Formerly delivered by GOLD (http://www.goldpe.org.za/), Masoyi Home Based Care Project has taken responsibility for the programme in four of the community’s seven secondary schools, supported by the local GOLD office, and maintaining their vision: To see a generation of young African leaders confronting the root issues of both HIV and youth risk behaviour, through uplifting their communities and imparting vision and purpose to present and future generations. GOLD provides training material and trainers for the Facilitators. Currently, the programme only operates in two schools, with 300 peer educators. It lacks funding for training materials, meeting costs, transport, and incentive payments for facilitators. It is one of the most effective programmes for bringing about positive change.
A major focus of the Model is the intensive development of young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds through an internship as a facilitator within a selected community and school. It provides a skills training and mentoring programme for these young adults to become influential community leaders, youth work practitioners and experts in peer education practice. Not only do they get to develop critical soft and hard skills for their future employment, but they are the key agents responsible for delivering the training and mentoring of school-age Youth Peer Educators in their communities. Many of these young adults, despite being passionate about making a difference, were previously unemployable or unemployed. By being developed as a facilitator they gain excellent work experience and in the process of being skilled they are given the opportunity to empower those younger than them in the same way. They normally receive a small monthly incentive payment.
Young leaders (called peer educators) use the power of peer pressure in a positive way. They influence their friends to have a vision and hope for a brighter future and to adopt health-enhancing and purpose driven behaviour that will enable them to reach their full potential and create positive change.
Peer educators are taken on a journey of transformation, by undertaking the three-year Skills Training programme, progressing from Junior to Senior to Mentor. These leaders are equipped with tangible skills and character to contribute to positive changes in their schools and communities. Training is delivered by the Facilitators after school. This is also when the Youth Peer Educators deliver lectures and lead talk groups with their peers, supported by the Facilitators; they also talk at school assemblies.
Peer Educator Roles are as follows:
- Role model health-enhancing behaviour;
- Educate their peers and younger children in a structured way;
- Recognise peers in need of help and refer them to relevant community resources for assistance; and
- Uplift their communities through advocacy and volunteerism.
The curriculum they deliver (usually after school) is based on the following Modules:
- Self Development;
- Gender, Relationships and Rights;
- Sexual and Reproductive Health;
- Communication Skills and
- Community Action.
Measured results include:
- Improved academic performance;
- Increased healthy relationships among the youth;
- Increased HIV and AIDS knowledge;
- Decreased gender violence amongst youth;
- Decreased behavioural or discipline problems at school;
- Decreased teen pregnancy;
- Decreased substance abuse.