Quality healthcare is an essential ingredient of whole community upliftment and well-being. The Health portfolio adopts a holistic approach that incorporates disease prevention, early detection, treatment, care and support for HIV/AIDS , TB and a range of other lifestyle diseases.
The well-being of a community is inextricably linked to the health of its people. Without good health, people cannot enjoy the benefits of improved education and economic opportunities created by the MTN SA Foundation. For the past four years, the MTN SA Foundation has been entrenching health projects in its six cluster communities in line with its integrated strategy. This strategy seeks to have a lasting and sustainable impact in promoting healthy life styles and encouraging behaviour change.
The Peer-educator Life Skills Programme partners with local organisations and high schools to educate and encourage behaviour change in learners and provide much needed support for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs).
The programme was initiated in 2008 in six provinces of South Africa. The Foundation undertakes the programme together with implementing partners. The programme is implemented in 55 high schools where 3000 learners were trained as peer educators and their educators attended mentoring workshops. The training aims to empower the learners with accurate information on teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, drug abuse and issues related to OVC. This is coupled with an exploration of personal values linked to the issues, and a transfer of skills for peer education at schools, including communication and group-work. The learners then take their knowledge and share it with their school friends. To ensure sustainability additional programmes such as recycling and vegetable gardening have been introduced.
The Soul Buddyz Club project is implemented in partnership with Soul City in selected primary schools since 2009. The Clubs provide a vehicle that assist learners to build their skills and knowledge and promote learner participation in self- help projects such as food gardens to alleviate poverty, learning and development such as awareness on teenage pregnancy and drug abuse. Both the peer education and Soul Buddyz Club programmes are aligned to the Life Orientation school curriculum. Through MTN SA Foundation’s support, the number of Soul Buddyz Clubs has grown to 8 000, with more than 182 000 members in the last two years.
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