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Transforming Young Lives: Courage Youth

A local community institution in our network, SAHAC, is a South African-North American Christian partnership responding to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It unites and catalyzes businesses, churches, schools, healthcare, government, and media to prevent HIV infections among teenagers and pre-teens. By initiating the “Courage Movement,” a growing youth-driven social movement of abstinence and marital fidelity, SAHAC is providing teenagers peer-support groups to find their own identity and to turn the tide of beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors that contribute to HIV infection. The result? Sustainable prevention giving the next generation hope for an AIDS-free life. Local businesses collaborate by offering “learnership” opportunities and business apprenticeships that provide youth access to meaningful jobs and economic improvement. The vision is a flourishing post-AIDS Africa, where God’s hand is clearly visible. 

The following is brief update from their most recent newsletter.

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A hopeless life of scarcity is the everyday experience for these kids living in their community. It carries over to their school experience. Many can't read or write and their teachers have pretty much given up.

"Please bring the Courage Youth Program to our school and help these kids--somehow!" the school principal pleaded. What a transformation in the first year! The kids affection for Themba, one of their Courage Youth Life Coaches, is evident in this picture. They learned to see themselves as valuable and that they could becoming somebody. They learned to read and write and do better in their classes. They learned that someone cared!

Then their parents, their grannies, and their older siblings saw the change and began to participate as well. Courage Youth transforms schools and communities.