With over 10 years in specializing in Peer Education and mentor-ship programmes in South Africa we recommend the following:
- Peer Educators need a minimum of 3 days Basic HIV/AIDS peer educator training (see our programme outline); http://www.ed-unique.com/hivaids/
- Peer educators need on-going support and coordination by someone who is passionate about the programme and who has a respected position inside the company to champion their cause;
- We have found that conducting refresher training for one day three times a year has produced highly skilled and confident peer educators who understand issues such as: Diabetes and other lifestyle diseases, substance abuse, abusive relationships, basic budgeting, stress, depression and work-related stress, TB & HIV….. to name a few. This equips them to become “Wellness Stewards” – a new trend in the industry. See sample outline for substance abuse; http://www.ed-unique.com/stress-management/
- They receive learner notes at each training/meeting opportunity and add it to a file which becomes their personal resource for assisting others;
- They need regular organized meetings on a monthly or bi-monthly basis whereby they can discuss their challenges and successes and where an information slot is included to empower them with knowledge on health subjects and/or presentation skills;
- Their activities need to be monitored by means of a simple monthly reporting system so that one can see who is an active peer educator and what experiences they are having. This is a vital element to measure the success of the programme, weed out inactive peer educators and incentivize active ones;
- Introduce an incentive programme on which they are scored based on attendance at meetings, training and submission of a monthly report and initiation of activities both within the company and in the community;
- A Code of Ethics needs to be enforced to ensure that they uphold the principles and values of the workplace, showing respect confidentiality towards those who confide in them and that they commit to attending training/meetings and finding ways of being active, whether formally or informally;
- Peer Educators need support in planning and often scripting talks they give in the canteen to mark World Aids Day, or TB awareness/other subjects or Wellness Day activities; see our photo gallery; http://www.ed-unique.com/gallery/
- They need effective tools such as visual aids and educational games to facilitate their work; see our poster tool kit; http://www.ed-unique.com/products/
- They require access to either a social worker, HIV/AIDS Coordinator or sufficiently qualified lay counselor to discuss the difficult issues they come across.
Send us an email if you would like any assistance in implementing the above.
.Posted by Stella Heuer
July 25, 2013