by: Kalisha Aaron
Signing up as a RUMERTIME Prevention/ Intervention Coach (RPIC) for the Family Summer Camp 2020 with GCSCORED was initially seen as an opportunity for me to apply the skills learnt in my courses as a Counselling Psychology student. I must admit that I obtained way more than I signed up for; my expectations were superseded. Not only was I equipped with additional skills needed to assist in my professional development but I garnered practical skills for individual growth and personal enrichment. It was not possible to enter this programme and leave the same way, being the same person who started at the beginning.
As with every programme, understanding the purpose is essential. Therefore, the first item on the agenda was to learn and understand the pillars that establish the core. To get satisfying results, one must start at the root and work their way from the ground up and so, over the duration of five days, I was a seedling. GCSCORED’s administration firmly believes that in order to pour into someone’s cup, you need to ensure that your cup is filled. They made it their mandatory duty to ensure that their RPICs had their cups filled and overflowing. They exposed us to the same conditions that would be required for our seedlings to be molded for growth. That exposure taught me the value of getting firsthand experience that shows proof of transformation. Although, there was so much more to be informed about, I did feel empowered at the end of this week long of planting and mulching to go forth and sow my own seeds.
The two weeks in which I faithfully executed my duties as an RPIC helped me to develop and build on skills and qualities, such as team work, empathy, listening and imparting knowledge. Gardening can be quite unpredictable, however, in the end it’s a festive moment to witness the sprouting of your seeds. Hence the reason that although I had the necessary tools to work, the process was met with challenges; that is expected especially when working with teenagers. This reminded me that thorns will prick you when caring for beautiful roses. Nevertheless, the challenge was embraced and I continued to put my gardening skills to work. My ability to be empathetic helped me to listen and be more understanding throughout the nurturing.
Teamwork was an asset in the gardening process. Two heads are definitely better than one. Well, in this event it was three. Additionally, support from the experienced farmers, the administrators, was always consistent as they were readily available. The humility and honesty they exude made it so easy for me to continue to thrive and to be confident and trust the process.
I count it a privilege to have been an active participant of such an initiative, as a seedling and later on as a sower. It was a life changing experience in which I learnt many lessons. I have been equipped with tools that will be useful to me throughout the remainder of my lifetime. Furthermore, I will be able to use that tool to continue sowing seeds in diverse environments to effect change so that others can also be fortified to become better individuals in a world where change is constant. With confidence and certainty I can say that this is just the beginning of many more opportunities.