Peer educators' utilisation of information on recognition and referral to refer their peers appropriately

Mphunga, Andile Elvis (2007-12)

Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


The purpose of this research was to investigate whether peer educators are utilising the information on recognition and referral to refer their peers needing support appropriately. The primary focus of this investigation relates to the three themes: (i) To investigate whether the training on recognition and referral adequately capacitates peer educators to recognize and refer peers needing support. (ii) To determine the significance of community mapping exercises with regard to the establishment of meaningful relationships with the local health care facilities including non governmental organizations such that the networks for referrals are enhanced. (iii) To review the relationship between peer educators and the educator support team. This explores the effectiveness of an internal school referral system. The study comprises of the literature analysis on peer education globally and in South African context, reviewing the Rutanang documents (Rutanang: Sotho word meaning learning from one another) that outlines the local framework for peer education. GOLD Peer Education Model, founded on the Rutanang documents, is the subject of the study. The main data was collected from one school in the Metropole North district of the province of the Western Cape (Northern suburbs, Cape Town), through one focus group and twenty in-depth interviews of peer educators. The findings of this study reveal that the training received by peer educators adequately capacitated them with the relevant knowledge and skills but the lack of opportunities to utilize their skills is a challenge. Community mapping exercises were significant but did not necessarily help peer educators with referrals because of service delivery issues at the clinic. The findings on schools systems also indicate that there is no effective school referral system. The significance of this study, though very narrow, is therefore that it confirmed the findings of the Process Evaluation of the peer education programme in the Western Cape, conducted by the Adolescent Health Research Institute of the University of Cape Town (Flisher et al, February 2006).

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