The VPP I-MATTER programme is one of the initiatives SHAWCO runs to support and educate young learners in high school. The aim of the programme is violence prevention. The programme provides learners with tools to deal with their feelings and the challenges that they face on a daily basis. It is a fun and engaging space where young people can come together to learn how to problem solve, set goals and mitigate their exposure to violence. The programme aims to empower young learners to believe in themselves, build self-esteem, and make informed life decisions. The programme’s first session was held on the 4th of March, and it was a success. In this blog post, we will explore the details of the first session and the future plans for the programme.
The first session of the VPP I-MATTER programme was held at two schools: Bulumko Secondary School and Intlanganiso Secondary School. The programme had an impressive turnout, with 50 learners from Bulumko and 60 from Intlanganiso attending the session. The learners were eager to participate and were interested in the programme’s objectives. The first session dealt with creating or reigniting a vision for the future. This is very important as we know that youth who have a vision for the future are much less likely to deal with risk-taking behaviours.
The programme’s success was mainly due to the volunteers’ support. There were 35 volunteers present at the first session, who were instrumental in ensuring the programme ran smoothly. The volunteers are passionate about helping young learners in high school to reach their full potential. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience invaluable to the learners they interact with.
The week of the 6th of March saw protests on campus. SHAWCO felt it would be sensitive to the students to cancel the sessions, and they did not proceed. This was a difficult decision to make as SHAWCO is committed to running the programme and helping the learners who need it. However, we also understand that they must be sensitive to the needs and concerns of the students. SHAWCO remains committed to the programme and looks forward to the sessions with Kensington High School. The future looks bright for the VPP I-MATTER programme and it will positively impact many more young minds in the coming years.