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Nicro rewards counsellors dedication

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Nicro rewards counsellors dedication

by Laverne de Vries
06 Feb 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

After being selected as the third best Nicro volunteer in the Western Cape, a Hanover Park-based mother of four can be seen as living proof that you can make lemon juice out of the lemons life throws at you.

Last week, Asa Grant was acknowledged by Nicro (the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders) for her outstanding commitment to caring for children in her community.

Accepting the token of appreciation, Grant said one of her son's involvement in petty crime led to her working with other youths in the area.
"My son was arrested for shoplifting about three years ago and he was sent to get counselling from Nicro," she said.

The concerned mother attended counselling with her son, which eventually led to her long relationship with the community organisation.

"What we discovered there was that he had a lot of triggers because his father and I had split up and his father was seeing someone else, so he needed to deal with a lot," she explained.

The experience taught her that all children struggle with growing pains and many resort to crime as a result of socio-economic problems, domestic abuse, sexual assault and other stresses.

"My son's experience taught me that children can be helped and I wanted to help them."
"In fact, I pledged that if I got out of the messy divorce and his shoplifting charge, I would dedicate my time to helping other children."

And so her career with both Nicro and CASE (Community Action Towards A Safer Environment) started.

"I have been on many training courses and been involved with many projects and the one thing I know is that, no matter what background you come from, we all have similar problems."
"I've also realised that those problems can be tackled and dealt with if we all make a conscious effort to do our bit for our community."

Speaking at her award ceremony, Nicro spokesperson Celeste Solomons lauded Grant's hard work and dedication.
"Asa is the kind of person that you can call on, no matter what time of the day, and she will jump."
"She's always willing to give of her time and to take time away from her family in order to give time to her clients, and that is something that needs to be honoured."

Grant is currently stationed at Mountview High School as a trauma counsellor.
"Right now we are seeing quite a lot of problems with children who are traumatised because of the gang violence in the area. Many of them are also trying to deal with peer pressure, which is one of the biggest problems teenagers face," she says.

Grant has offered her services to any parent or child in need of counselling. Phone her on 072 172 3692.

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