Picture: Deputy Minister of Health with traditional leadership in Nyandeni during a My Journey Adolescents and Young People programme activation
Traditional Leaders are naturally looked upon for guidance, leadership and inspiration in rural communities. They are pathfinders in their communities and in the rural village of Nyandeni in OR Tambo district they have not only been a beacon of light but plays a key role in advocating and driving social mobilisation initiatives that address HIV and AIDS prevention.
Beyond Zero’s partner, SONGE Social Change has built mutually beneficial relationships with traditional leaders of the Kingdom of AmaMpondo aseNyandeni who have generously opened their homes and offered their unwavering support to ensure that the programme has been able to establish safe spaces, offer crucial interventions, and positively impact the lives of My Journey Adolescents and Young People programme in the area.
Queen Madosini Ndamase’s encouragement has been pivotal in inspiring the youth to actively participate in the programme. The Queen has been leading stakeholder in implementing youth-related programmes and encouraged adolescent girls and young women to enrol in the programme.
The success of the My Journey Adolescents and Young People programme in Nyandeni stands as a shining example of the positive impact traditional leaders can have on community-oriented initiatives. Their active support and engagement demonstrate the potential for driving significant change in HIV prevention and broader public health efforts. The traditional leaders’ support and participation has led to the establishment of Makhotyana Safe Space which is operating within the traditional council’s building, the traditional leaders saw if fit to offer the building for the programme as it contributes not only towards the wellbeing of the youth in the village but long-term empowerment of the youth which naturally with have a positive impact to the community.
As this inspiring journey continues, it exemplifies the potential of strong partnerships between community initiatives and traditional leadership. Such collaborations open doors to a brighter and sustainable future for the youth in rural areas, fostering a sense of empowerment, ownership and well-being for generations to come.
By Beyond Zero