1. Training

Basic Counselling Course


One of our ongoing training programmes at Nisaa is the Basic Counselling Course. The course runs for 12 weeks with one session per week. To accommodate participant requests, we have adjusted to course to be held over six days with two sessions per day.


It is aimed at providing participants with a good understanding of the dynamics of abuse and foundation counselling skills for domestic violence and rape. This enables participants to provide basic support to survivors of gender based violence. Some of the topics covered in the course include the following:

  • Gender awareness;
  • Rape;
  • Abuse;
  • Communication skills;
  • Counselling relationship;
  • Counselling skills.

The courses are completed with a practical, verbal and written exam that determines the extent to which participants understood the content of the material covered.


An evaluation of the content and the facilitation is conducted after each session. This ensures that Nisaa is able to deal with challenges as they arise. The evaluations also assist Nisaa in keeping the sessions relevant and on par with participants levels of understanding. Some comments from participants who have completed the course are highlighted below:

  • ‘I feel empowered after doing this course as I have learnt many new skills.’
  • ‘I definitely want to go further, and help others.’
  • ‘This course has helped me to handle my own problems effectively.’
  • ‘The course was helpful in terms of understanding myself better.’
  • ‘It gave me the opportunity to view life openly and share my pain with others’
  • ‘I will use the information obtained in my daily life’.


On completion of the course, the participants are required to give back 30 hours of voluntary services to the community through Nisaa. This is a positive process as it allows participants to put into practice some of the learning from the course and an opportunity to give back to the community. Nisaa understands that not all participants from the course are able to counsel and therefore participants are encouraged to partake in other aspects of Nisaa’s activities.


Once participants have completed their 30 hours of community service, they are issued with certificates to confirm that they have successfully completed the programme.


Advanced Counselling Course


This course is a continuation of the Basic Counselling Course and introduces participants to a broader sense of counselling skills and techniques. As a result, only people who have successfully completed the Basic Counselling Course are permitted to do the Advanced Course. Some of the topics covered in the course include:

  • Refresher on Basic Counselling;
  • Stages of counselling;
  • Advanced counselling skills;
  • Crisis counselling;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Rape trauma;
  • Child abuse;
  • HIV & AIDS;
  • Drug and alcohol abuse;
  • Suicide;
  • Burn out and stress.

As with the Basic Counselling Course, an exam is conducted at the end of the programme and participants are required to give time back to the community, completion of which results in the issuing of a certificate.


The course has 13 sessions and runs over 14 weeks with one session per week. On completion of the course, participants are required to complete another 30 hours of community service.


Evaluations of the course have revealed the following comments:

  • ‘Content is well prepared.’
  • ‘Handouts were helpful.’
  • ‘I have learnt presentation skills and learnt how to do research after doing this course.’
  • ‘I feel better equipped to counsel and help other people.’
  • ‘With the information I got, I will help myself.’

Self-esteem Workshops


Nisaa conducts self-esteem workshops as well. The course targets women, especially survivors of domestic violence. It aims to explore techniques to assess and build self-esteem – an aspect of oneself that often needs to be nurtured after having been through any type of abuse. It is designed to allow focus on the self, one’s beliefs about the self and capabilities and also teaches assertiveness skills. The course is interactive and lets people share their experiences in a safe environment. The workshop is conducted over a period of four weeks with one session per week. Some of the topics covered during the programme include:

  • Self – esteem and development.
  • Emotional abuse.
  • Maintaining control of one’s life; and
  • The importance of independence.

The workshop is conducted over a period of three days


Youth Skills Development Programme


The Peer Counselling Course targets the youth and aims to train teenagers to provide basic support to their peers when the need arises. In addition to the basic yet vital skills, participants are provided with a resource list of organisations and people to whom they would be able to refer their peers. To provide an indication as to what the content of the course includes, some of the topics are listed below:

  • Child abuse;
  • Drugs;
  • HIV& AIDS;
  • Date rape;
  • Communication skills.

The programme is run over a period of three days


Advocacy Training


The Advocacy Training is conducted in two parts. The first part consists of a three day workshop where participants are taken through the content of the course, participants are then given the opportunity to design and implement an advocacy campaign and finally participants are taken through a two day follow up workshop where feedback is provided. The objectives of the training are thus to:

  • equip participant organisations with practical and theoretical advocacy skills.
  • identify and liaise with organisations dealing with gender based violence and HIV & AIDS in Kwazulu- Natal and Western Cape.
  • raise awareness amongst the NGOs and CBOs on the interface between gender based violence and HIV and AIDS.
  • train participants on designing and implementing an advocacy campaign on the identified issue within their communities.
  • develop an advocacy plan of action as a follow up to the workshop.




Workshops on the interface between gender-based violence and HIV and AIDS


These workshops are conducted widely around the Gauteng Province for various community members and service providers. This training involves a two day workshop that aims to:

  • create awareness in communities on the intersection between gender-based violence and HIV and AIDS.
  • train women in communities on the intersection between gender-based violence and HIV and AIDS.
  • interrogate each link and explore how it affects women in particular.
  • explore the involvement of men in the fight against Gender Based Violence and HIV and AIDS.
  • discuss gender stereotypes and the vital politics of gender.
  • explore cultural costume and cultural camouflage and how these perpetuate gender based violence and the spread of HIV and AIDS.
  • assist communities to initiate useful and sustainable dialogues which can aid in the eradication of stigma and discrimination towards people infected and affected.
  • discuss rape and HIV and AIDS with the view to introducing Post Exposure Prophylaxis (P.E.P)
  • encourage both women and men to know their status and promote mutual faithfulness among the sexually active population.


Some of the topics included in the training are listed below:

  • Gender
  • Myths and stereotypes
  • Gender and culture
  • Power and abuse
  • Rape
  • Basic information about HIV and AIDS, and PEP
  • The interface between gender-based violence and HIV and AIDS


Train the Trainer


Train the Trainer is a training programme that is aimed at capacity building and staff development with particular emphasis on training, however, Nisaa does extend the training to other organisations as well. The training programme is an intense one that is conducted over five consecutive days. It includes valuable theory as well as an opportunity to put the theory into practice. The training follows an experiential learning approach. Some of the topics covered in the course include:

  • Johari’s window;
  • Planning a workshop;
  • Needs assessment – a contextual understanding of the community;
  • Logistical arrangements;
  • Facilitation techniques;
  • Team building;
  • Teachback assignment – presentation of a topic of choice using the acquired skills.


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