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Itereleng: ICA (South Africa)

South Africa is one of the continent’s growing economies, with many global measurements indicating its trajectory towards a middle income nation.  And yet extreme challenges remain for the vast majority of young South Africans:

  • HIV and AIDS
  • high unemployment
  • low educational retention rates
  • high teenage pregnancy
  • substance abuse

Where we operate in Gauteng Province, youth unemployment exceeds 50%; and the HIV prevalence rate among young people is 19%, compared to the national average of 12%.

Itereleng: Institute of Cultural Affairs (South Africa) was founded in 2001 in response to the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS on young South Africans and the lack of preventative health education interventions in urban communities.
Young people are in a uniquely influential position to take action against issues that concern them. We believe that their long term involvement is required to bring about improved livelihoods for young people and their communities, and to place young people at the forefront of change and development in South Africa.
Our programmes promote positive behavior change, improve livelihood opportunities and involve young people in community and government development and policy making.

Itereleng: Institute of Cultural Affairs aims to reach 20,000 young people on a regular and consistent basis in urban communities in the Gauteng Province by 2015.
For 2012-15 we plan to build on our advocacy work, engaging young people in policy making and building the capacity of other youth-focused organisations. We also intend to develop our research base as a resource to inform government policy.

Our objectives

  • Empower young people to occupy significant roles in decision-making processes
  • Ensure that young people are capable of making responsible sexual and reproductive health decisions
  • Equip young people with livelihood opportunities for a productive and healthy adulthood

The Youth Empowerment Programme mobilises and trains young people to engage youth to

  • Decrease risk of HIV infection, and of other STIs
  • Reduce teen pregnancy levels
  • Improve livelihood opportunities.

Via Youth Development Centres, our volunteer peer educators target communities using:

  • Up-to-date information on HIV and AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, gender and livelihoods
  • Technical development approaches such as behaviour change communication theory
  • Interactive teaching and community engagement strategies
  • Development of skills such as CV-writing, and careers fairs

Our expertise also supports other youth organisations to develop core skills in youth development.  We have recently provided training in monitoring and evaluation, fundraising and partnerships, peer education, and strategic and project management.

How do we do this?

Youth Development Centres provide a focal point for communities, as well as opportunities for skills development and leadership opportunities. IT and video resources enable young people to access information about HIV, hold workshops and debates and undertake practical IT training.

We also provide activities around sexual and reproductive health, with a strong gender focus, including:

  • Interactive lessons in schools, focusing on empowerment
  • Community sports and youth club sessions, featuring local issues driving the HIV epidemic
  • Community events featuring music, dance and community theatre to raise awareness of key issues affecting community development
  • Celebrating events such as Women’s Day, Youth Day and World AIDS Day to promote a supportive environment for women and youth

Youth Action Groups (YAGs) further mobilize students and out-of-school youth to focus on their own personal development and that of their communities. Their involvement ensures our work becomes self-sustaining. 

The big picture
Itereleng: Institute of Cultural Affairs works with government, tertiary institutions, and other like-minded organizations - complementing their efforts and avoiding duplication of effort and resources.

We are indebted to the following funders whose support to date has enabled us to reach so many young people: the Metropolitan City of Johannesburg, Rotary International USA, Rotary Club of Denvar, Rotary Club of Rosebank, UNICEF South Africa  and The Institute of Cultural Affairs Canada

Itereleng: Institute of Cultural Affairs work in South Africa contributes to Millennium Development Goals 1, 2, 5 and 6 through focusing on reducing HIV infections, enabling universal primary education and improved maternal health.

We also contribute to 4 of the 6 key priority areas of the government’s National Strategic Plan. These are prevention; treatment, care and support; impact mitigation; and the promotion of human and legal rights.

What we did

In 2010, our Youth Empowerment Programme

  • Facilitated 25 workshops, 15 sports sessions and 10 positive recreation activities
  • Established 2 Youth Resource Centres offering peer advice and condoms

 In the same year, our two Youth Development Centres also saw

  • 250 young people receive free HIV AIDS and Group Facilitation Training
  • 30 young people graduate the one-month Computer Literacy Course
  • Over 1200 young people access advice and information

The results
Our annual surveys have shown significant positive changes over the last three years, including:

Increases in young people’s livelihoods engagement, such as increased involvement in community development (16%), youth groups (5%) and in engagement with local government officials(3%). 

Itereleng: ICA (South Africa)

Training: (at our facilities or inhouse where you work)

To enable you to increase participation, build consensus, handle difficult situations, enable groups to work together creatively and get powerful results to build commitment for action. You can become an excellent facilitator. We offer training programmes that will develop skills that last a lifetime See Training above

Specific programmes:

Youth As Facilitative Leaders (YFL)

Youth as Facilitative Leaders (YFL) Programme is the organisation’s major programme that has been working with young people from different areas of Johannesburg since 2002. The overall goal of the programme is “To develop young people as facilitative leaders to mobilize and influence positive social change in their schools and communities.” Young people are taken through a process of training in peer education, facilitation, youth development and life-skills.


Orphans/Vulnerable Children (Services and support for families of orphaned and vulnerable children)

Providing focused, multi-level support for families on the brink increases their capacity to properly nurture orphaned and vulnerable children.

Institute of Cultural Affairs South Africa works to positively change the destiny of children affected by the AIDS pandemic. Our approach is the holistic support of families and the community so that they are empowered to nurture their children into productive adulthood. We know that you cannot help a child without helping the family. We believe in acting in the best interests of the child, and therefore deliver services that enable community-based care of orphaned and vulnerable children.

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