Addressing the media at an intimate gathering in Kliptown, Johannesburg on Wednesday, Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron highlighted the importance of HIV education among South African youth.
The star, representing her own organisation the Charlize Theron African Outreach Project (CTAOP), was joined by members of HIVSA and the U.S President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), sharing more information on the Choma Dreams Café – a project aimed at young women and girls.
The interactive experience saw young women from HIVSA’s Choma Dreams Café – internet-connected youth hubs designed to provide young women with HIV prevention and social asset building programmes – open up about the positive impact the project has had on their lives in terms of providing a safe-haven, as well as an environment in which they are able to learn and share freely.
“CTAOP’s mission is to invest in African youth to keep themselves safe from HIV/AIDS. This is achieved by providing funding and other resources to community-based, African organisations that are innovative ways to engage youth and empower them to keep themselves and their peers safe from the virus,” a press statement explains.
With the belief that today’s youth will be the ones to end AIDS, Charlize says, “The young people I meet are inspirational. They are driven, resourceful, and want to be heard. We absolutely must bring them into the room, and into the conversation.”
“AIDS is the leading cause of death among females between the ages of 15 and 49 globally. We hope that we can reverse this trend by continuing to improve support systems, provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education, teach the skills needed to overcome daily challenges, and become tomorrow’s leaders. With the right investment, young women and girls in South Africa can and will be able to keep themselves safe from this deadly virus,” the star concludes.
Extracted from Channel 24.