OneVoice South Africa (OVSA) is a vibrant and unique non-governmental organisation, which uses innovative and creative ways of actively engaging young people on critical health and lifestyle issues – including HIV and TB prevention. Our programme is appealing to young people because it provides them with a platform to discuss and address HIV and AIDS, TB, life and livelihood skills, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender, hygiene practices, good citizenship and human rights issues.
Our target audience is young people, 13-25 years. We believe it is crucial to target these young people as they transition from childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood; a time of risk, while also offering a great opportunity for change. We are passionate about partnering with young people from diverse cultural backgrounds, different geographical areas and from various settings, including in education and the community, for the following reasons:
- Most young people become sexually active between 13-24;
- Most new infections occur between the ages of 15-24, and mainly among women;
- Young people’s minds are more receptive to creative and inclusive messaging, and
- Young people are our future role models and leaders.
OVSA is currently implementing its Schools Programme and associated projects through a partnership with Grade 8, 9, 10 and 11 learners, in 22 schools across KwaZulu-Natal. The Schools Programme includes the Life Skills Project (Grade 8), the Life Skills Project (Grade 10), the Enterprise Project focussing on careers and entrepreneurship development with Grade 9 and 11 learners, and the Early Detection of TB Project (Grade 10).
A safe and creative environment where young people are part of the collective voice to develop positive lifestyles in response to critical health and lifestyle issues.
To promote meaningful participation of young people in making informed decisions about health, lifestyle behaviours and good citizenship within our communities; as well as expand target audience knowledge of HIV, TB and TB/HIV co-infection and promote early detection.
Our work is guided by:
- Transparency and accountability
- Dignity, respect and empathy
- Promoting diversity and equity
- Defending human rights
- Designing and implementing age, gender and culturally-appropriate prevention programmes;
- Combining education, information and creative expression to engage young people;
- Building involvement with parents/caregivers, families, peers, communities, schools and workplaces;
- Guiding programme development, by conducting high quality monitoring and evaluation activities;
- Raising public awareness by disseminating evidence and experience-based information to stakeholders;
- Creating a safe environment for young people’s voices to be heard.