and
should listen attentively to what volunteers want to
tell. To be able to work in a team is not always easy,
but when retired volunteers are employed, they first
need to be informed about what is expected from them
and they must be allowed to accept ownership of the
activity.
By being well-informed about elderly persons and
volunteers, it enables staff to better understand the
elderly person and volunteers. It is important to know
what skills and knowledge the elderly person
possesses and to be aware of the tempo at which
he/she can work. A volunteer has the right to say no. It
is indeed his/her own private time in which he/she is
prepared to render a service.
Good communication skills enable staff to
communicate clearly with retired volunteers what
needs to be done. Conflict can arise between
volunteers or staff; hence it is important for staff to
know how to deal with conflict. It is important for
staff members to act kindly toward the retired
volunteers. All work delegated to the volunteer must
still be coordinated by the staff who is responsible. A
cheerful personality creates a pleasant work
atmosphere and retired volunteers enjoy such a work
environment.
Do not start panicking, because it will make
everyone around you restless. A member of staff with
self-confidence makes retired volunteers feel safe. For
the current generation of retired volunteers it is very
important for staff to honour strong moral values.
Volunteers do not want to be associated with a
member of staff or an organisation that honours poor
values.
Furthermore, friendliness is a quality every person
should possess. Staff members must show interest in
the circumstances of volunteers. It is a good starting
point for a pleasant cooperative relationship with
volunteers.
The mentioned skills and qualities staff should
possess are within the reach of most members of staff.
However, it is important for the staff to take
cognisance hereof and to purposefully work at it.
HowStaffShouldActTowardRetired
Volunteers
Retired volunteers enjoy their rendering of service so
much more when the members of staff are friendly
and the volunteers clearly understand their instructions.
Mutual cooperation is important for a good end
product and it will be achieved when volunteers are
treated with respect, the members of staff assist where
necessary, express their appreciation toward the
retired volunteers and the retired persons are treated
with love and respect.
SESSION7:MODULE6:THE
CONSTITUTIONOFTHESERVICECENTRE
ANDAPOLICYFORRETIRED
VOLUNTEERS
TheConstitutionofaServiceCentre
The following aspects are contained in a constitution
of a service centre, namely the name of the service
centre, the aim of the service centre, the services the
service centre offers, the area in which the services are
rendered, fund raising, right of ownership of the
service centre, supervision and management of the
service centre, the composition, constitution and
functioning of a control board, membership of the
service centre, duties and competencies of the board,
legal personality, awards by the board, general annual
meeting, amendment of the constitution and the
closing of the service centre. A constitution gives staff
and the board of control of a service centre the
necessary guidance concerning the healthy
management of a service centre for elderly persons.
StaffStructureofaServiceCentre
It is very important for each service centre to make
SociologyStudy3(2)
90
available a staff structure to the staff. In so doing, each
member of staff knows to whom he/she is
accountable.
PolicyRegardingRetiredVolunteers
A policy for retired volunteers is made up of the
following components:
(1) Concepts
(a) Policy: According to DuBois and Miley (2008),
a policy consisted of principles and activities that
exerted an influence on the quality of the
circumstances of individuals and groups and their
mutual relationships. Policy regarding retired
volunteers can therefore be seen as a guideline for a
plan of action to meaningfully manage the volunteers
involved in a service centre;
(b) Retired volunteer: According to the researcher,
a retired volunteer is a person older than 60 who is
prepared to become involved in a non-profit
organisation out of own free will and without any
financial remuneration, with a view to be instrumental
in rendering social services or activities or being of
assistance regarding activities offered by the
organisation;
(c) Volunteer work: It is a wonderful opportunity
to be of service, to contribute to the welfare of the
community and to be enriched with knowledge with
regard to caring for elderly persons, said by Krüger
(2010: 36);
(2) Mission and aim of the organisation
(a) Mission: to render the most cost-effective
quality services to elderly and disabled persons in the
community, to guarantee client satisfaction, and to
render services with compassion;
(b) Aim: The aim of a service centre is to render
services of such a nature that it enables elderly
persons to remain in the community independently
functional for as long as possible;
(3) Retired volunteers’ rights
The Centre for Volunteering (2011) clearly stated
that the volunteers as well as the organisation had
rights and responsibilities. Volunteers have a specific
task to perform and the organisation undertakes to
ensure an experience of the volunteer that makes it
worthwhile for him/her. The volunteer and the
organization have the right to basic expectations from
each other.
Since volunteers do not have a labour contract like
an employee, the volunteer needs to be protected. A
task description known as a “volunteer agreement”
still needs to be made available to the volunteer
(Durham 2010);
(4) The organisation’s rights
The organisation’s rights are, amongst others, to
receive the same service from the volunteer as from a
paid member of staff; to select the best volunteer for a
specific task; to expect from volunteers to stick to
their task descriptions and the service centre’s code of
practice; to expect volunteers to subject themselves to
training; to expect loyalty from them toward the
organisation; to expect clear and open communication
from a volunteer; to be able to negotiate work
assignments; and to exempt volunteers from certain
circumstances (Centre for Volunteering 2011);
(5) Management of volunteers
(a) Recruitment: It is important to identify where
volunteers can be of assistance so as to achieve the
objectives of the service centre;
(b) Selection: It is important to know what a
specific volunteer’s knowledge, expertise and interests
are so as to place him/her at the appropriate activity or
with the correct person;
(c) Orientation and training: Give the volunteers
an overview of the organisation, the functioning, all
the services and activities of the service centre
available to the volunteers and what is expected from
them. Training of volunteers gives direction and
provides them with skills to perform their tasks
successfully;
(d) Supervision: The coordinator of volunteers
must ensure that the volunteer fits in well and is happy
doing his/her tasks;
JansenvanRensburgandStrydom
91
(6) Acknowledge volunteers
The coordinator has to know what motivates a
specific volunteer. He/she must know each volunteer
at a personal level and know what each one’s
expectations are of volunteer work;
(7) Tasks volunteer can perform
Tasks that can be performed by volunteers,
amongst others, are: acquisitions, administration,
control and management, fund raising, handwork,
assist with service delivery, handyman work,
socializing and preparing venues for occasions;
(8) Appointment of a coordinator for volunteers,
and his/her tasks
It is the coordinator’s task to identify deficiencies
and needs in the organisation where volunteers can
fulfil a role. Furthermore he/she has to recruit, select
and train volunteers. He/she must have regular
contacts with the volunteers, place them at a specific
section in the organisation, hold meetings with
volunteers, identify training needs and present training
and enrichment programmes and workshops. The
coordinator must also give feedback and plan and set
objectives along with the volunteers. The number of
hours volunteers work should be recorded.
Additionally, they need to know what motivates each
volunteer to do volunteer work and also keep abreast
of each volunteer’s knowledge, expertise and interests
so as to do the correct placement. The coordinator
must also see to it that task descriptions are available
to the volunteers in the service centre’s department or
section involved. He/she must see to it that a
management plan is compiled for volunteers.
According to the Interest Link Borders (2007), the
coordinator was responsible for implementing,
monitoring and revising the policy and procedures
with regard to volunteer work;
(9) Agreement for retired volunteers
Volunteer workers do not have a work contract
like the employees of an organisation. As a substitute
for a work contract volunteers can be provided with an
agreement (Durham 2010). An agreement helped
volunteers to clear the expectations of the organization
and of the volunteer, said by Volunteering England
(2009). This agreement forms part of the volunteer
policy.
SESSION8:MODULE7:LEADERSHIP
QUALITIESOFTHESTAFF,NAMELY
ABILITYTOPERSUADE,COMPETENCE,
SELFDISCIPLINE,LEADERSHIPAND
DELEGATION
The information deals with the following leadership
qualities, namely ability to persuade, competence,
self-discipline, leadership and delegation.
AbilitytoPersuade
Ability to persuade is the ability to convey knowledge
and ideas, to instil a feeling of urgency and
enthusiasm in others, to convey the message clearly,
and to motivate others to react to it (Hanekom 2011).
Competence
To nurture competence, staff must, according to
Maxwell (2002), do the following: arrive in fighting
trim every day; keep on improving—persons who
know how will always have an occupation, but those
who know why will always be the master; perform
tasks excellently—quality is important; achieve more
than what is expected—good enough is never good
enough; and inspire others.
Selfdiscipline
According to Hanekom (2011), self-discipline was the
deed of disciplining or the ability to discipline their
own feelings and desires, especially in view of
improving themselves.
Maxwell (2001: 192-197) stated that the process
of developing personal discipline was as follows: Staff
members must start with themselves, start in time and
start small; list five areas in their life in which
discipline is lacking and set priorities in this respect;
SociologyStudy3(2)
92
do them one by one, use resources such as books, get
a mentor to keep the specific staff member responsible
and focus 15 minutes on that area each morning;
check their progress for five minutes each afternoon;
and work at one area for 60 days and celebrate their
successes.
Leadership
Leadership is the ability and the will to unite others
behind a mutual aim. A good leader has a character
that instils trust, a combination of qualities that
differentiates between leaders and followers and the
ability to win followers over or to influence them
(Hanekom 2011).
Maxwell (2001) pointed out that all members of
staff influenced someone. One never knows whom
and how many people one influences. Influence is a
skill that can be acquired.
Delegation
Kroon (1995) described delegation as the process by
means of which authority and responsibility were
ceded. The delegation process, according to Kroon
(1995: 266-267), was made up of the following four
steps:
(1) The allocation of functions;
(2) The delegation of authority;
(3) The apportionment of responsibility;
(4) The creation of accountability.
The prerequisites for delegation, according to
Kroon (1995: 267-268), were the following:
Delegation is only effective when tasks and
responsibilities are clearly staked out. Effective
communication is a prerequisite for delegation.
SESSION9:POSTTEST,OVERALL
EVALUATIONOFTHEPROGRAMMEAND
HANDINGOVEROFATTENDANCE
REGISTER
Session 9 takes place a week after the completion of
Module 7 of the empowerment programme for staff.
The group members are thanked for their participation
in the empowerment programme. During the gathering
the expectations compiled during the first session are
projected on the screen and evaluated. The post-test
and overall evaluation are explained and the group
members are afforded the opportunity of completing
the post-test and overall evaluation. Group members
receive their attendance certificates and the local
newspaper’s reporter takes a photo of the group.
SESSION10:POSTPOSTTEST
Session 10 takes place six weeks after completion of
Module 7 of the empowerment programme for staff.
All the objectives of the modules of the empowerment
programme are projected by means of a Power Point
presentation. Group members briefly mention what
they can recall of each objective. The post-post-test is
explained and group members are afforded the
opportunity of completing the test.
Evaluation
In general, the group members enjoyed the
empowerment programme very much and requested
that the program can be made available to them in
writing. A jovial atmosphere prevailed among the
group members and they informed the group leader
that they would miss the group sessions. Group
members once more mentioned that they were proud
of the certificate they had received.
Closing
The group leader thanks the group members. They are
encouraged to persevere in learning and practising
new skills. The group members enjoy refreshments
and adjourn.
Findings
The respondents indicated the topics as essential. The
staff enjoyed the Power Point presentations and the
JansenvanRensburgandStrydom
93
fact that they could end off by having refreshments
together contributed to the socialization of members
of staff. According to the respondents, they gained
new insights and felt more empowered. The members
of staff now see retired volunteers as of greater value.
A growth of 20% was measured in the post-post-test
regarding people’s orientated quality and ability to
persuade. The effect of the empowerment programme
indicates long-term stabilisation and growth.
RECOMMENDATIONS
More modules can be presented and the programme
can be repeated with the staff annually.
The empowerment programme should be
presented twice a week in the afternoon—90 minutes
per session.
Recommendations for more topics are leadership,
planning and evaluation.
SYNOPSIS
This article focused on the development and contents
of an empowerment programme for staff employed by
service centres for elderly persons. These members of
staff work with retired volunteers. The programme is
needs centred. Group members completed a pre-test at
the beginning of the empowerment programme and a
post-test after completion of the programme. A
post-post-test was completed six weeks after
presentation of the empowerment programme with a
view to evaluate possible growth in the group
members.
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