Powering the Future!
loveLife, South Africa’s largest youth leadership, life skills and sexuality awareness programme, has been at the forefront of promoting healthy lifestyles and social agency among South African teenagers since 1999.
When launched in South Africa almost 14 years ago, loveLife was a joint initiative between leading South African non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the South African government, in partnership with several private foundations and with substantial South African private sector support.
Targeting the complex individual, social and structural factors making youth more tolerant of high-risk behaviour, loveLife combines nationwide multimedia campaigns, community-level outreach, clinical and psychosocial services.
While loveLife’s main objective from 1999 to 2012 was reducing HIV infections among young South Africans, in 2013, loveLife re-launched, with a new logo and brand proposition, ‘Powering the Future’. loveLife is now unequivocally positioned as a youth leadership development organisation that addresses a range of social ills, including the organisation’s previous core competence, HIV prevention.
The organisation’s new brand offering, ‘Powering the Future’, positions youth leadership as the dynamo for future growth and sustainability. loveLife’s healthy sexuality and positive lifestyle programmes are implemented by a national youth volunteer corps known as groundBREAKERs (peer motivators and community mobilisers) and ‘mpintshis’ (volunteers who work under the guidance of groundBREAKERs). Youthfulness, action, passion and innovation are loveLife’s core values, anchoring all that the organisation does.
What We Do - Utilising Youth Power:
Today, there are around 1 200 groundBREAKERs who each mentor a team of five mpintshis in the implementation of loveLife programmes. Working together, they facilitate loveLife’s healthy sexuality and positive lifestyle programmes in 532 government clinics, social franchises (community-based organisations) and over 8 000 schools. On average, over 1,5 million young people engage in loveLife's healthy sexuality and positive lifestyle programmes. 230 community-based organisations and 22 loveLife youth centres (Y-Centres) across South Africa, young people are able to benefit from these programmes and partake in sports and arts and culture activities. More than three million youth participate in loveLife site events during the year.
loveLife’s healthy sexuality programme, love4life offers a variety of information, from how to be assertive and negotiate condom use to the differences between a good and bad relationship. The organisation’s positive lifestyle programme is lovingLife - Making My Move. Informing youth of how to access study and work opportunities, builds their sense of identity, purpose and belonging, boosting their confidence and determination to seize opportunities to better their lives.
Face to Face:
In addition to this, the organisation reaches many thousands of young people through youth festivals and its exciting loveLife Games Programme. Through the loveLife Games, groundBREAKERs and mpintshis implement the organisation’s programmes at sports, arts and culture events.
loveLife programmes extend to the Born Free Dialogues, which provide a platform for young people and their parents to talk openly and honestly about sex and various topical issues fuelling HIV infections. Happening in communities across South Africa, these dialogues aim to entrench positive social norms by encouraging communities to take action in addressing the challenges placing them at risk of HIV.
The dialogues are also geared at encouraging parents to talk to their kids about sex. loveLife is promoting open discussion about sex and societal challenges between parents and their teenagers. If young people are armed with support and factual sex and sexuality knowledge from their parents, they are less likely to be swayed by peer pressure and wrong information from friends which could heighten their risk of infection.
Across the distances:
However, many parents are uncomfortable and unsure of how to go about talking to their children about sex and sexuality. In assisting parents to have these discussions, as well as receive guidance and information - loveLife hosts a Parent Line on 0800 121 100 through its Contact Centre.
Young people can access healthy sexuality and telephonic counselling free of charge, also via a Youth Line on 0800 121 900 and a Please Call Me Service on 083 323 1023.
loveLife has also become a Social Media favourite for young people and other interested parties, through its presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Youth are able to share their views and respond to positive prompting around opportunities, youth-specific topics and the themed Blog. To make it even more fun loveLife also run regular online competitions and giveaways. These platforms are also used to identify current trends among youth; which then enable the organisation to better communicate the loveLife message and address youth concerns.
Young people can listen to, and discuss, a range of pertinent topics affecting them, be regularly informed of loveLife programming and messaging, through shows broadcast on 23 community radio stations countrywide.
Through its far-reaching interventions, loveLife is building a generation of young leaders, committed to an HIV free future.
To view the loveLife in the Prodder NGO Directory, click here.