GOLD Peer Education

Success Stories: Western Cape

A positively impacted 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, 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 though people are HIV positive and they live a healthy lifestyle they can stay alive for several 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 the 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 Peer with a plan for her future

I am 16 years old and in Gr. 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 a 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 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 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 ‘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 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 Senior Peer Educator supports a peer to have her baby rather than 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!

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