South Africa is a young country which means the largest age cohort of the population is young people between the ages of 15 to 35 years. Statistic South Africa’s census of 2011, puts the youth population at 18.9 million and out of this 9 million are aged between 15 to 24 years. Young people are identified as one of the key population mostly affected by HIV and AIDS.
YOLO (You Only Live Once) Youth Programme is a new DSD Youth Social and Behaviour Change Communication programme targeting Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth (OVCY) aged 14- 25 years, which was developed through the support of the Department of GCBS (Government Capacity Building Support) project. The programme aims to build resilience among young people, increase their autonomy, self-esteem and self-efficacy, and to minimise risky behaviours that expose them to HIV and the possibility of unwanted pregnancy.
The main objective of the campaign is to market YOLO as a social behaviour change programme and -tool to the youth of Dihlabeng and Matjhabeng Municipalities, to motivate YOLO graduates to get tested so that they know their HIV status and take the necessary precautions.
Me Morongoe Mohaleroe District Manager of the Department of Social Development Thabo Mofutsanyana District Office encouraged the youth to show respect to their elders at all times because it is through respect that you receive your blessings as a young person. “We were fortunate to grow up in an era that didn’t have HIV/AIDS, life is so much more difficult for you today, it takes a strong young person to survive in today’s society”, said Mohaleroe.
“Young people need to be given a platform to express themselves and the challenges that they go through in their daily lives, I am not here to preach to young people I want the young people to express themselves so that we can better understand how to help them”, said Me Dithuso Monare.
Me Monare, Manager HIV/AIDS steered a one on one dialogue with the 10 young people by giving them a topic and asking them to explain what their understanding is regarding that topic. The young people gave exceptional replies on topics such as; blessers and the implications. This showed that young people in South Africa are very enlightened and that it is pressures from society that pushes them to live reckless lives.
The National Department of Social Development took this opportunity to also launch the Children’s Service Directory which is aimed at helping children and their caregivers identify and locate services.
The information in the Children Services Directory includes service providers registered with the Department of Social Development as non-profit organizations. These are organizations that provide services and support to vulnerable children in each district, within each province in South Africa. Organizations have been categorized by geographic location .Users will be able to identify local municipalities and areas where these organizations are located.