Change the world

Peer Helping




The Student Counselling, Career and Development Centre (SCCDC) at Nelson Mandela University runs a Peer Help Programme, as one of its initiatives to provide holistic assistance to all students. Carefully selected students are trained, certified and supported to assist their fellow students when they experience frustrations and concerns or have to deal with matters related to student life and their own personal growth.

Peer helper training consists of approximately 30 hours of customized training, aiming at attitudes and skills associated with interpersonal relationship building. It focuses on the following communication and helping skills: attending (non-verbal and verbal communication styles), empathic listening and responding and questioning skills. It also emphasizes self-disclosure; dealing with diversity, value clarification, ethics, referral and confidentiality.

Peer Helper Core Training will take place during recess on the following dates:

  • Peer Helper Core Training:  18-20 April 2017 from 08:00 - 16:30 daily and 21 April  08:00 - 10:30.
  • Portfolio Development and Project Management Training:  Friday, 21 April 2017 from 11:00 - 16:00.

Please note that it is compulsory for recruited Peer Helpers to attend ALL training sessions. 

Follow-up training commences after the core training and continues throughout the peer helper term (April 2017 – 31 March 2018). Peer helpers may choose topics according to their own areas of interest. Topics to choose from will be related to academic skills, wellness (e.g. healthy life style issues, dealing with diversity, HIV/AIDS awareness) and career guidance. These trainings will equip peer helpers to work in focus areas such as career guidance, academic skills and wellness. They will be encouraged to involve themselves in projects that reflect their interest and competency in these areas.

Peer helpers will be requested to attend compulsory Reflective Practise sessions (6 in a Peer Helper contract term). These sessions are arranged to support peer helpers with projects they are involved in, provide them with referral networks and to provide opportunities to share their experiences and to be supported by their fellow peer helpers and Student Counselling staff.

Certificates will be issued to qualifying peer helpers at the end of their term and they will be invited to apply for the Co-curricular Record. Peer helpers who wish to continue with their peer work for another year or more, may choose to undergo further specialized training to become senior peer helpers and peer mentors.

To summarise: the aim of Peer Help Programme is to strengthen what students have to offer to friends and family and to the general community through specially tailored training and supervised involvement in people helping activities.  If this is what you are interested in, the Peer Help Programme is for you!

Please make sure you have read the above information and are able to commit to the following before continuing with the application process:

  • Be prepared to attend a selection interview;
  • Be prepared to attend compulsory Core Training (3.5 day training workshop) which will take place 18-21 April 2017.  The 4th day of training will be divided into 3 sessions.  Core Training, Portfolio Development Training and Project Management Training on 21 April 2017;
  • Be prepared to attend follow-up training in one or more of the following areas:  Career/Academic/Wellness;
  • Be prepared to actively participate in Peer Help activities/projects during the Peer Help term (April 2017 – 31 March 2018);
  • Be prepared to attend compulsory 6 reflective practice sessions (group supervision) and yearly portfolio evaluations;
  • Contribute 50% towards the cost of my Peer Helpers Shirt;
  • Be prepared to join the Peer Helping Society; and
  • Should pictures be taken of my participation in the above, I give permission to have them published on any appropriate and relevant media for promotional and educational purposes.

Only students who are in a position to meet these requirements will be considered for selection.  Please note that applicants who are not able to complete the entire Peer Help term (eg Final Year students who will be exiting at the end of the year) will not be considered as the Peer Helping Contract period runs from April 2017 – 31 March 2018.



  1. Please complete your application.
  2. Please make sure that you submit all supporting documentation.  Should you have problems submitting the supporting documents electronically, you may drop off hard copies at the Student Counselling office on your campus.  Only applications with supporting documents will be considered.  (Note:  1st year students do not have academic records yet, a CV must be submitted).
  3. Applications close on Monday, 27 February 2017 @ 08:30.  No late applications will be considered.
  4. Please refer to our website - Documents necessary for the Job Search - for help setting up your CV.

Should you experience any problems with the online system please contact Sharon Graham @ 041-5043854 or email (before 13:00 daily) for assistance.


Contact information
Ms Sharon Graham
Administrative Assistant
Tel: 27 41 5043854

Ms Candice Chetty
Registered Counsellor
Tel: 27 41 504 3222

Mrs Nomalungelo (Lungsi) Ntlokwana
Student Counsellor
Tel: 27 41 504 1106

Mrs Marina de Jager
Senior Student Counsellor; Peer Help Core Competence Co-ordinator
Tel: 27 41 504 3854

Ms Freda (Fareedah) Sauls
Student Counsellor
Tel: 041 5042511