Message from the Director

Persona Doll Training SA’s work in anti-bias and diversity is in great demand . This demand for our services has been brought about by the surfacing of more incidents of racism and discrimination in society .

We have done extensive work in communities, ECD facilities, schools and corporate companies.

Our Diversity Workshops have been well received and are packaged to specifically address discriminatory practices in the workplace, community and schools. We also present the Diversity Workshops as part of organisation’s strategic planning sessions in order to prevent or address internal organisational biases.

Persona Doll Training has been successfully integrated into some of TVET Colleges. We are delighted that students can now complete their studies with the knowledge of the Persona Doll Methodology to assist them to work with children with diverse needs more effectively using our Persona Dolls. We are looking forward to do more training of students at TVET Colleges across the country as well as for training organisations that provide Level 4 and 5 qualifications in ECD.

Despite funding challenges Persona Doll Training SA is committed to protect our children from bullying, racism, molestation and to lead them to acceptance, safety and love.

This newsletter focuses on what we have to offer to organisations, communities, ECD practitioners, schools and corporate companies in all provinces.

In this Nelson Mandela Centenary year PDT SA commits itself to: "devote our every action, every effort, every utterance to the realisation of his vision of a democratic, just and equitable society".

Delores Athiemulam


What we have to offer


Persona Doll Training

PDT provides Anti Bias training, materials and support for adults working with children in a range of settings, in partnership with key stakeholders including local and national Departments of Education.

Our ‘hands-on’ experiential training assists adults to deal with the challenges of poverty, violence and abuse, racism, and stigma and embrace diversity in their own lives and with young children using the unique Persona Doll approach.

Persona Dolls are hand-made 70-cm tall cloth dolls each with their own identity, life history, family and cultural background, likes and dislikes, fears and abilities. They are used by ECD practitioners, teachers, social workers, community health workers and NGOs to help children and young people:

  • Accept and value their own identity
  • Embrace difference and diversity
  • Express their feelings
  • Develop self-esteem, confidence, empathy and emotional intelligence
  • ‘Unlearn’ prejudice on topical issues including racism and xenophobia, sexism, disability and HIV/AIDS stigma
  • Develop critical cognitive, language, communication and problem-solving skills.

Training of Trainers (TOT)

We offer a range of training courses, including a 5-day training of trainers (TOT) programme, designed specifically for trainers and leaders. The core curriculum covers basic principles of adult education and the values underpinning anti-bias / diversity work, in addition to practical training on how to use the Persona Doll approach – it can be tailored to meet the specific needs or challenges of an organisation or institution.

We also offer a 3 day TOT that focuses specifically on Facilitation and working with groups. This is a generic facilitation course and does not include Persona Dolls or practical training on working with Persona Dolls and the. approach.


Diversity Training

We envisage a country free from prejudice where everyone experiences dignity, feels respected and included, in line with the values enshrined in the Constitution. Prejudice and discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, ability, and class continue to pose barriers to the full transformation of our schools, workplaces and society.

PDT diversity training creates a facilitated, safe space in which individuals and groups can explore, experience and appreciate the potential for embracing diversity and learn creative ways to deal with challenges that arise. Participants feel comfortable to share and learn from each other. Our interactive approach encourages participants to reflect on and draw from their individual experience. Our methodology of facilitated discussion, guided self-reflection and creative problem-solving skills focuses on practical ways to foster inclusivity and improve the quality of inter-personal relationships in the workplace, within organisations and in other settings.


Teen Persona Dolls

The Persona-Teen Dolls are life-like, teenage culturally appropriate girl and boy Dolls made of cloth. The dolls are given ‘personas’ or identities, and transformed into unique personalities of any age, with cultural and social class backgrounds, family situations, abilities and disabilities, fears and interests.

The ‘stories’ told about each Doll’s life raise issues such as HIV and Aids, stigma, poverty, sexual abuse, the importance of the first 1000 days, the role of fathers in raising children and disability. Cultural practices and barriers to safety are explored. Role-plays using the Persona Dolls are used to develop skills and build confidence.

The teenagers are given opportunities to respond to the issues raised through the Persona-Teens’ experiences, which are shared in stories. Interactive problem-posing discussions develop, and in this safe environment the young women are empowered by talking about their own identities, life experiences and feelings.


Young Parent Persona Dolls

This approach has been adapted from the Teen Persona Doll Approach and is an attempt to support Trainers who are working with young parents, pregnant and other teenagers. The intention is to stimulate discussion and to provide a safe space for young parents and teenagers to share their realities. This includes working with young fathers , hearing their realities and challenges in an attempt to include them in the life of their children.

The approach is working with stories that will support the young parents and teenagers to share their feelings and provide an environment that shares information and promotes holistic development of their babies.


Contact us :

Telephone: 021 797 1204


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