Peer Education Programme
The objective of the Peer Education Programme is to ensure that everyone in the community has an opportunity to receive some level of education in order to help the overall development of the community.
Brighter Communities Worldwide run several peer-led courses for the communities and these are focused on key areas including the Lifeskills Programme, Alternative Rites of Passage and Healthy Schools Programme.
The following are inspirational stories from some of those who have participated in peer-led courses, how it changed their lives for the better and how that change has spread from them to those in their community.
In 2007, David took part in a Lifeskills Course facilitated by the Mar Mar Group trained by Brighter Communities Worldwide. At that time, David was a volunteer teacher in Kuntung Primary School. There were 40 people who attended the course with him at that time – youths, women and men of all ages.
After the course, David commented that ‘he was able to realise that he was the one to help his community’. Many in the community were illiterate and most of the children in the community did not go to school. David began to talk with the parents about the importance of bringing their children to school. He knew that Brighter Communities Worldwide would help and asked for their support with the vulnerable children through the Education Bursary Scheme.
Since the Lifeskills Course in 2007, the message has spread from the 40 people who did the course with David, and collectively, the community has changed for the better.
- The course attendees are working together within their community to grow more produce and to be more self sufficient.
- One course attendee has since formed a youth enterprise scheme and received government funding to support it. David was also involved in the leadership of the group.
- A group of course attendees have undertaken a bee-keeping projec.
- Another group of attendees have focused on running the Alternative Right of Passage (ARP) Course.
One of David’s friends from the course, James Mgelelei, has changed his life change completely since doing the Lifeskills Course. At the time of the course, James’ wife Esther, was running her own café business but she was drinking a lot and the family were suffering as a result. Esther undertook the Lifeskills Course with her husband and the positive influence of the course changed Esthers life for the better. Esther has her whole family well established now and some of her children are working in Kericho. On her farm she plants maize, beans, bananas and sugar cane and she also has cows.
David says that it was ignorance and lack of knowledge that led Esther to drink the local brew but what she learned in the Lifeskills Course changed all of that for her and now she has excelled.
Simon attended the Lifeskills Course in Ndubusat in 2006. Following his attendance he formed a group for youths and provided them with the Lifeskills Course. To date, the group has prospered and now has over 20 participants – two group members have become facilitators in the peer-led Lifeskills Programme themselves.
Another youth group member is now working for a German NGO called Diguna who runs an orphanage in Tinderet and she is well paid. She got the job because the employers were impressed that she had done the Lifeskills Course.
Another girl from Simon’s youth group belongs to a church in Kericho. She facilitated a Lifeskills Course for that church and it was there that she met her husband. She now lives in Kericho and her husband is a lecturer there.
Simon tells us; “After introducing peer education in Tilolwet in 2013, one man confessed that he used to beat his wife, but after being trained in the importance of good communication he later advised he had stopped beating his wife and applied the “I” statement and communication skills he had learned. The education course changed this mans’ behaviour and he later advised me that he is living very well with his wife and thanks Brighter Communities Worldwide for the introduction of peer education.”
Paul Maritim comments; “We had a peer education in Kaplelit and as a direct result of various topics being taught e.g. HIV and AIDS, communication and other related matters, led to the achievement of a reduction in the number of people loitering and drinking and has encouraged economic farming, which has made the work of the chief and village elders easier.”
Regina told the story of an 18 year old girl from a poor family who attended the Alternative Rite of Passage (ARP) Course in 2012. She had a baby son and wanted to drop out of school. After attending the ARP seminar, she continued her studies and is now in form four and her son is three years old. Regina helped her with approaching MCA (Members of County Assemblies) to get bursaries as the school was looking to stop her attending due to lack of fees.
Richard Kirui is now a member of the Brighter Communities Worldwide staff in Kenya with responsibility for the peer education Lifeskills Programme. He was one of the founder members of the Mar Mar Group that David Cheriot did his Lifeskills Course with in 2007. Richard was a participant in a Lifeskills Course in Ndubusat in 2005. He volunteered with Brighter Communities Worldwide as a facilitator until 2009 when he became employed by Brighter Communities Worldwide. He has facilitated many peer-led courses over the years and has seen how these courses have affected the lives of the participants. He has seen the positive effects of change ripple out across the communities. Richard says that Brighter Communities Worldwide has been able to reach the interior rural areas that the government has not been able to reach. He estimates that 2,000 people have attended Lifeskills Coursed through Brighter Communities Worldwide and that 100 people have been trained as facilitators. The Lifeskills Programme is reaching countless people and impacting on their lives – poverty is reduced, maternal health has improved, the Healthy Village Programme has been introduced. Peer-led learning has helped to quash many of the myths surrounding HIV/AIDS and health issues and encouraged communities to work together to change their lives for the better.
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