After being an unemployed graduate for almost two years , frustrated and lost, feeling worthless and anxious, I found myself applying for a Community Development learnership out of desperation, little did I know how much it was going to change my perception about life in general and my worldview.
I Was placed in different Non -Government Organizations where I was working as a Child and youth care worker, HIV and Aids Counselor , Community Advocate and a Community Developer. This is when I realised the need and importance of raising awareness about Counselling and educating our communities about it in these three years I have been volunteering , so I made it my mission to encourage our people to go for Counseling or just talk to someone.
Coming from a disadvantaged background growing up meant limited opportunities and information, we were not exposed to some of the available resources in our country. The environment made us to believe that counselling was only made for a specific race, and as a result we had high rate of crime, unemployment, teenage pregnancy and suicide cases, simply because they had nobody to talk to. We have brothers who are taught not to express their feelings or show emotions because” men don’t cry” ,and this statement alone sent a lot of them to early graves.
Worked with teenagers who were either not performing well at school or always got into fights, through counselling I discovered that most of the time it had lot to do with their life experiences and them not being able to talk about it. So it made them feel alone and isolated ,when they just needed someone to talk to.
So the key point here is “Talking to someone “.
Volunteering in these NGO’S revived the love and passion I always had for helping people, More especially working with Children and Teenagers and just being able to provide a listening ear with empathy, without making the other person feel like they are being judged and providing a safe space to build trust for both parties.
Just making a person feel that they’re not crazy for having those emotions and they’re not alone can reduce a number of suicide in our communities.
I am currently volunteering at Rare Disease and completing my hours at Vita Nova with professionals are who are very passionate and experienced. They have helped improve my Counselling skills and provided me with effective tools to use during my Counselling sessions .