Looking ahead into 2014

2013 has been an important milestone in the growth of ACTIVATE! and nothing says more about the magic that Activators bring than this quote from Landy Wright, ACTIVATE! Training Director, “I continue to be amazed and awed by the experience of   bringing together so many young people who are driving positive change in South Africa. Listening to the level and depth of their conversations, observing the intensity of engagement in the programme, noticing the impact of bringing these young people together is a continuous inspiration. There is no single highlight; there is a continuous unfolding of optimism.  The young people who come together in ACTIVATE! have insight into themselves and their social context. They are not naïve. They know the challenges. They are not easily swayed or influenced. They have resilience and they have a vision of their future and the future of this country”

Here are some highlights for 2014

  • Welcoming new Activators into the ACTIVATE! network and looking forward to the connections that will surely come from their spaces
  • The Innovation Showcase in January: this annual event is a chance for Activators to get together in one space to share, collaborate and network.
  • There are five exciting platforms that will be launched at the Showcase. Details will be shared with all Activators soon. Watch this space for more details.
  • From 2014, Activators who have completed all three training modules will be able to register for an accredited NQF 5 qualification in Community Development. Regional workshops around this qualification will be hosted across the country.

These are a few of the many things expected to happen in 2014. Of course, this list doesn’t include any of your exciting projects and initiatives. We’d love to hear from you and what you have planned. Please do email us on communications@localhost 

Now More Than Ever: Targeting Zero

ACTIVATE! was hosted by the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) at the recent International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. ARASA is a regional partnership of non-governmental organisations working together to promote a human rights approach to HIV/AIDS and TB in Southern Africa through capacity building and advocacy.

The conference was a great platform to expose ACTIVATE! to more than 7 000 delegates who included world’s leading scientists, heads of states, civil society representatives, government leaders, youth, policy makers and activists.

Some highlights from the conference:

  • Zambia’s first lady Christine Kaseba-Sata offered a keynote address that paidspecial attention be paid to women and young people in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the continent: two key population groups suffering from high rates of HIV infection.
  • Other speakers acknowledged the silence that most often accompanies discussions of men who have sex with men and sexual minorities in Africa and highlighted the need for dialogue and understanding in order to influence legislation and traditional values around this issue.
  • The Global Fund has outlined its priorities for funding in sub-Saharan Africa that make clear the importance of outreach to this key population, a position reiterated at ICASA by Mark Dybul, the Secretariat’s executive director, at a workshop organized by the Women4GF lobby group.

This year’s ICASA was an opportunity for the international community, and all Africans, to join efforts in committing to achieving an AIDS-free Africa.