10487335_673179026090400_279135147859677729_n               Selected groups of student volunteers of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation have been conducting the Substance Abuse Prevention Education (SAPE) in all National Service Training Program-Civic Welfare Training Service (NSTP-CWTS) classes during Saturdays, starting 16th August 2014. Called SAPE disseminators, these seventeen (17) Arrupe Vols, joined by five (5) Red Cross Volunteers, have been assisting NSTP formators in carrying out this part of the module to a total of fifty-two (52) classes. This is a new innovation from the previous years wherein sessions on SAPE were given through a massive conference-type instruction handled by representatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) of Region XI. The conduct of SAPE in all NSTP classes is pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9163.

           It has been evaluation that, though given in one sitting running through a one-class period of three hours, the forum-type instruction is found to be less effective because of the large number of participants involved, practically leaving no room for interaction after every input.  Another consideration for changing the strategy in the conduct of SAPE sessions is the palpable time constraints. The bulk of the material on drug prevention education covers a wide range of strategies, such as team teaching for example, that really demands more time—and what better and efficient way to implement it than utilizing the Peer Education Model. Having a pool of student disseminators assisting NSTP formators in all NSTP classes is one way of addressing the importance of peer facilitator-participant interaction, especially in disseminating as crucial a topic as drug prevention education.

                Before deploying the SAPE disseminators to the different NSTP classes, they underwent a training/workshop on SAPE on 19th-20th July conducted by the Arrupe Office, inorder to capacitate them in acquiring skills and technical knowledge in the conduct of peer education sessions. They were given training not just on the content of SAPE but also in facilitating skills, teaching strategies and classroom management.  They were then provided a venue for a return demonstration, through team teaching, wherein the participants performed a simulated classroom instruction recorded on video for immediate review.  A pool of evaluators consisting of personnel from the Arrupe Office, the Philippine National Red (PNC)-Davao Chapter, and the PDEA provided assessment on how well the facilitators have been able to handle classroom instruction more effectively, giving them further tips in handling peer education.  The Arrupe Office’s Community Engagement Officer (CEO), Karl Anthony Ebol, himself a Red Cross Volunteer, was the overall training coordinator. The training/workshop was made possible through the support and collaboration of both the agencies of the PDEA and the PNC.

             The pool of SAPE disseminators who graduated from the training/workshop and are currently assisting NSTP classes on SAPE module are the following: Evan Cullen Alcantara, Kahlil Denise Alcomendras, Rexor Amancio, Herz Ann Apostol, Leorelee Anne Dahan, Jhana Lynne Ligue, Mary Antoinette Limen, Ella Marie Madoginog, Johnmar Monato, Shaira Lynn Morales, Jennilyn Nacorda, Princess Claire Palitoc, Deanjann Piloton, Grace Ramos, Sarah Joy Reyes, Alvin Sajulga, and Ashreabai Sinarimbo. The Red Cross Youth Volunteers who also passed the training are: Ralfh Robar Bascon, Jaye France Caminero, Jesse Ann Dy, Jamil Fredrik Malingco, and Michael Jan Sabesaje.

             The sessions on SAPE will be implemented for a month-long of NSTP classes.  This Saturday, 30th August, will be its third week of implementation.  The whole SAPE module will fold up on 6th September 2014.  Given side-by-side with the month-long sessions on SAPE are the rotational sessions on National Security, Basic Disaster Management Orientation and Basic First Aid Lecture and Demonstration, also with assistance of some Arrupe Vols. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)