|dc.description.abstract||The study reported in this thesis explores the experiences of Educators-As-Lay-Counsellors (EALCs) of the Read-me-to-Resilience (Rm2R) intervention strategy with black South African orphans in order to theorise about the value of providing EALCs with a ready-made intervention tool in the interest of supporting their resilience. EALCs are educators who are assigned the role of pastoral carer or are voluntarily fulfilling this role. Most educators who fulfil lay counselling roles are not formally equipped to be skilled helpers. Not only are educators in general poorly trained to cope with the social and emotional needs of orphaned and other vulnerable children, but working as an EALC has additional challenges. One possible way of supporting EALCs to be resilient in the face of the challenges endemic to being a lay counsellor in South Africa in the 21st century is to support EALC access to counselling tools and resilience-supporting interventions. However, existing resilience and other literature does not document how valuable providing EALCs with ready-made counselling tools/intervention programmes might be. Thus, the purpose of this study was to theorise about the value of providing EALCs with ready-made intervention tools. A secondary, but related purpose was to explore EALCs‟ experiences of the Rm2R intervention strategy as a pathway to resilience for orphaned South African learners and for the EALCs themselves.
To achieve this purpose, 16 South African educators voluntarily implemented the Rm2R (as an example of a ready-made intervention) for 11 weeks with orphaned learners. Its usefulness was investigated using a pre-intervention/post-intervention design and qualitative data generation techniques (the draw-and-write technique, focus group interviews and research diaries). Participating educators reported that using the Rm2R intervention promoted their positive adjustment to the challenges of lay counselling. This included the development of a positive attitude towards lay counselling roles, and greater counselling competence and cultural awareness. Four resilience-supporting pathways were reported for orphaned learners, including the promotion of life skills, positive distraction, constructive attachments and an appreciation of cultural resources. Although the Rm2R intervention was useful as a ready-made intervention, refinements were suggested to address frustrations experienced during implementation. These findings allowed theorisation about the usefulness of providing EALCs with ready-made interventions. The study concluded that there is limited value in providing EALCs with a ready-made intervention tool in the interest of supporting EALC resilience.||en_US