Treatment Action Campaign’s staff retreat is more than a day at the beach

In 2014, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) had one of the busiest years with many activities. The year started with election health manifesto public meeting (800 people), followed by a five month commission of Inquiry, a Gender Based Violence (GBV) march (2500 people), and World Aids Day recognition (3000 people).

Due to the high work demands, we decided to organize a staff retreat as a way to re-energize our staff members and also to display appreciation for their commitment to the cause. We were very fortunate to have met Madeline Duva and Melanie Born through Acacia Global and they donated money for our outing.

On a sunny, summer day in February, about 30 TAC staff members set up gazebos and umbrellas on Clifton Beach (in Cape Town) and prepared food for the day. The aim of the retreat was to recharge through team building games that addressed communication, problem solving and conflict resolution. Working together as a team and respecting each other will improve our productivity.

One activity taught us to find yourself among others through the sounds and the movement of animals. We mingled around until we found the perfect match. This exercise required inward thinking. Everyone agreed that it was fun, but challenging for individuals to engage and reflect.

We felt much more relaxed after the exercises and activities and had a bigger view of moving forward after the retreat. The day was a good balance of talk and hands-on activities. We’re really excited to keep the process moving now that we got pumped. That helped us stretch into this exciting new stage.

The retreat was an eye opening to all of us. Most of the exercises we will apply in our working environment, not to mention things like trusting each other, understanding and appreciating our differences and similarities and sharing of tasks and responsibilities. On behalf of the TAC, we would like to thank Acacia Global, in particular Melanie, Madeline and Jane, for this wonderful opportunity and looking forward to working with you in future.

Susan Everson