Peer Leader Training Cape Town, South Africa
Peer Leader Graduates
It was 1997 when Robert van der Feyst started his Narconon Drug Prevention Center in Cape Town, South Africa. He has completed "Peer Leader Training" with over 100 students who were taught a number of skills. On completion they recieve a certificate and a badge.
In addition to drug prevention, the students also learned how to help someone who is trying to come off drugs by using "assists." Assists are easily done procedures that can be applied by anyone to help a person recover more rapidly from accidents, mild illnesses or upsets. They are designed to help prevent or lessen any muscle spasms, cramps or pain the person experiences during withdrawal.
As part of the course, they had to go home and practice their new skills on people they knew. Some of the responses were amazing:
"I gained an inner calmness and felt my entire body relax. My breathing became much more regular, and I felt an instant renewal of health."
"I felt calm and relieved, my headache disappeared. I felt like my aches and pains were gone! A good feeling!"
Peer Leader Graduates - Girls
Peer Leader Graduates - Boys
From the students themselves:
"Not only did my muscles completely relax and 'un-tighten', but I learnt how to actually perform a 'nerve assist' on fellow athletes."
"I have self confidence: to be able to be a helping hand and inspiration for people that doesn't have hope for their future is the greatest of all that I experienced.I can make people feel better and good about themselves...I learned to be a good person and to care about other people.I am grateful for the opportunity I got...Thank you, Narconon!"
"Since I started with this program I have an ambition to help people get rid of drugs.I have helped someone I know who was doing drugs. I talked to her using the program and I got through to her. She hasn't been using drugs since."
Following are excerpts from an article by Raphael Wolf published in the SOUTHERN MAIL on JULY 26, 2006:
"Says Robert van der Feyst, 'One hears about and sees so much damage that drugs are doing to our youth, their families and communties that the situation sometimes seem hopeless ... is anything being done to change this?'
"Responding to such a question, a Cape Town high school invited Narconon Drug Education Cape Town to conduct a peer leader training workshop for about sixty Grade 10 learners who wanted to learn how to help their friends and communities.
"'The purpose of the workshop was to give learners more tools to help others, because the more people there are who know how to use these tools, the faster we as a society are going to make our way out of the mess we are currently in,' writes Mr van der Feyst, the workshop facilitator.
"The course was focused around teaching learners how to prevent someone from taking drugs, how to persuade someone that is already using it to stop, and how to help a person to stop. ...
"As drug abusers very often wanted to stop using drugs but couldn't face the discomfort they'll have to experience, learners were taught three techniques that made it easier for a drug abuser to take that first step to a drug-free life.
"Comments from three workshop learners on whom the techniques were applied included: 'I felt nice, I felt more uplifted. Not down, and myself. I felt good, very good'; and 'It was divine. I have never felt so nicely relaxed...'
"According to Mr van der Feyst, the Narconon program techniques were developed by author and humanitarian L.Ron Hubbard.
"'What I found so encouraging about this programme is the changes in the students themselves. We taught them the techniques and they had to go and help people by using them. The next time we saw them they looked proud and stood taller. This is because they now are more valuable to others around them and can help. This is what this programme is about for me--giving others tools to play a part in the reconstruction of our society--and for those that are part of it, a huge amount of satisfaction is the reward,' writes Mr van der Feyst.
"One of the students had the following to say: 'I have self-confidence. To be able to be a helping hand and inspiration for people that doesn't have hope for their future is the greatest of all that I experienced. I can make people feel better and good about themselves I learned to be a good person and to care about other people. I am grateful for the opportunity I got. Thank-you Narconon!' While another student said: 'Since I started with this programme I have an ambition to help people get rid of drugs.'
"One of the high school educators said another reason for the workshop was: 'Grades 10 need to have two extra certificates from any outside organisation at the end of their Grade 10 year. That is a requisite from the Western Cape Education Department. That's where I got Narconon to come in and do a course (with our learners). I thought there was need for our learners to be empowered to help their peers who are caught up in a vicious cycle of drugs [abuse].'
"She noted that many learners came to her with their problems, including drug abuse, but that she did not always have the necessary skills to help them, and that she therefore was grateful for Narconon's facilitation of the workshop course and programme. 'Many learners have acquired the ability to help addicts to firstly admit that they have a problem, and secondly to find out what their real problem or problems are, and thirdly, helping them to overcome these problems at a level at which those learners who need help feel comfortable.'
"Struck particularly by two peer counselling learners' comments of how valuable the course had been to them, she added that the course also helped her 'in a sense that I don't necessarily have to listen to every learner's problems, because I don't have all the answers, as children come to me with different problems, from hunger to girlfriend/boyfriend problems. This course at least helped me to show them in the direction of those learners who might be able to help them.'
"The principal acknowleged the value of the workshop, saying: NGO's like Narconon® play an important interventionist role in disadvantaged school like ours in the sense that they give learners the mental equipment and expertise to handle difficult issues which face our youth, for example, substance abuse. So it is important for them to have the necessary coping mechanism to handle these difficulties.'
"He said Narconon served a useful purpose in trying to fill the gap or shortcomings of mainstream schools' syllabuses, 'so my ultimate assessment of the whole course was that it was a success, because a number of our learners will have the skills to deal with the issues they face daily.'"
More Narconon drug education news