OneVoice South Africa (OVSA) is a vibrant and unique non-governmental organisation, which uses innovative and creative ways of actively engaging with young people on HIV and AIDS, and TB prevention. Our programme is appealing to young people because it provides them with a platform to discuss and address critical health and lifestyle issues.
We have worked in the prevention field for over 7 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. Although we have successfully implemented our Schools Programme with Grade 8 learners in 74 schools in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape in the past, we are currently focussing on 15 schools in KwaZulu-Natal only – as the terrible reality of HIV and TB co-infection and the outbreak of extremely drug resistant TB in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal in particular – have hit this province especially hard. Our office is based in Durban.
We have also established networks and developed partnerships with several national and international organisations such as the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Children in Distress Network (CINDI), Mindset Health, DramAidE, STOP AIDS NOW! the Yezingane Network and many others.
Our work is guided by an independent Board of Directors, who are passionate and committed to HIV and TB prevention and helping young people grow and develop to their full potential. Members play an important role in the governance 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 count 11 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 a positive response to critical health and lifestyle issues, including HIV and TB.
To promote meaningful participation of young people in making informed decisions about health and lifestyle, including HIV, TB and sexual and reproductive health and rights, within our communities.
OVSA aims to achieve its Vision and Mission by:
Our Strategic Approach
- 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
The SCHOOLS PROGRAMME
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 health and rights, gender, good sanitation and hygiene practices, careers and entrepreneurship, development of self and human rights issues. The recent inclusion of our Entrepreneurship Project was as a direct result of community and stakeholder feed-back which highlighted the need for the SCHOOLS PROGRAMME to help young people learn how to take responsibility not only for their health, but also their futures.
We currently implement the OVSA SCHOOLS PROGRAMME and its associated Projects, in 15 schools across three districts in KwaZulu-Natal. The OVSA SCHOOLS PROGRAMME projects include:
- The Grade 8 Schools Programme (project),
- The Grade 10 Schools Programme (project),
- The Enterprise Project with Grades 9 and 11.
Developed with the input of numerous role players and stakeholders, the OVSA SCHOOLS PROGRAMME supports the Department of Health’s national Life Orientation curriculum, Department of Basic Education’s Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) and the national response to HIV and TB. Furthermore, our overall prevention focus on young people is also directly linked to the following NSP goals:
Priority Area One :
- Prevention – 50% reduction in HIV and TB incidence
- Reduce Vulnerability to HIV infection and Impact of AIDS
- Reduce Sexual Transmission of HIV
- Reduce self-reported stigma related to HIV and TB by at least 50%.
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 critical health and lifestyle issues. Taking part in the programme provides them with a high-energy, informative and connective experience, as well as an opportunity to take action on critial issues in their lives and communities. Young people also pick up on valuable life skills, which they can apply to their lives on a daily basis.
Long term, we envisage expanding within this province and diversifying our programme scope, to include more young people from different age groups. The SCHOOLS PROGRAMME and its projects, are targeted and specific to the current realities affecting the lives of young South Africans. OVSA does not work in isolation however, and meaningful participation of young people forms an integral part of our programme development. We rely on student representatives to help guide and provide feedback on our Programme and its projects.
Learners are also are encouraged to take action! at the end of the series of workshops. 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.
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