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Ubuntu Education Fund, Living Positively

Aims to engage men and boys in South Africa’s Port Elizabeth Townships around leadership roles, gender issues and knowing their HIV status.

Introduction

Hi, my name is Jacob Lief, and I am Founder and President of Ubuntu Education Fund. We are a non-governmental organisation (NGO) whose mission is to assist orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa’s Port Elizabeth Townships attain higher education and employment. To achieve this, we’ve created an integrated system of educational, social, psychosocial and health interventions for the children of Port Elizabeth and their families.

One of our key strategies is stabilising the environment around a child to allow him or her to pursue education – and that is why we work so intensively in the field of HIV/AIDS. In 2009, with a three-year grant from Positive Action, we launched our Living Positively initiative, which aims to engage men and boys in our communities around leadership roles, gender issues and knowing their HIV status. Today, I’m pleased to take you on a tour of the Living Positively programme, and show you how the collaboration is helping us tackle some of the direct and indirect challenges posed by the HIV epidemic in Port Elizabeth.

Key Facts

Project: 
Living Positively

Run by:
Ubuntu Education Fund

Region:
Port Elizabeth Townships, South Africa

Population:
Boys and Men

Challenges:
Gender inequality and gender-based violence in the context of a disadvantaged community with dangerously high rates of HIV; high mortality among young parents

Activities:
HIV prevention, testing, and treatment adherence support; Workshops, support groups and other activities focused on challenging existing gender norms