Members of MARC (Mkhondo Addiction Rehabilitation Centre) recently hosted a Peer Educator Training Campaign where young leaders had the opportunity to become positive role models and act as agents in their communities.
When you think about the influence that peers have on each other, one tends to think “peer pressure”, which is often seen as a negative influence. And though peers may indeed steer each other into dangerous directions, social interaction can also fuel a positive influence. Peer Education Training is based on the reality that many people make changes not only based on what they know, but according to opinions and actions of their close, trusted friends.
Peer Educators can communicate in a way that adults cannot and they can serve as a role model for change. Patricia Simelane, of MARC conducted a 3-day Peer Educator training session with 40 grade 8- to 12-leaders at Amadlelo Secondary School during August. The training sessions were to educate them on various issues pertaining to substance abuse so that they will be euipped with the correct information.
The learners were empowered on the following topics: • Why people use drugs • The addiction process and stages of addiction • Myths and facts • The impact of addiction – physical, social, psychological and spiritual • Coping with peer pressure and assertiveness • Decision-making and problem-solving skills • Self-esteem and self-image • The link between HIV/Aids, sexually transmitted diseases and substance abuse The participants excelled and they were open to challenges that they may face in terms of substance abuse.
All 40 learners passed their assessment and received certificates of completion. Thank you for everyone’s involvement in reaching out to the children in our schools and educating them on these serious matters.