Focus 2003

South Africa - AFM31-07-2003

South Africa - Fighting Aids Through Education

Project: “Love Matters”
Date of foundation: 1950
Place: Walkerville, 30 kms South of Johannesburg, South Africa
Province: Southern Africa (AFM)

Aim of the Project:
“LoveMatters” is an educational program of lifestyle and sexuality for teenagers. The Monday to Friday course is offered all year round to teenagers between 13 and 19 years of age in order to help decrease the tragic rates of HIV/AIDS infection in South Africa.

The program is presented jointly by a team of health experts, educators, invited speakers (such as married couples and role-models), and young- adult peer ministers who volunteer a year of their life in the service of young people.

Goals of the programme:
1. To rescue at least some young people from being infected by HIV/AIDS.
2. To provide teens with correct information about HIV / AIDS and eliminate commonly held myths.
3. To encourage moral responsible sexual behaviour among teens, with the chief emphasis on abstinence and fidelity.
4. To provide an open and understanding ambient where youth are free to clear their doubts and seek solutions to various related problems.

Thousands of youth pass through the programme each year. The results of scientific surveys give the programme credibility and reveal a real behaviour change among participants. They return home with a new vision for their life and a greater awareness of their responsibilities.

Most of the young people who cannot afford the full cost of the programme are subsidized. 75% of the funding to support the programme has to be found.

Fr Francois Dufour SDB, is the present director of the community comprising three Salesians who work with nine volunteers.

Other works in South Africa:
Bosco Youth Centre is just one of the many Salesian activities for the youth of Southern Africa.

In Manzini, Swaziland, 10 salesians work full time for AIDS orphans, school dropouts and street children. They also work in formal education, to upgrade qualifications of young people who have failed some subjects in their school leaving examinations.

In Cape Town, the Salesian Institute offers programmes for the unwanted marginalized children who find their way to a pathetic existence on the streets of plenty. Youngsters and Adolescents are given an opening to cope with their situation, and the chance to make a new start by attending school. If they are too old they are given employable skills training. The Salesians also have parishes which reach out to vast numbers of young people in their apostolic and catechetical programmes.

In Maputsoe, Lesotho, the mission community is involved, both in evangelisation and catechetics, as well as in education and development. A thriving Oratory makes the presence of Don Bosco's charism known among the young.

In most of these works a band of volunteers from different parts of the world (For example: Scotland, Australia, Ireland) accompany the salesians in their work for disadvantaged youth.

Address: Centro Giovanile Bosco
PO Box 25
1873 Rep South Africa.
Tel: 00 27 11 9492360
Fax: 00 27 11 949 1022
Web site: