When one thinks of MTV, what comes to mind is the crazy reality and music shows which are broadcast on this popular music channel. Very few know of the global initiatives that MTV has taken on to combat problems the youth are facing all over the world.
Through the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, a local NGO, Young 1ove, is being assisted in the fight against HIV, AIDS and unplanned pregnancies among the school going youth of Botswana across the country. Young 1ove submitted a proposal last year and were subsequently awarded a grant through Standard Chartered Botswana.
When explaining the project, Head of Corporate affairs at Standard Chartered Botswana, Itumeleng Ramsden, explained that their support as SCB was not only financial and that their employees countrywide were also committed to assisting the team from Young 1ove the best way they can.
The team was described as being in the business of doing good rather than feeling good, and by so doing, they have reduced the pregnancy rate by up to 20% in the areas they have visited. According to Unami Moatswi who is the Development Manager at Young 1ove, through the assistance of the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, the team has visited 343 schools in 4 different regions which is approximately one third of the country. Next on their list is Selibe Phikwe, Francistown and Chobe areas where they will go to primary schools and junior high schools.
Moatswi further explained that they are an evidence based NGO and have realised that youth relate better to peer approached training and that they are pushing to a zero pregnancy and new infections in the country.
The curriculum and training Manager, Ms Thato Letsomo explained their course and its content citing that it is an interactive tool which is 1 hour long. Letsomo further explained that they focus on training facilitators like Tirelo Sechaba Participants, Guidance and counselling teachers and youth officers. She added that they have currently trained 15 of them. The engagement of these locals is to reduce the logistical costs and to ensure continuity after the team returns back to base.
As part of their program, participants are taught using guides like puzzles and videos. Young 1ove works hand in hand with various stakeholders in the communities they visit to prevent things like language barriers and other societal problems that may deter their mission. They hope to continue this mission and are hopeful that more sponsors will jump on board to ensure that they fulfill their mandate.