DISCET 

DISCET is one of the Mission Partners St Margaret’s supports. It provides Services for Counselling, Evangelism and Training in Sierra Leone.
DISCET was founded by Canon Modupe Taylor-Pearce toward the end of the rebel wars and turned 21 in 2019.
Since it has “come of age” it is worth reflecting on some of the main achievements of DISCET

  • Took the alpha course to SL
    • This was how we first met “Uncle Modupe” who stayed with John & Carol Wates while attending the Alpha leaders course at HTB
    • he was accompanied by a young Pastor, Francis Williams, who not long after became Alpha’s representative for that region of Africa
    • Provision of Counselling & Counsellor training
      • Recognised the need for counsellors for people who had suffered in rebel wars
        • Trained by Professional Counsellors from UK/US over 2 ½ year period via mixture of classroom and skype
        • 6 started course with 3 graduating at ceremony in March 2010  where President’s wife presented the graduation certificates
        • DISCET was largest counselling centre in SL
        • Since then trained ~ 200 additional counsellors via part time courses
      • Provided services during/after ebola epidemic in 2014/15 and after the mudslide in 2017
        • In addition to work done by the then current DISCET counsellors, George Bindi a former DISCET Counsellor was appointed a national mental health adviser to the government during the ebola crisis
        • DISCET provided a team of 10 counsellors to work at one of the mudslide survivor camps –DISCET’s full-time counsellors plus others working from their own churches who had been trained via the part-time courses
        • Counselled over 200 children, youths and adults including a young mother, pictured with her baby below, whose husband died in the mudslides.
Discet1v2 
  • 26 Primary and Secondary schools were visited for group counselling sessions. This shows young people how counselling can be useful and helps break down the barriers caused by the potential stigma attached to those seeking counselling as people are ignorant of its benefits and uses
    1. Example at one school a teenager was selling tramadol pills to fellow-pupils. He was provided with individual counselling along with a number of his fellow pupils
  • Provision of 6 month part time Training courses to enable people to provide counselling in their communities
    1. 23 students graduated in December 2018
    2. 35 students graduated in December 2019 (pictures below): 22 in Freetown and 13 in Bo and a new course is to start in Waterloo in 2020
                 DISCET2     
                 DISCET3
  • Counselling Radio Program run live twice a month – listeners can text or call in
  • Courses – some we are familiar with such as marriage preparation which was originally brought to St Margaret’s by John and Carol Wates and some not such as Effective Preaching, Leaders of Godly Character and preventive counselling for specific topics eg how to deal with grief and loss.
A few examples of other things done are:
  • Run multi-day marriage and singles conferences in various towns with average attendances ~100-150.
    • Examples of  blessings from these
      • An engaged couple who were close to breaking up were brought together when they both independently attended a conference in Makeni without knowing the other would be there showing how much they both wanted to make their relationship work
      • At another conference in Mile 91
        • A number of muslims attended the conference with 8 giving their lives to Christ
        • A man took his wife and child who had real difficulties in their relationships as stepmother/stepson who in his words were “at loggerheads and not on speaking terms. I was caught in the middle… I can’t prefer my wife to my son neither will I prefer my son to my wife. The whole issue was settled during this conference and now there is peace between my son and his stepmother”.
  • What are they looking to do going forward:
    • Continue what they are already doing such as the things mentioned above
    • WRT counsellor training
      • Looking into viability of running an additional course in Makeni thus covering an additional region
      • Investigating offering a more advanced course to diploma level. They are discussing possibilities/requirements with the National Commission for Technical and Vocational Awards (NCTVA) in Sierra Leone.
    • Examples of other Training/Conferences they are organising and running
      •  “One Body Evangelism” training seminars which includes training followed by actual soul-winning
    • A workshop/conference on Post traumatic Stress Disorder was held in 2019 attended by 135 counsellors/trainee counsellors. A couple of testimonies follow:
      • I thank God for this workshop. It has opened my eyes as a counsellor to be much more effective than before because these subjects have helped me to know the reason different people behave differently in our counselling rooms. Through this workshop, i was able to distinguish between emotional issues and mental issues
      • this workshop has made me to know the reason for underperformance in jobs of many people in our country. When the employee is burnt-out due to prolonged stress, it leads to underperformance. I thank God for the organisations of this workshop. I want to suggest to them that this workshop should not only stop within the confines of your counselling rooms but rather, every government department must have a counsellor. If this happens, our country will change.”
 
They ask for our continued prayers.
A copy of DISCET’s annual report and a newsletter is on the bulletin board in church.
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Photo of most of DISCET’s staff plus a DISCET UK Board member who visited in 2019. 
From left to right:
  1. Mr. Sylvester Jusu ---------DISCET Finance Officer   5. Rev. Egerton Gbonda-----DISCET UK Board Member 
  2. Mr. Fayia Chokpeleh------DISCET driver                     6. Mr. Julius Fatorma…………Office Assistant
  3. Ms. Esther Y. Sesay--------DISCET Counsellor             7. Mr. Valentine Benjamin----Assist. Finance Officer
  4. Rev. Steven A. Mahoney---Director                           8. Mrs. Esther Tucker------Admin. Secretary to the Director

                                            9.  Mrs. Isha Isatu Shoyoola----Counsellor
 
Steve Cheng-Whitehead

Deborah Mathews, 14/04/2020