Case study

Buddyz breed confidence to change themselves and their communities

As a member of the thriving Soul Buddyz youth group based at the school – supported by UK aid, from the Department for International Development – Nompumelelo knows where her life is going.

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I learn about HIV, which is a very good lesson. I know about the dangers of not making good choices with boys in future.

Soul Buddyz has made me more grown up and able to make decisions about relationships.

It has given me the confidence to talk about those things I see in my community such as HIV, discrimination and abuse.

Eleven year-old Nompumelelo Malebo is a pupil at the Winnie Ngwekazi school in Soweto, Johannesburg.

She talks passionately and with poise beyond her years on the abuse, discrimination and drugs; just a few of the things she has grown up around and sees every day.

As a member of the thriving Soul Buddyz youth group based at the school - supported by UK aid, from the Department for International Development - Nompumelelo knows where her life is going.

I want to be a lawyer, to continue to help my community. That is why I joined Soul Buddyz, to be able to help others.

As children, we can help our communities. We can report crime and abuse, we can help look after our families.

Soul Buddyz members host counselling sessions, get education and support on their health and rights, and take part in leisure activities, fun and games to develop their leadership and life skills.

In Soul Buddyz I have the confidence to help; I helped build the trauma centre here.

Soul Buddyz clubs - part of the successful Soul City health programme - started in 2007 to inspire young children between the ages of 9 and 13 to take action on their lives and communities. The clubs now number 2,400 across South Africa.

DFID has been supporting the work of Soul City for the past 13 years with a total of £13m. At the end of 2007 a new grant was agreed to provide a further £19m for regional work over the next four years.

Facts and stats

Soul Buddyz Club is a joint initiative of Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication and SABC Education in collaboration with the Department of Education. The impetus for the clubs was the highly successful and popular Soul Buddyz children’s television drama series which was first screened in August 2000.

Soul Buddyz clubs have now been set up in more than 2,400 primary schools and public libraries across South Africa.

DFID has been supporting the work of Soul City for the past 13 years with a total of £13m. At the end of 2007 a new grant was agreed to provide a further £19m for regional work over the next 4 years. This is under the broader DFID SA Behaviour Change Communication Programme (£24m, 2007-2011).

Soul City is a non-profit making organisation, which was developed to harness the power of mass media for Health and Development Communication. It uses mass media through a concept of “Edutainment” (education + entertainment).

Soul City has developed two multi-media brands:  Soul City - targeting youth to adults and Soul Buddyz - targeting 9 to 13 year olds.

Published 13 July 2010