HIV / Aids Prevention Programme for Youth at
ASSET - Association for Educational Transformation
ASSET provides an educational service for 2500 young people annually who live in the impoverished townships and informal settlements surrounding Cape Town. These learners are approaching the end of their schooling; generally have little knowledge of the world of work; attend under-resourced schools which fail to prepare them adequately for the final examination; and also have little opportunity for recreational activities. They are fast becoming sexually active and are most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic because of lost parents, siblings, family members, friends and teachers.
ASSET aims to support these students academically on Saturdays and during the school holidays so that they can achieve the matric pass which is a passport to further study at tertiary level (university or technikon) and to employment.
Although the focus is on education, ASSET also strives to help the young people in its care with other issues facing them, particularly the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and career guidance and the world of work. ASSET aims to provide an oasis where young people can take stock of themselves and the world around them, take measures to address their problems and begin to make appropriate and meaningful decisions for the future.
ASSET is also able to provide financial support for about 120 of the learners each year to enable them to take up places for study at university. A concern, however, is that funding is presently not available for many more learners who are offered places but do not the means to take them up. A further concern is that only a small proportion of learners are offered places for tertiary study. For the rest, few opportunities exist.
Additional funding could provide ASSET with the means to increase the capacity of the Saturday School so that more youngsters are reached and also to develop extensions to the existing programme by introducing additional modules such as after-school sports, leadership training, vocational guidance, mentorship and HIV/Aids counselling, some of which could be developed in partnership with other organisations, such as EDUCO and NALA - Partners.
Additional bursary funding could enable more young people to further their studies at tertiary level (university) and also open up opportunities for non-formal training in entrepreneurial skills, basic technical skills and community service and development skills.