Peer Educators and Counselors Club (PECC) hosts annual PECC training for interested students

By Tiffany Marimba

With the complete resumption of physical classes in January 2022, and bearing in mind the unique issues that returning students may face, the Peer Educators and Counselors Club (PECC) held its annual PEC training for interested students.

This year's training was held over the course of 4 days (September 16, 17, 30 and October 1) and was officially launched by the Dean of students MR. Ronald Kimani on behalf of the Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs Mrs. Ritah J. Asunda. The facilitators included the Principal Counselor Mrs. Lucy Kung’u, Senior Counselor Mr. Patrick Obel, Senior Counselor Ms. Noel Lusega, Ms. Rachel Nguni, Principal Gender Equity and Social Protection, and VCT Counselor/ PECC Patron Ms. Lydia Winda.

The objectives of this training included:

  • Self-awareness: by using different personality tests and reflection techniques and activities, the training aimed to empower trainees to develop a stronger sense of knowledge about self. It also aimed to increase their self-acceptance, self-esteem and positive growth.
  • Development of skills: the trainees acquired skills such as carrying out psychological first aid, active listening, communication skills and emotional intelligence which are fundamental skills in counseling.
  • Knowledge and Enlightenment: the training was rich with information that led to the trainees being empowered and educated on important topics that affect young adults on a daily basis among them; gender related issues, drug and substance use, sexuality, STIs, contraceptives and HIV & AIDS.
  • Facilitation: the training aimed to empower the trainees to use their skills to facilitate situations like group supervisions and peer counseling sessions.

The training was well attended, boasting upwards of 70 trainees present. It began with a current PEC Club member sharing their experiences about the training, how it impacted her life at individual level and used the skills gained to support her peers and community. This gave the trainees a first-hand account on what to expect. Over the course of the two weekends, trainees were informed not only on the importance of their roles as peer counselors, but also on the skills they would need to possess in order to do play their roles effectively.

In addition to these skills, trainees were given the opportunity to get to know themselves better through self-reflection exercises. During breaks, trainees were able to bond and get to know each other better. This was especially important given that they will be working closely together in the coming academic year.

All in all, the peer counselor trainees underwent a rigorous and highly informative program. The broad spectrum of topics covered, as well as the skills practice conducted, left them with a well-rounded understanding of peer education and counseling, and equipped them with the necessary skills to effectively counsel their peers.

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