Thursday, May 19th, 2016
BRINGING ABOUT RADICAL CHANGE
When 24-year old Viwe Hewu from Blouberg discovered the SAB 18+ peer mentorship programme, he immediately felt the need to climb on board and become a part of radical change.
The 18+ Campaign encourages young adults to ‘be the mentor you wish you had’ and to help teens make positive life choices, including staying away from alcohol.
Viwe views the programme as the perfect opportunity to be selfless. “Give some time, give some lessons, and give some knowledge, ” he said.
“I joined the 18+ programme because of a deep desire to do something that would not be for my own benefit, instead it is an opportunity to better someone else’s life”, he adds.
Viwe mentors Peter, who describes Viwe as an older brother. To Peter, the mentorship represents the first time he has been able to open up freely with someone. “I have not had a relationship where I can talk to someone about my issues and feel comfortable about it” says Peter.
Viwe reflects back to when he was in grade 10, where Peter is now, and says there was a lack of guidance in his life at this time. ”If only there had been someone older in my life, someone to whom I could explain the situation and receive guidance from.”
Scars on Viwe’s hands are a daily reminder of the damage irresponsible drinking can cause. “That was a major turning point in my life, I am partly thankful that it happened and I lived to tell the tale.”
The experience reminded him that he was missing someone in his life in whom he could confide. “Someone who could say to me, ‘friend, this is not the path.’ This has made me passionate about mentoring Peter and helping him choose the right path.”
“I did not think someone younger than me could teach me anything, but Peter has taught me to look on the bright side.”
Viwe believes the current generation of teenagers is facing pressures including underage drinking and sex, much earlier than previous generations, making it even tougher to make the right choices.
“It is my hope that I can inspire Peter to work towards achieving an A in Matric, and become the successful sportsman he dreams of being.”
South Africans can be part of the campaign and make a difference to someone else’s life by pledging to be a mentor at www.sab.co.za/alcohol-issues/.
To watch Viwe’s video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dro-IhiBXko.