Schools Programme and its Projects 2013
OVSA believes it is crucial to target young people (13 to 25 years) as they journey from childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood, as it provides an unique opportunity to support and address many of the health and lifestyle challenges they may face.
OVSA currently implements the SCHOOLS PROGRAMME and a number of associated Projects with learners in 22 high schools across four KwaZulu-Natal districts (KwaMashu, Umlazi, Ilembe and Umkhanyakude).
The SCHOOLS PROGRAMME consists of:
The Grade 8 Life Skills Project:
Offers 14 comprehensive workshops that address cricital issues around HIV and AIDS, TB, life skills, sexual and reproductive health and rights, sanitation and hygiene, Gender and Human Rights. This project culminates with a series of workshops focussing on designing and implementing Advocacy Projects that adress critical health and/or lifestyle issues in the community. All topics and tasks take into account the social and cultural realities faced by young South Africans.
The Grade 10 Life Skills Project:
Offers nine comprehensive workshops that address critical health and lifestyle issues around HIV and TB, health and sexual and reproductive health and rights, unprotected sex and consequences, the Constitution and human rights, gender roles, self-awareness and gender rights, and goal-setting and careers issues. This project culminates with three workshops on Advocacy Projects and Tasks, that look at project planning and design, project monitoring and implementation, and project evaluation.
The Enterprise Project (Grades 9 and 11):
Another addition to the SCHOOLS PROGRAMME portfolio, is the Entrepreneurship Project. While engaging with young people on critical health and lifestyle issues, OVSA developed an understanding of the importance of providing young people with a more holistic and practical approach to youth empowerment. This project is an educational partnership with Grade 9 and 11 learners, which provides them with a realistic opportunity to prepare for the transition from schools to the work place, entrepreneurial environments, and/or tertiary institutions of learning. This new programme direction is one that OVSA and the Department of Education feel is critical to include under the Life Orientation curriculum.
As such, the Entreprise Project focusses predominantly on building employability and entrepreneurship skills. Youth entrepreneurship development in particular, has been identified as one means of achieving the goal of decent work for all men and women, and is an important strategy for integrating young people into labour markets and addressing the prevalent unemployment challenges.
The Enterprise Project offers one introductory workshop on the OVSA SCHOOLS PROGRAMME and the Enterprise Project, four workshops on identifying your strengths and weaknesses, practical entrepreneurship education, developing a personal career profile and plan and career guidance. The series of workshops culminates with a Careers INDABA: a platform for business (role models) to share personal stories, career choices and perspectives on entrepreneurial ventures.
The Early Detection of TB Project (Grades 8 and 10):
Earlier this year, OVSA started with its URC-funded ‘Early Detection of TB Project’. This project consists op five workshops which educate learners about TB and TB/HIV co-infection (how you get it, why it can be dangerous, how to identify it and how to treat it).
The last workshop in the series helps the learners to understand the critical importance of Intensified Case Finding (ICF) for the early detection and treatment of TB. Children under the age of five, elderly people, HIV-infected persons, persons with TB contact, those who have Diabetes, Silicosis, are on steroids for more than four weeks or receiving chemotherapy for malignancy, are all a high priority for ICF or Intensified Case Finding. For them, it is of high importance that they are regularly screened for TB, and this is where young learners can make a difference!
Through the ‘Early Detection of TB Project’ they are taught how to use the Department of Health’s TB screening tool, so that they can actively screen themselves, their peers or their loved ones for the signs and symptoms of TB. In this way they can help to detect TB early and play an important role in managing TB infection in their communities.
Developed by educational experts, with input from learners, teachers and OVSA staff, the programme is aligned to the Department of Education’s Life Orientation (LO) syllabus and the Department of Basic Education’s Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS).
The workshops have been developed to address critical health and lifestyle issues, as well as those linked to the HIV and TB epidemic drivers. They are also in support of the envisaged outcomes of the LO syllabus and the Department of Basic Education’s Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS).
Facilitators are guided by a Facilitator Manual, while learners can refer to their Learner Notebook. The Learner Notebook includes tasks that strengthen literacy skills and show that the learners have achieved the LO syllabus outcomes.
Our workshops are implemented by our OVSA Facilitators who receive refresher training at least twice per annum. This training focusses on workshop content, general HIV and TB knowledge – as well as communication and policy training.
A spotlight on Advocacy:
The Grade 8 and Grade 10 projects culminate with three workshops on Advocacy Projects and practical tasks. These workshops address project planning and design, project monitoring and implementation and project evaluation. They encourage young people to create their own Advocacy Projects which adress critical health and lifestyle issues in their schools and/or communities. The idea behind these workshops is that young people use the skills they have learnt during the project duration, to identify a critical problem and find ways to resolve it.
Continuing the Journey:
Most of our projects also offer a reflective workshop which evaluates the project and the way forward.