Following the State of the Nation Address on Thursday, Social Development Deputy Minister, Dr Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, in partnership with USAID, will on Saturday launch ChommY at the Silverstream Primary School in Manenberg, in the Western Cape.
ChommY is a social and behavioural change programme for boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 14 years.
Manenberg is largely a coloured community on the Cape Flats that has been characterised as an area plagued by gang-related violent crimes and drug abuse.
ChommY, a colloquial term for “friend”, seeks to build a positive friendship among children and encourages young boys and girls to motivate one another to minimise risky behaviour and social ills, including, bullying.
“The programme gives children the opportunity to develop a personal plan for their lives and emphasises the importance of support from parents and communities to enable young people to make informed decisions. The programme forms part of a basket of social and behavioural change programmes offered by the Department of Social Development,” the department said in a statement.
Observed under the theme: “Invest in my Future…Protect me Today”, ChommY aims to generate knowledge, develop skills, and empower young people to make informed choices and contribute on reducing high prevalence of HIV infections, substance abuse and prevention of teenage pregnancy.
Bogopane-Zulu will facilitate dialogues with the children as they share their social experiences and solutions.
Bokamoso – the programme’s mascot – will interact with the children as they participate in indigenous games.