Raising HIV awareness

Mpikeleni Duma

Mpikeleni Duma

The Aids pandemic continues implacably and more measures are being taken to counter the scourge.

One of the latest developments is the formation and registration of a national community-based organisation that focuses on the eradication of HIV-Aids and positive youth leadership in Western Cape.

Anele Mdepa, the founder of the organisation and chief executive of Our People Organisation, told Sowetan that he had registered the nonprofit organisation with the Department of Social Development.

Mdepa said Opo has received the approval of the Western Cape department of education to conduct life skills programmes, HIV-Aids education, leadership programmes and diversity and entrepreneurship skills training for the youth of the province.

He explained: "The objective of the HIV-Aids programme is to emphasise behavioural change, especially among teenagers in Khayelitsha.

"The life skills programme will be incorporated into the school programmes. The Opo programmes will run at the schools for a maximum of 45 minutes.

"On completion of the programmes students will be issued with certificates."

Mdepa stressed that entrepreneurship was an important facet of the organisation.

"It is gratifying that prominent businesspeople in Western Cape and Gauteng will offer this programme to pupils so that they can aspire to become the businesspeople of the future," he said.

He also said that University of the Western Cape principal Brian O'Connel was a patron of the organisation.

"Opo will tackle issues such as racism and reconciliation since Western Cape still has to do a lot more to address racism."