Adrienne (teacher of 30 years):
I was fortunate to do the course Lilac 9 last year. It was professionally run and the information imparted to me was of a high standard and well researched. I went away with the renewed knowledge of my internal resources and the skills needed to draw on them when I had to. I find that in times of stress I go back to that painful place and am filled with fear that I will not be able to get myself out. This course made me aware of the places I go to and gave me skills to surface from them. The triggers to the skills were given to me as symbolic references and I can look at these symbols and be reminded of what to do in difficult times.

So, not only did the course give me life tools, but also the interaction with the other participants has made a lasting difference in my life. From the encounters with other members of the group there has been a domino effect on my personal and professional life in quite profound ways.

Adri (nursing sister):
During one’s life there are fairly easy uncomplicated times and there are more difficult times that challenge us in different ways. Some people cope better with some difficulties than other people and some people are better equipped with “life tools” to cope during those difficult times.

About three and a half years ago, I was going through one of these very difficult times. Some days I did not know how I was going to get through the day without completely losing my mind, or even worse, just making an end to it all. God works in His own special way, and although I had a wonderful support system in my parents, family and amazing friends, I met Aviva and she ask me to join the Lilac 9 sessions.

I can truly say that those Sunday morning sessions with Aviva and Michelle meant the world to me. It gave me the power and the energy to carry on in life. Spending a morning with wonderful people with their own problems and talking about it, made me feel firstly that I have so much to be grateful for and also contributing in someone else’s life made me look at my life and problems in a completely different way.

I always find “self-help” psychology books very interesting, but somehow to me it always just stays on the paper in the book and the advice never really becomes part of my life. That is where I found Lilac 9 to be very useful. Lilac 9 is a very practical course that taught me wonderful “life tools” that I could apply every day in my life. Making a vision board made me think hard about what I really want in life and what I need to do in getting the process going to get where I want to be. It also helped me in focusing on other areas of my life that I have neglected, because I was focusing so much on the problems in my life, that the rest of my life was passing by without me noticing.

The session on Emotional Intelligence was fascinating. Again, having read a few “self-help” psychology books, I was familiar with some of the things that were discussed. However, once again it was completely different, because it was practical and hands-on.

I could really carry on and on and on about all the sessions and how I experienced them, but then again I could just summarize and say in conclusion the following: Lilac 9 was one of the best things that ever happened to me in my life. It gave me an understanding about who I am and what I want for me and my life. It made me feel stronger and made me feel better equipped to handle difficult problems and situations in my life. Lastly, before I end off by saying how I am doing at the moment in my life, I just want to mention the actual physical tools that were given to us, to remind us of what we learned in each session. I made a key ring with all the goodies and although it is too big to use as a key ring, I have put it on my bedroom cupboard door where I look at it every day, and it reminds me of what I am capable of and of how special and unique I am.

Well, at present I am really having a wonderful life. I have a wonderful husband that absolutely adores me and whom I love so much (my soul mate). I have a great job that I enjoy and where I feel valued and appreciated. I still have my wonderful, loving parents, family and friends as part of my support system.

But….I do also have the knowledge and “life tools” I learned at the Lilac 9 sessions, so whenever life gets a bit difficult and problems seems almost too big to overcome, I have my “life tools” to keep me going!

Thank you so much Aviva and Michelle!

Shira-Lee Samson (Grade 7 learner after participating in a 3 week DARE programme):

I have to do this.
It’s all I can do.
There’s no other way.
There’s no getting through.

I grab the needle,
In my hand.
Take a deep breath
and ... stab!

I don’t feel pain.
I feel relief.
But what have I done?
I was so naive.

But one little thing,
Led to more.
I’ve turned into an addict.
I’ve been shook to the core.

But then again,
I don’t care.
I just got,
A little bit scared.

So I carry on,
With my drug spree.
Feeling better.
Feeling free.

A little while later,
I think to myself.
Am I ok?
Do I need help?

I’ve injected, snorted
And even swallowed.
Down the dark path,
That I followed.

I tried to stop,
But my attempts failed.
I have no will power
I let out a wail.

I was talking to someone,
Who had the same scare.
He told me to go,
To an organization called DARE.

I have overcome,
My terrible past.
With the help DARE,
I recovered fast.

This poem may be fiction,
But the story could be true.
If you take drugs,
This organization’s there to help you.