KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), with HIV prevalence at 27.9% amongst people from age 15 to 49 years, continues to have the highest rate of people infected with HIV in South Africa. Youth network, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is taking a step towards resolving this issue by empowering the youth of KZN with education and skills on HIV prevention, management, control and access to healthcare. Members of the network will facilitate a community gathering, the ACTIVATE! Youth Imbizo, at the Coastal KZN College’s AS-Salaam Campus in Ugu District on Tuesday, 05 April from 12h00 till 15h30.
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is a network of more than 1600 young change makers or “Activators” across South Africa who are finding innovative ways to transform their communities and the country as a whole.
The ACTIVATE! Youth Imbizo in KZN aims at exploring the subject of HIV/AIDS in the province, specifically the Ugu district. Ugu is one of the mostly affected by HIV/AIDS districts in KZN.
The event will serve as a platform for the community to have intergenerational conversations on topics such as HIV/AIDS education at schools, prevention of the virus, health rights as well as the government’s intervention.
Communications Manager and Spokesperson at ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, Nelisa Ngqulana, says: “With the ACTIVATE! Youth Imbizo we hope to eradicate the myths on HIV/AIDS, prevention methods and treatment by addressing issues such as stereotypes and the stigma. Part of our mission is to work hand in hand with the government to tackle youth related issues. So the event will also update the community on the latest developments in government’s efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
The timing of the ACTIVATE! Youth Imbizo is perfect as South Africa is preparing to host, for the first time, the 21st Annual International AIDS Conference in Durban from 18 to 22 July this year. This is event is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, policy makers, people living with HIV as well as other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. The 2016 programme will present new scientific knowledge and offer many opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV. Ngqulana says it is important for South Africans to be kept updated on HIV/AIDS related matters through platforms such as the ACTIVATE! Youth Imbizo. This, in turn, enables them to contribute in global dialogues like the International AIDS Conference.
The content of the ACTIVATE! Youth Imbizo will be delivered in form of both theoretical and practical outputs. Government representatives and relevant private organisations have been invited to take part in the dialogue. The session will be as interactive as possible to encourage maximum participation by all involved parties.
For more information and details on how you can participate or attend, please contact Nkosikhona Mpungose on +27 73 735 0861.
Under the umbrella theme, ‘Democracy in Action’, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers will be facilitating similar Imbizos in three other provinces. On 08 April the Imbizo will be in Eastern Cape where ‘Abortion’ will be discussed as a topic. In Free State the Imbizo will be on 22 April and will look at ‘How civic engagement and social participation among South African youth can be enhanced’. The last Imbizo will be held in North West on 06 May and the topic will be ‘Land – What’s the plan for youth.’ The plan is to highlight how these topical issues affect South Africa’s hard earned democracy and come up with resolutions.