The Department of Social Development (DSD) in South Africa, in partnership with USAID, recently launched the Government-to-Government (G2G) initiative to implement social behavioral change programs. Pact South Africa’s Government Capacity Building and Support (GCBS) program is supporting the effort.
This partnership will allow the South African government to implement two of the DSD’s flagship social behavioral change programs, You Only Live Once (YOLO) and ChommY, which target children, adolescents and young people between the ages of 10 and 24 years, helping them to build knowledge and skills that empower them to make more informed choices to reduce their risk for HIV.
At the launch, DSD Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said South Africa needs more help in reaching communities and thanked USAID for its support. “Thank you to USAID for having confidence in the Department of Social Development and their commitment for the next five years,” Bogopane-Zulu said. “We want our kids to make it in life.”
YOLO and ChommY are part of DSD’s compendium of social behavioral change programs that seek to reduce risky sexual behaviors to prevent new HIV infections. YOLO targets young people between the ages 15 and 24 under the tagline, “It’s my life, it’s my choice… I choose to behave responsibly.” YOLO builds young people’s self-esteem, confidence, self-efficacy and resiliency to deal with adverse situations.
ChommY targets children between the ages 10 and 14 under the tagline, “Invest in my Future… Protect me Today, ” and it aims to generate knowledge, develop skills and empower children to make informed choices to reduce HIV infections, substance abuse and teenage pregnancies through the use of indigenous games. It builds positive friendships among 10-to-14 year-olds and encourages young boys and girls to motivate one another to minimize risky behavior.
G2G will assist DSD to scale up these programs in two provinces, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, for a period of five years.
Pact is supporting ChommY and YOLO through GCBS. GCBS is a partnership of USAID’s PEPFAR program, the South African government’s DSD and Pact. GCBS works specifically to improve services for orphans, vulnerable children, adolescents and youth to reduce the spread of HIV, to help them manage their health if they are HIV-positive, to know their status and to be educated about HIV. Under GCBS, Pact is helping to build DSD’s capacity to better support orphans and vulnerable children.