A changed person
My name is Babalo. Since I joined the gold Programme I am a changed person. gold has taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know before. Being a Peer Educator has help me a lot. I am proud of who I am now, I am a Peer Educator and I am a better person. I can help my Peers and my community because of the gold Peer Education Programme. I Educate, I am a Role Model, I am able to Recognise and Refer and to Advocate. I have learned many things about what is happening outside there, I have learned about the challenges that we are facing in our homes as well as in our communities. I can make a change with my peers because I’ve also done many wrong things, like smoking. I was a smoker but ever since I joined gold I am good, I am a changed person and I educate my peers about what’s happening in the real world.
I have learned a lot in the gold Programme and now I am a leader. Now I know that I must be careful in what I do. I would like to thank the gold-youth for what they have taught me. I have talked to many peers and they told me about their problems. I referred them for help and they thanked me. I think I will have a bright future now, because of gold I can achieve my goals.
Proud of Being a Leader
My name is Axole. I joined gold-youth at the beginning of 2017 when I became a gold Junior Peer Educator and I have been attending all the gold activities and sessions since then. During the sessions we have talk groups or we talk about our problems with our gold Facilitators (gold Facilitator Interns) and our fellow gold Peer Educators. The gold Programme has taught me many things that I didn’t know before – like how to recognise and refer a friend in need.
At first I did not know how to help a person with a problem and I also didn’t know what to do (when facing problems in my own life). I can now talk to people – from my Peers to my Facilitators – and I can face things at home. I am proud of being a leader because it helps me with different things in my life. Sometimes during the sessions we use tablets to help us with our Maths and English. After the session we eat, then we go home.
gold-youth has helped me get to know lots of Peers and has helped me to become a role model. During the year we went on a camp with other gold Peer Educators and gold Facilitators (gold Facilitator Interns) to learn other activities and meet gold Peer Educators from other schools. I enjoyed the camp with my fellow gold Peers and Facilitators. I thank the gold programme for changing my life, becoming what I am today.
Part of the Solution
My name is Sindisa. I was born in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, and I spent the first half of my primary school life living in Philippi with my grandmother, my mom, uncle, three aunts and seven cousins. Our house was quite full and always buzzing with family. For quite some time, my mom and my aunt were the only two people in the house who were employed.
In 2001 I moved to Kraaifontein to live with my aunt and uncle (who I call my dad), and changed schools to attend Northpine Primary where I finished Grade 7 as a Prefect. I then attended Bernadino Heights High School where I came across the gold Peer Education Programme. I did not yet qualify to be a Peer Educator as the programme was recruiting learners from the grade above me, so for that year I just hung around the learners who were Peer Educators and I would follow their events.
The following year I was interviewed and selected to become a gold Peer Educator and so began my journey gold. In the first few weeks as a Peer Educator, I remember sitting in the gold site office in Kraaifontein and one of the gold Facilitators (known as gold Facilitator Interns) asked me why I joined the gold Peer Education Programme. My answer to him was “I want to change the world and hopefully find the cure for AIDS”. Since then I learned a lot from gold Peer Education, having had very strong and caring Facilitators like Xolani, Lesley, Gavin and Chantel.
I went on to become one of the gold Peer Educators that established a Peer Education Committee around the Kraaifontein schools, which I was the Deputy Chairperson of in 2008. I then became Chairperson the following year. The two main teachings I got from gold was that “The message giver is the strongest message” and “Be a responsible young person” – two concepts that I’ve carried with me throughout my life and I still believe in up till now. Those teachings assisted me to become a good role model to my fellow Peers while I was in high school and they also instilled self-discipline as I had to be responsible enough to ensure that my school work always took first priority in my life, no matter what.
The programme not only had a huge impact in my school, but it played a huge role in all Kraaifontein schools, as more learners were interested in becoming Peer Educators because they could see the good work that was done by Peer Educators in the schools and communities. The gold Programme also created a sense of unity and cultural diversity among learners from different schools and backgrounds.
In 2013 I started working for gold-youth as an assistant Facilitator while I was also busy studying full time at the University of the Western Cape. In 2014 I was afforded an opportunity to participate in a project that allowed me to get 20 free driving lessons, which assisted me to get my drivers’ license.
In 2015 I joined the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as an intern. Within 2015 I was employed by the department on a contract basis as a Senior Administration Clerk and I worked there until September 2017. I recently started my new job as a Project Coordinator: Small Scale Fisheries at the World Wide Fund South Africa (WWF-SA).
Part of my vision is to see a future where young people are skilled and educated enough to started their own business and drive the South African economy. My message of encouragement to other young people is that “The message giver is the strongest message” and that always be responsible in whatever you do, because in the end, it all works out. Hard work pays off and no one owes you anything. Always find the positive side to every situation you find yourself in, because there is always a lesson to be learnt.
Siphe Nqodi once said “I am as much part of the problem, as much as I am part of the solution” and in my life I have learnt a lot from these words.
A positively impacted gold Peer
My name is Alice. I have a friend that is in the gold Peer Education Programme. Recently I discovered that my father is HIV positive. He is the only breadwinner in the house. I was shocked because I did not know how to react to this news. At first I thought that I cannot share this with anyone because I was afraid of being judged. But then I decided to share it with my friend who is a gold Peer Educator. I did not know how she would react. She listened to me while I was sharing this information with her and she kept quiet. I thought that I had made the biggest mistake by sharing. But then she hugged me and told me that everything will be fine even though it did not seem like it at that moment. She said to me that even when people are HIV positive, if they live a healthy lifestyle and take their ARV’s (anti-retroviral medication) they can stay alive for many years. This was something I did not know. I just thought that my father was going to die soon and then who would take care of us. Ever since that day my friend has supported me in every way. She is really impacting my life in a positive way and I am grateful for a friend like her.
A gold Peer with a Plan for her Future
I am 16 years old and in Grade 10. When I came to high school I started mixing with the wrong crowd. I was part of a girl gang. We took people’s money and we fought with them. I started to smoke dagga while being part of this gang. My marks in all my subjects dropped. I thought that it was cool to have power and bullied others in school until one day they stabbed one of my friends in the gang. It was during a Life Orientation period when a group of gold Peer Educators presented a lesson on vision and goal setting. They spoke about having a plan for your life and how you can achieve it. As I walked home that day I took a good look at my life and I realised that if I continued with my bad behaviour, I would end up nowhere. I took a decision that day that I am going to turn my life around. It was tough at first because my “so-called friends” told me I am a coward but I told them that I know what I want in life and that I will do anything to achieve my goals. Today I am one of the top achievers in my grade and I am an RCL member. That lesson that those gold Peer Educators delivered turned my life around. Sometimes when I have time I pop in and sit in on their sessions. Thanks gold Peer Educators for sharing such life changing information.
From Rebellious Youth to Motivational Speaker
My name is Aggy. I am 18 years old and am a Grade 12 learner. I was part of a group of friends that robbed people in the location and fought with other boys. I failed Grade 11. One of my friends invited me to a gold Peer Education session. The session was on ‘Values’. The Facilitator ended off the session by encouraging the Peer Educators to make the right choices because your choices have consequences. That day I decided to change my life. Today I am one of the top learners in Grade 12 and am a motivational speaker in my youth group at church. I have also started a drama group with out of school youth to occupy their time and we are going from strength to strength.
gold Peer Education Motivates Young Mother to Make Better Choices
My name is Neliswa. I am 17 years old and in Grade 10. I had unprotected sex with a guy when I was 15 years old and I became pregnant. My whole life changed because I was now a teenage mom. I thought my life had ended. My mother was very supportive and she told me to go back to school. In 2011 I joined the gold peer education programme because I wanted to do something other than my academics at school. My grades were low because I did not concentrate on my schoolwork. We had a session called ‘Reasons, Choices and Influences’. That day I realised how my choice of having unprotected sex had an impact on my life. The Facilitator sensed that I was very quiet during the session and afterwards she came to me and asked me if something was wrong. I shared my story with her and she encouraged me to do well in school and work hard so that I could give myself and my child a good future. In the peer education group I have found friends, brothers and sisters that really care for one another. Thanks gold peer education!
A gold Senior Peer Educator Supports a Peer to have her Baby Rather than to Abort
One of my friends got pregnant and she wanted to go for an abortion. I sat down with her and her mom and helped them to realise the best decision is not to get the child aborted. They have decided to keep the baby. I’m excited because I heard that the baby will be born on my birthday. I have started a prayer group on mXit. Not only does it help me fill in my Strat Chats, but I get to talk to my peers who don’t have guts to talk face-to-face about what is going on in their lives. Peer education has taught me so much so far. Not only did I get to learn how to handle the obstacles and troubles young people face, but it also improved my confidence and skills. My favourite part about gold peer education is the fun we have together. I’ve grown as a person. I’ve learned that we can all make a change in others’ lives. Like Ghandi once said, ‘You must be the change you want to see’.
The gold programme helped a young Peer Educator to change his attitudes and behaviours
I was a guy who liked to drink alcohol, smoke drugs and when I was high I started thinking of robbing others, taking their money and buying drugs. But now that I am in the gold peer education programme, they teach us about how to care of yourself and what the difference is between right and wrong. I started to see that in life you must focus on the good things and you must have a goal to know where you’re going to. I am happy because I’m gold!
Peer Educator’s improved communication skills lead to improvement in her academics
My life before peer education was different to others’. I was very shy and I couldn’t communicate with others, even at school. I wouldn’t say if I didn’t understand anything at school and whenever the teacher asked me if I understood I would just say yes and that’s when I started failing my subjects. gold helped me a lot in communication skills and how to express myself at home and even at school. Since 2010 I know how to express my feelings. Peer education sessions helped out a lot. My life now is so different. I can tell teachers that I don’t understand and due to that I passed all my subjects with flying colours and I’m no longer shy and I perform well. gold Peer Education is the master in communication!