Health-e (Cape Town)

South Africa: New Groundbreakers Help Educate, Develop Youth

Bethlehem — Lovelife, the HIV prevention initiative for young people, recently trained 85 new Community Groundbreakers for 2013 in the Free State. The training, held at the Thaba Nchu, Black Mountain Hotel in the Free State, began on 22 January and ended on 1 February.

Among the 85 candidates were three young people from the Bethlehem: Jabulile Miya (22), Maleshwane Ramaphalatsane (22) and Itumeleng Thato Keiso (22).

"This is a great opportunity to get information then go back home and help my community," said Miya.

At these training sessions, all new Community Groundbreakers are taught various skills to implement HIV-prevention programmes at schools and clinics in their different communities. These programmes are designed to eradicate the transmission of HIV/AIDS and to develop the youth.

"I am very excited. I will be based at the Barken Park clinic where I will give health talks to patients," said Ramaphalatsane. "It moves my heart that I will working with young people, in schools as well as in my community. I will be teaching them about HIV/AIDS, their bodies, and basically developing them in all areas of life."

The Groundbreakers were given various tools and gadgets to help them in their new task. These include lovelife-branded clothes and a Samsung Galaxy Pocketbook to capture the data of the young people that they reach on a monthly basis, and email reports about their work in general.

"I am looking forward to working with the group of 2013 Groundbreakers,” said Nthabiseng Mofokeng, the lovelife Regional Programme Leader in Bethlehem. “I wish them all the best as they touch the lives of other young people."

- An OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Thabo Mofutsanyana health district in the Free State

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