Talking about sex, safety and more

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From left: Siphosethu Pama, Babalwa Mavumengwana (Ezabatsha Dialogue facilitator from the National Population Unit), Salathiso Nodzumo (facilitator), Sindiswa Tyolo (facilitator), Zodwa Goje from Raphael Centre, Chris Engelbrecht (District), Nomfundo Thebi (Raphael Centre) and Mzukisi Matinise ( District Spokesperson) pose for a photo.

People gathered around to share their views in Noluthando Hall

Facilitators of the Ezabatsha Dialogue from the Department of Social Development met with the Department in Grahamstown at Noluthando Hall on 3 April. The dialogue was held in conjunction with the Department of Health.

Nondumiso Gwanube, from the Department of Social Development’s Provincial office, Population Unit Deputy Director, Nomvuselelo Sekwana and Raphael Centre staff were present to assist those who wanted to check their HIV status.

Debate and discussion included topics such as what causes young people to die today, adolescence and teenage pregnancy, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, the high rate of unemployment and young people falling in love with older partners.

Babalwa Mavumengwane, an Ezabatsha facilitator from the National Population Unit, said, ”We are here so that we can talk about the challenges which face the youth of today. We are here to guide them not to give them jobs. HIV and Aids are very high and the unemployment rate is also very high.”

They believe that by talking with young people, solutions can come about.

Mavumengwane said there was a lack of knowledge among parents and the community about transgender people and same-sex relationships. She believes that the community and parents need to be educated about these things. People were being insulted because of their beliefs and life choices.

Their work in Grahamstown was followed by a visit to Salem.

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