Caroline Gartland

Hello and welcome to Little Naledi! I’m passionate about play and believe that positive wellbeing can be found through play.

Naledi means ‘star’ in Setswana. I think everyone has a star inside them that twinkles so brightly when they play!

I focus on play because I’m driven by my love to create and imagine. I use my knowledge and expertise in mental health and psychology to promote wellness for all. Play is one of the best routes to positive emotional wellbeing. Not just for children, but for everyone.

Botswana has been my home since 2010 and I fell in love with the country very early on. I live here with my husband, two young children and too many animals. Botswana is a source of inspiration when it comes to play ideas: the sights, sounds, temperatures and a melting pot of cultural influences can all spark creativity.

Projects

SensoBaby: I’m one of the founding directors of a play centre and community hub in Gaborone, Botswana that offers developmentally appropriate play sessions, support for families, outreach programmes, trainings, workshops and a host of other activities.

Learn to Play/Ithute Go Tshemeka: An inspiring, new initiative that transforms communities through play. This non-profit community development organisation provides sustainable early childhood solutions in the most vulnerable communities across Botswana.

Babies in Mind: My work and study in Infant Mental Health has lead me to become a ‘Babies in Mind Practitioner. I’m able to offer support, consultancy, training and workshops for new and expectant parents, as well as professionals who work closely with infants.

Botswana Family Gems: I love to blog and create communities so enjoy being part of this great initiative that helps people discover family friendly Botswana.

Background

Professionally, I’ve worked in a variety of different fields, both in Botswana and in the UK, including probation/prison, substance abuse, child and adolescent mental health, domestic violence, and early childhood development.

I hold a BA(hons) in Psychology (British Psychological Society Accredited) with English and Education, and an MSc in Mental Health: Psychological Therapy. I’ve trained in numerous techniques and therapies to help me support individuals and families. I recently completed an accreditation in Infant Mental Health and I’m currently devouring information on the psychology of play and science of Early Childhood Development.

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