Learning to say ‘no’

Testimonials Learning to say ‘no’

Saifullah was referred to Fei Yue Community Services by the police for the Guidance Program (GP), a pre-court diversionary programme, in March 2018, where he was caught for making prank calls to an emergency number. There, he met his caseworker, Kelly.

During the initial period of GP, he was often late for sessions and continued to default individual and group sessions, as he was not used to having structure and discipline in his life. As a result, he had received two warning letters for his non-compliances, and was on the verge of being extended on the program.

However, through the process of getting caught and having to pay back for his offences, Saifullah realised what he did was against the law. He stepped up his shifts at his part time job and saved the money in his bank account to pay back to the people that he had scammed.

He also learned from Kelly the serious consequences of not abiding by the program regulations. After 4 months on GP, Saifullah gradually realised this, and made concrete efforts to attend his programme regularly. This behaviour was also observed in school, where he had reduced his late-coming drastically. There was also new confidence in going to school. Before GP, he would go to school in un-ironed uniforms. Now, he takes pride in waking up earlier to iron his uniform before heading to school, to reflect a positive attitude and outlook in life. He also enjoys good relationships with his teachers, and was selected to head a class farewell project for one of his teachers.

Saifullah fondly recalls participating in a role play with his social worker during one of the individual counselling sessions, where he was guided on how to stand up to peers who intimidate and bully him. From not knowing what to say to them, he is now able to think on his feet and firmly reject his friends, and state his reasons for it. He shared that he would like to continue practising this skill that he learnt to refuse negative peer pressure. He stopped associating with the friend who had encouraged him to “make easy money”, and was quick to reject him in a firm manner when approached again, subsequently, the friend stopped asking him. Now, he hangs out with friends who encourage him to study hard for N levels.

He is excited to make a difference by impacting other youths with his experience in GP after he had completed.