My Journey with GCF – Hilda O’Callaghan

My name is Hilda O’Callaghan and I have lived in Australia for 42 years. Once I retired from the Australian Red Cross, I made a decision to bring the Protective Behaviours (PB) Program (child safety program) to South Africa. It was during my third year of coming over to SA, that I had my first connection with GCF. I was training a group of Social Workers in the PB program in Pietermaritzburg and one of those participants was Lydia Gordon from GCF. She was clearly blown away by the content of PB and literally took the floor at the end of the training with the most positive feedback, adding that the safety skills of PB need to reach every child in SA, and beyond. 

Hilda O’Callaghan

With the ‘Implementing Family Care’ conference the following year, GCF invited me to present at the conference, which was the first step in getting PB to spread to all the provinces in SA, as well as some of the adjacent countries. That same year, I met with Monica Woodhouse and Steven Wetton, who pledged their support in developing PB further, which ultimately resulted in the forming of Protective Behaviours Southern Africa in 2017. GCF has generously shared their resources, ideas and time… they have supported PB throughout the long process of getting NPO status. 

Walking alongside GCF with the PB program has also given me an insight into what GCF stands for, and the improvement they have brought to the lives of so many children and families. I personally have the highest regards for an organisation that values families and family life in the way that GCF does, and their ongoing support of every child’s right to ‘have a family’. 

Give a Child a Family … you have made the world a better place for all and we thank you for that !!

Hilda O’Callaghan

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