BY DOREEN KAJERU
The university counselling department has started training 102 volunteers.
The training which kicked off on January 30, will cover the following. Self-awareness and relationship building, basic skills in counselling, anger management, the basics of financial management, career development, sex and sexuality, drug and substance use, counselling techniques, HIV/AIDS issues, as well as general life skills.
The team of trainers includes staff from the counselling department, graduates from the former counselling classes and field experts like Dr. Ruth Senyonyi who will speak on the topic of “Whose life is it?”
Richard Bwire, one of the trainers from the counselling department, said that training requires commitment because all the lessons are crucial.
He thus encouraged the trainees to endeavour to attend all sessions. In case one misses the fundamental sessions, he/she will not attain a certificate and will hence be required to wait for another intake the next semester.
Mr. Joseph Musaalo, the university counsellor and team leader, said that the intake for the training is now higher than usual. This time around, 102 trainees have enrolled for the class. And ten of these are staff members. This is up from the expected 80 trainees per semester.
“In order to have the required number, a criterion was crafted. Instead of taking on finalists, we decided to take on students from first year, second year (first semester) and third year students doing a four- year course. For the staff, the registration number is unlimited,” Musaalo said.
He added that finalists were cut out because the counselling would only help them as individuals, instead of helping the UCU community as planned.
He further said that this training is very significant because of the practical skills to be attained to govern self, relationships, finance and work.
“The feedback is that some of our graduates have been given jobs not because of they applied in the areas of counselling but employers appreciate someone with such skills that can enable one manage himself, others and work,” Musaalo said.
Olive Birabi, the Director of Students’ Affairs (DOSA), who is also enrolling for the class, says that staff should endeavour to register for this course because it helps in understanding students better and thus be able to handle them better.
This advent semester, the training was launched by one of the board directors of the Global Outreach for Addiction Leadership Learning (GOAL), Dr. David Njabulo Whiters.
GOAL is a USA-based organization involved in reducing drug and substance abuse in Africa and the USA. Whiters, who was once a heroin addict, shared his story and encouraged the students to get involved in helping those struggling with addiction and other life issues.
The two-months’ training takes place once a week on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.