OneVoice South Africa (OVSA) is a vibrant and unique non-governmental organisation, which uses innovative and creative ways of actively involving young people in HIV and AIDS, and TB prevention. Our programme is appealing to young people because it provides them with a platform to discuss and address HIV, AIDS and TB, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender and human rights issues.
We have worked in the prevention field for over 5 years, during which time staff have acquired a wealth of knowledge and experience in developing and implementing HIV and AIDS projects with and for young people. From July 2005 we were part of the global 'dance4life' family, but decided to end our partnership in July 2009 in order to better contextualise our programme around critical sexual reproductive health and TB issues in South Africa. We have successfully implemented our Schools Programme with Grade 8 learners in 74 schools in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
We have also established networks and developed partnerships with several national and international organisations such the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Children in Distress Network (CINDI), Mindset Health, DramAidE, STOP AIDS NOW! and many others.
Our work is guided by an independent Board of Directors, who are passionate and committed to HIV and TB prevention. Members play an important role in the governan e of the organisation and offer guidance in their respective areas of expertise, including financial, organisational development and resources, programme content as well as media and communications. We currently employ 17 staff members from a wide range of professional backgrounds, including health and social sciences - and are committed to employment equity and diversity.
A safe and creative environment where young people are part of the collective voice to develop positive lifestyles to develop positive lifestyles in the HIV and TB response.
To promote meaningful participation of young people in making informed decisions about health and lifestyle, including sexual reproductive health within our communities; as well as expand target audience knowledge on TB and TB/HIV co-infection, and promote early detection.
Our Strategic Approach
OVSA aims to achieve its Vision and Mission by:
* 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.
* Contributing to knowledge production through 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.
Our Core Values
Our work is guided by the following:
* Transparency and accountability
* Dignity, respect and empathy
* Promoting diversity and equity
* Defending human rights
OVSA implements a school-based life skills programme which provides young people with a platform to discuss and address HIV and AIDS, TB, life skills, sexual and reproductive healt and rights, gender and human rights issues. Our overall aim is to support a reduction in new HIV infections among young people. The Schools Programme is implemented in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. In the long term, we envisage expanding into other provinces and elaborating our programme scope to include more young people from different age groups. Our focus will be targeted and specific to the current realities affecting the lives of young South Africans. Meaningful participation of young people forms an integral part of our programme development and we rely on a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to help guide and provide feedback on our programmes.
Our head office is in Durban (KwaZulu-Natal) and we have a regional office in East London (Eastern Cape). We have experience working as a non-government organisation in HIV and AIDS prevention and acquired a wealth of experience in developing and implementing HIV and AIDS projects with and for young people. The recent inclusion of TB was as a result of role players and stakeholders' calls for an integrated intervention.
Schools across South Africa
We currently implement our Schools Programme in 44 schools in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The Schools Programme helps young people learn how to take responsibility for their health, lifestyles and futures, and also supports the Government’s Life Orientation Module. More specifically, the programme supports The HIV & AIDS and STI Strategic Plan for South Africa (NSP 2007-2011), as well as the National HIV & AIDS and TB Response 2012-2017, in terms of life skills, HIV and TB prevention, and better sexual reproductive health in the 15-24 year age group. In the NSP, young people are identified as a specific target group and as such our programme is directly in line with this specific focus. Furthermore, our overall prevention focus on young people is directly linked to the following NSP goals:
Priority Area One :
* Prevention – 50% reduction in HIV incidence by 2011
* Goal One: Reduce Vulnerability to HIV infection and Impact of AIDS
* Goal Two: Reduce Sexual Transmission of HIV
The OVSA Schools Programme contains a fun yet in-depth life skills programme. Through an interactive and creative series of workshops, young people learn more about HIV and TB, including; the basics of HIV and TB, prevention, addressing HIV-related stigma, cross generational relationships and multiple concurrent partnerships. Taking part in the programme provides them with a high-energy, informative and connective experience, as well as an opportunity to help curb the spread of HIV and TB. In addition, young people pick up valuable skills on a range of sexual reproductive health issues, which they can apply to their lives on a daily basis.
During, and at the end of the programme, young people are encouraged to take action! This could mean anything from making a change in your own life, becoming a volunteer, fundraising for a community project, or spreading awareness through advocacy projects.