Skill Enhancement for VSA Community Coordinators

The VSA intents to enhance its community coordinators’ skills to improve the quality of their work and social impact during awareNet sessions. Recently, Terri-Lynn Penney coordinates a project about life orientation and health promotion, which includes learners from various different schools in Grahamstown. She is assisted by Rooi Rikhotso, our new volunteer. So, we immediately took the offer when two very fitting workshops were offered for free:

  • A Support Group Training Workshop, presented by the Department of Social Development and the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), on the 2.10.12 at Noluthando Hall about
  1. Depression and Anxiety
  2. Substance Abuse
  3. How to start a Support Group
  4. How SADAG can help you with the Support Group.


  • Training on the Sexual Offenses Act – proper name Criminal Law (Sexual Offenses and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007. Sgt Gaye Mackenzie (SAPS) was doing a 2-day training on the Sexual Offenses Act (4.-5.10.12). This is the Act which has the new definition of rape etc.

The workshops were mostly attended by social workers in and around Grahamstown that work with these cases on a daily basis. We think it important to be well informed about such matters to be able to talk to learners and pass on the information during our awareNet sessions at the schools. The earlier young people learn about their rights and how to face challenges in life the better they can cope and be prepared for life after school.

A few days ago, Terri and Rooi then spoke to the learners about depression in isiXhosa, since they both speak isiXhosa and English. They also handed out the pamphlets, which they received during the workshops. Subsequently, Rooi and the learners wrote blogs on awareNet about depression and about their own experiences. This is quite remarkable since such themes are often tabu. We are now looking forward to some interesting comments and discussions around these topics.

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