Introduction

The challenges faced by young people in South Africa today are quite unprecedented and they seem to be escalating without any effective solution in sight. Some intervention programmes have been tried but they only seem to be focussing on behaviour, pure and simple and do not go deeper into the belief system of these young people, where the actual source of behaviour is.

Self-concept, self-image and self-esteem are at the centre of their thinking, attitudes, actions and behaviour and unless these change towards healthier versions, we shall be saddled with the problems we are experiencing now and even worse, when these people become parents themselves, their belief systems will percolate onto the next generation and the next, making the task even more unwieldy.

Negative peer pressure is the enemy of every parent.

Many parents are anxious about the conduct of their teenagers and young adults. They do everything for them, however one never knows how negative peer pressure will affect them. They ask, “Will my child survive the pressures?”

Most youth are stubborn, despise their culture, materialism has taken over; school bunking is rife, drug lords put pressure on them; teenage pregnancies are on the increase, not to say anything about the incidence of HIV, which will deprive many of us of having grand children, crime and lack of direction are some of the major problems confronting them today. Many commit suicide and this trend is continuing at an alarming pace. Which parent is sure that their child would not be next? Indeed, how many parents knew that their children were suicides before they actually committed the deed?

Obviously, every anxious or unhappy parent hardly ever bargained for his or her children’s conduct. They were all caught unprepared. It is easy enough for most to imagine it could never happen to them; but we do not spend twenty-four hours a day with our children. Do we? So, how can anyone say, “I know my children, it could never happen to me”.

There is veritable hope.

There now is a working formula that would instil a positive mindset in the young person’s mind within a very short space of time. South Africa could have the children we can trust and  be proud of. The winning formula is called Self-mastery and Interpersonal Thinking Skills; the programme has already demonstrated success in raising self-awareness in the young quite beyond our dreams. It gives them hope, self-confidence & a healthy self-esteem.

The transformational programme is designed to help the youth develop certain thinking strategies that empower them to take responsibility for their own lives. The results envisaged are, inter alia, the development of proactive individuals who would meaningfully contribute to a healthy, stress-free family life. The programme is particularly important for girls, to instil self-confidence and assertiveness to stand up against date rape, force and sexual abuse, which invariably lead to HIV infection and or premarital pregnancy.

The programme is also designed to generate constructive leadership skills, so that the youth who have the potential can take their place in society and chart the future for others in a highly creative and responsible way. Such transformation is only possible through self-discovery, self-mastery and a sense of purpose in life.

Promoting a Sense of Purpose

This youth programme takes into account that South Africa’s youth require guidance, vision and a sense of meaning in their lives. The programme engenders all of these and teaches them how to generate a sense of personal guidance within themselves, thus preparing them to be effective parents and leaders. This means that the meaning of education and school attendance will change, such that they have a passion for attending school, as it will be linked to their future within their psyche and belief system.

The techniques learned in the programme are designed to increase their self-awareness, self-worth and self-direction so that they can take full responsibility for and make empowering choices in every area of their lives.

The youth in South Africa often lack meaningful role models, so the design of the programme mounts techniques that would help them in their proactive quest for excellence. Excellence, in this programme, also applies to schoolwork.

How is the Programme Structured?

There are three options

  1. Straddled over three weeks, one day week.
  2. Sixteen evening classes of two hours each on alternate days.
  3. Three consecutive days

Any of these options will work, as long as the total number of hours is 24.

In addition, the young people will subsequently have an unrestricted opportunity to consult with Soultalk whenever they seek to reinforce their understanding of the material or are faced with any challenge whatsoever.

In addition, they will receive CD’s or DVD’s based on the material presented in the 24 hours training.

After the programme the parents and their teachers are required to attend a four-hour session, simply, but crucially, to share what their pupils have been exposed to in the programme. This makes sense because one cannot wash the dishes and immerse them into the water they were washed in! Some of the problems of course arise from faulty and ineffective parenting and the teaching personal style of the teacher. Crucial, for the sake of continuity and monitoring of the child to ensure that the parents and teachers  “walk” together in good heart with the child (children), so she/he/they do not slip away again.

Here are just a few of the comments made by young people who have attended the programme

I never thought that motivational speaking would have such a huge impact on my life  —Refilwe

I have reached a breaking point (sic) in my life where I finally think that I know who and what I want to be. My perception of life has transformed completely. I will definitely keep in touch to tell you how many things I have accomplished because of you.– Mpho Ramosia (she is now a dentist, working at the Military Hospital in Tswane)           

You can say what you like and how you feel and not be afraid of what people’s reaction will be. I think I’ll be much happier now and I will not place my happiness in other people’s hands. The way you approach us is really great because you understand how we think. The session really made me think about a whole lot of things in my life. —Kim.

This course has been nothing but holistically fulfilling. You had me hooked from day on one. Your approach, your content and your delivery are for me exceptionally effective. I can’t express my gratitude and believe that by implementing the information you have enriched me with will justly express gratitude and sharing this “wisdom” is something I got from you. –Xoli

You took me on an adventure of the best land, one involving my mind and me. I always knew how to motivate myself but lacked the reasoning for why things happen the way the do. Now I know. To tell the truth everything was fuzzy on the first encounter… Personally, the conclusion on our last meeting was my best because watching you wrap everything up as neatly and as powerfully as you did was a splendour, I have learnt all that I need to survive in this world and how to excel with whatever I do so I can thank you but I know the best way of sharing my appreciation would be to let you see me blossom knowing that you had given the push that I need.  PS. Don’t give up on the great work ‘cause this country needs people like you.Muzi