Impact South Africa

Organization Name:
Thrive Africa Inc.
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
This workbook for students, called Save Sex, is used in our AIDS Prevention program, Leadership Summit. Geared for South African teens, it addresses the HIV/AIDS pandemic and shows students the importance of saving sex as the primary means of preventing HIV/AIDS among youth. Currently used in 10 schools, it is one of three curriculums impacting over 4000 students yearly. The idea of a workbook may not be particularly innovative in the eyes of an American, the design and content are innovative in South Africa. In a country where students still believe in myths like having sex with a virgin cures AIDS, getting the life-saving content across is vital. For many students, this is the first book they'll “own”; the youthful design and placement of information makes understanding the information easy. It’s always difficult for designers to create innovate design—but, for the Americans that created this curriculum, it was an extra challenge--to be innovative cross-culturally.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
It's widely known that HIV/AIDS is a pandemic in South Africa, with 1 in 4 being HIV+. It's not as well known is that this disease is targeting the next generation and kids here are really feeling the effects. 1 in 5 of the kids that will have their hands on these books have lost both parents. Grandparents are raising their grandchildren because most or all of their children have died. An overwhelming number of our 7th graders are heads of household, raising their younger siblings. While we can't change the past, we can impact the future.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
Remember playing the game Telephone as a kid? Somehow "hot dog" can turn into "mouse trap". It can be a little like that with the truth about HIV/AIDS among youth in South Africa. Rumors are rampant. So, not only are students learning the truth about HIV/AIDS in class, they also have a take-home guide that can help them spread the truth about this deadly disease. In addition, school officials in our school district have seen how this program is changing the lives of the students in their classes. While our goal is AIDS Prevention, we're seeing other unintended positive results in students as well with things like lower pregnancy rates and lower drop-out rates in Leadership Summit schools. Because of this, starting in 2010, the school district gave us an open-door policy to institute our AIDS Prevention program in all of the 600+ schools in the district.
Creative Submission - Files