By Nontobeko Zondi 07 June 2021
CHED team with the certificate recipient
Hard work and dedication were the order of the day when the Vaal University of Technology’s Centre for Health Education and Development (CHED) department held its annual Peer Educators Awards Ceremony on Thursday, 20 May 2021 at the Quest Conference Centre, Vanderbijlpark.
The event is aimed at recognizing and acknowledging the Peer Educators for the hard work and dedication that they have presented in assisting students with their university life. These students (Peer Educators) have indicated and portrayed the passion and willingness to better the lives of students by ensuring that first-year students have a smooth transition from high school to varsity.
Ms Maureen Motsukunyane- Director: CHED; guest speaker- Mr. Tholo Motaung and Mr Thapelo Kgakatsi- CHED Projects Administrator and Peer Educator Programme Coordinator
The guest speaker was Mr. Tholo Motaung, a Board member of the Office Professionals South Africa (OPSA) and a host of a talk show on an online radio station- Cobra Tycoon. Mr. Motaung informed the Peer Educators that they need to know that everything they do make a difference, by doing so they are planting a seed that needs to be nurtured positively. He also shared that the journey they have taken is very challenging as they need to be problem solvers in every aspect. He encouraged students to be focused; proud of themselves and being leaders. “You need to embrace being authentic leaders as leaders are born,” he said. In closing, he said that students need to make spaces and leave a difference especially if they are passionate about what they are doing and being authentic as they can.
A Peer educator: Mr. Tshepang Sekhukhune expressed his gratitude on behalf of the peer educators by stating that the programme has taught them to be innovative, flexible, and critical thinkers. “It has taught us to analyse complex situations as Leaders and the importance of going into the world as rounded peer educators who are intellectually, spiritually, and morally grounded,” he said.
The peer educators intend to make their coordinators and institution very proud. This will make the institution proud of the Peer Educators and graduates that they send out into the society and that the society can feel their contribution as engaged, and as capable citizens who can transform the disadvantaged. “The programme has given us knowledge of how to be agents of transformation and allowed us to respond to unfavorable drivers through teaching, innovation, knowledge and community engagement” he mentioned.
The Peer Education Programme offers different categories that students are familiar with such as First Things First (HIV Counselling and Testing/TB/STI education); Women’s Empowerment Programme; Men Empowerment Programme; Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programme and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersexual) LGBTI and Gender-Based Violence Programme.
Mr Thapelo Kgakatsi, Projects Administrator who coordinates such a programme in his closing remarks gave encouraging words to all the Peer Educators, “Build good relations and a better society by accepting one’s past, supporting their present, and encouraging their future”.
Mxolisi Ndongeni performed for the crowd to keep them entertained.