LoveLife on its 2010 Annual Report and activities

Social Development

29 August 2011
Chairperson: Ms Y Botha (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

LoveLife gave a briefing on its activities and 2010 Annual Report. The organisation reported that in the years 1997-1999 there was a consensus among some civil society partners to initiate an HIV/AIDS prevention programme targeting youth in South Africa. Then a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Kaiser Family Foundation and the South African government to create a large-scale HIV-prevention programme for youth and since 1999 LoveLife has been promoting healthy, HIV-free living among South African teenagers. LoveLife had many successful programmes such as the goGogetters, groundBREAKERS and call centres and they had penetrated almost all parts of the society. However, recent studies showed that the infection rates in faming communities was very high as such the organisation was channelling its focus on reaching these locations. Reaching these locations was difficult because of poor infrastructure. LoveLife received its funding from the Department of Social Development and Health and also received funding from donor organisations. In recent years LoveLife was moving away from media campaigns and using those funds for creating more face-to-face programmes.

The presentation then outlined the organisation’s 2010 Annual Report. LoveLife had 880 centres all across the country of which 532 were youth friendly clinics (60%), 175 Social Franchises including NGOs (20%), 155 LoveLife outlet including outlets in schools, community centers and faith based institutions (18%) and 18 Y-Centre (2%). She also highlighted the breakdown of all the centres by province.

The total number of sites that had been funded by the DSD was 302 of which 40% were LoveLife Outlet and 55% were Franchise. Moreover, since the farming communities were vulnerable to infection LoveLife had established a total of 49 sites within these communities with the bulk of the sites in Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Northwest Province. It was also noted that in Limpopo the LoveLife sites were all linked to the farming communities and also the other areas as such it was difficult to produce data specific to the farming community.

Members were concerned about how LoveLife was going to meet the challenges. Members also wanted to know about the portion of the budget used for administration costs. Finally, Members wanted to know whether there were programmes for the disabled and programmes targeting substance abuse.

The presenters claimed that that if they had more funding they would be able to reach more people. Moreover, LoveLife was working with local NGO to raise awareness and to build capacity. It was also stated that while rural areas were important most of the infections occur in poor urban areas and LoveLife would continue to maintain large part of its focus on these areas.

With respect to substance abuse the organisation, through its programs, had implemented within its outreach strategy to combat substance abuse. As new information came in the programmes were moulded accordingly. More importantly it was more important to know why young people take drugs in the first place. It was more important to get to the root of the problem while continues to support the young who were already addicted to get over their addiction.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed the presenters from LoveLife and the Department Of Social Development. Through Chairperson the Members complained that the annual report was not received on time and the members did not have a chance to thoroughly examine its contents.

Presentation by Love Life
Ms Grace Mathape, CEO, Love Life, outlined the history of LoveLife. The organisation had been promoting healthy, HIV-free living among South African teenagers since 1999. A Tri-partite relationship had been established in 2005 with significant funding from Department of Health and Department of Social Development.
Since inception LoveLife has combined sustained nationwide multimedia with community-level outreach and support programmes
The 2004 evaluation of LoveLife resulted in the scaling up of outreach and support and the scaling down of media campaign. Thereafter the campaign continued to focus on addressing the individual and social drivers of the epidemic, with a specific new focus on structural factors, with 2008 seeing “Make Your Move” launched.

She added that in 2004 upon completing the evaluation of LoveLife resulted in the scaling up of outreach and support and the scaling down of media campaign. Thereafter the campaign continued to focus on addressing the individual and social drivers of the epidemic, with a specific new focus on structural factors, with 2008 seeing “Make Your Move” launched.

She then outlined the Functional Organogram of LoveLife and the organisation’s geographical presence (see document attached].

LoveLife had 9452 peer educators and 1447 groundBREAKERS in 2010. It also had 532 youth friendly clinics, 500 goGogetters, 330 Ngo-partnerships. Additionally LoveLife had Youth centres, help lines and organised festivals and events.

There total reach was 1.5 million people, 760,102 used the call center services and the 1,702,621 site event participants.

Ms Mathape then played a video showcasing the programmes that were implemented by LoveLife. The video also contained testimonials of the success of the LoveLife programmes.

After the video, Ms Mathape explained to Members why the organisation targeted young people. She argued that half of the population of South Africa was under 25 years old. Despite an overall decline in new HIV infections, young people still accounted for the majority of infections. Young people between the ages of 16- 25 were most vulnerable to getting HIV. Moreover, of all the young people infected 1 in 3 were be women and as such it was important for the LoveLife to target young women before they could contract the infections.

She explained anomalies in statistics about condom usage wherein it was discovered that as women aged they were less likely to use condoms. This suggested that knowledge about protection was not a catalyst for promoting the use of condoms.

Other issues that informed the strategy of LoveLife was that the marginalised members of society were at the highest risk for getting HIV. The highest prevalence of the infection was in the Urban-Informal sector; however the increase in infections had taken place in the rural formal sector mainly the farms.

She noted that there was a behavioural change witnessed in young people which was visible in the decline of new infections among young people. Various graphs were use to illustrate this point. [See document attached]

In order to aid in the fight against HIV, LoveLife had taken the following steps: addressed attitudinal and knowledge gaps in schools through massive outreach programmes;
Sustained media and youth leadership initiatives that entrenched positive social norms; Delivered youth friendly clinical services, psychosocial support, career guidance, school sport, and so on and created demand for bio-medical prevention technologies while reducing the burden on the primary healthcare system for example- condom use.

In order to align its work to that of DSD’s priorities, LoveLife’s programme 3 and 4 had been given special attention. Programme 3 referred to the goGogetters through whom LoveLife invested in and ensured the provisions of sound social welfare services to children, including those in need of care and protection. The programme was also to support and strengthen family and community through interventions that fostered social cohesion. Programme 4 involved the groundBreakers through whom the organisation aimed to reduce the incidences of and minimise the psychological impact of HIV/AIDS in order to achieve the goals and targets of the national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. Also to implement youth programmes that assist youth to access work and participate in mainstream economy.

Ms Mathape then outlined the Annual Report 2010. LoveLife had 880 centres all across the country of which 532 were youth friendly clinics (60%), 175 Social Franchises including NGOs (20%), 155 LoveLife outlet including outlets in schools, community centers and faith based institutions (18%) and 18 Y-Centre (2%). She also highlighted the breakdown of all the centres by province [See document attached].

The total number of sites that had been funded by the DSD was 302 of which 40% were LoveLife Outlet and 55% were Franchise. Moreover, since the farming communities were vulnerable to infection LoveLife had established a total of 49 sites within these communities with the bulk of the sites in Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Northwest Province. It was also noted that in Limpopo the LoveLife sites were all linked to the farming communities and also the other areas as such it was difficult to produce data specific to the farming community.

The DSD also funded the groundbreakers and there were in total 519 spread over all provinces and the male to female ratio was 45% to 55 respectively. O
n the whole Limpopo province had the highest participation rate and Northern Cape had the lowest.

LoveLife’s main target was people between the ages of 12 and 19 and the best way to reach these people was through developing partnerships with schools. Thus far LoveLife had registered with 6520 schools of which 1166 were in Limpopo, 1066 in KwaZulu-Natal, 978 in Eastern Cape. Most people who were reached within the school were between the ages of 12 and 17.

Ms Mathape explained the Born Free dialogues programme that aimed to increase inter-generational dialogue. In 2010 there were 49,226 participants in the programme. She also illustrated through graphs and charts the goGogetters programme. There were 465 goGogetters with the most being in Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

Over the period of few years the usage of the call centres had shown signs of decline because the organisation was successful in reaching people through the mobile phone programmes, where youths could receive texts about the relevant information.

In 2010 there were 760,102 calls on the youth line and 29,788 calls on the parent lines. Most of the calls that were made to the call centre were from parents wanting information about communicating with their children regarding their sexual activities. The young callers called mainly to discuss relationships problems and to get information about HIV.

The organisation faced challenges relating to access to farms. Because of their remote setting, farms were often hard to reach and spread the information and this was one of the areas that LoveLife was aiming to invest in over the coming years. Finding community partners in informal settlements was also a challenge. There was also a monitoring time lag because it would take up to 6 weeks to gather data. As such LoveLife had initiated data capturing programmes with private companies who would collect data using cell phones. Unpredictable cash flows were an issue because there were many periods where LoveLife staff had to work with little or no cash flow. LoveLife had also found it difficult to find a healthy balance between a multimedia campaign and sustained face-to-face outreach. Over the past years LoveLife had declined its media campaign to focus more on implementing programmes and while their presence may not be seen LoveLife was achieving more than it had in the past.

Ms Mathape then outlined LoveLife’s understanding of the Future of HIV prevention in Young People. Through the use of charts she illustrated all that was known about HIV prevention [See Documents attached]

She argued that behavioural interventions had been shown to work in raising awareness. It was shown that young people in school reported less risky sexual behaviour and had lower rates of HIV than same-aged out of school peers.

Nonetheless LoveLife believed that a combination of methods was necessary for HIV preventions. There needed to be
multi-pronged interventions, none of which were 100% effective and all required the adoption of certain behaviours (adherence, correct and consistent condom use, etc.)

She also noted statistics on condom use among young male [See Documents Attached]

The preliminary findings of Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) impact assessment were that most reported improved skills development and increased access to opportunity as a result of loveLife participation; increased motivation and capacity to perceive and take opportunities after loveLife participation; increased likelihood of safe sex; Youth reported (1) learning healthy sexual behaviour (2) practicing safe sex after participating in loveLife.

Ms Mathape added that that there were more upcoming evaluations of LoveLife namely the National Communication Survey (NCS) in partnership with Soul City, internal evaluations of LoveLife groundbreaker programme and there were also plans from a baseline study and follow up evaluations of new Centre; and plans for assessment of impact of existing Y-Centres.

A study of South African youth (15-24 years old) found that interaction with loveLife face-to-face was had a 0.61 AOR “protective effect”. This meant that participating in loveLife programmes makes young men and women around 40% less likely to contract HIV – a remarkable efficacy rate that is exceptionally cost effective. The organisations had also contributed towards 2,500 temporary employment opportunities.

Finally she added that LoveLife received the bulk of its funding from the government including the National Lottery, however there were several organisations that were funding the organisation as well. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation had funded the goGegetter programme while the Henry Kaiser Family Foundations funded the national evaluations of LoveLife [See Attached Documents].  She also described the expenditure breakdown of expenditure of LoveLife [see documents attached].

Mr Peter Nethpale (Acting Director-General: ID; DSD) stated that DSD began funding LoveLife in 2007 and since then there have been many positives and the organisation was performing adequately. However, the farming communities still needed to be reached as rates of infections was very high.

Discussion
Ms P Tshwete (ANC) stated that DSD provided R42 million in funding to LoveLife because the Department wanted the organisation to reach the rural areas and from the presentation it had become clear that they were indeed reaching the rural areas. She wanted to know to whom was the stipend given- whether it was goGogetters or gorundBREAKERs. Then she noted that some of the provinces had failed to given LoveLife its due funding and yet LoveLife continued to work in those provinces. Lastly, she asked whether LoveLife worked with the Department of Labour when addressing the issue of reaching farming communities.

Ms J Masilo (ANC) wanted to know about the operations in Northwest region of Gauteng. She added that in 2001/02 there were many signs/billboards/advertisements of LoveLife, however it appeared that the visibility of the organisation had diminished as such she wanted the presenters to comment on this.

Ms N Gcume (COPE) wanted to know whether LoveLife registered small NGO’s in remote rural areas. In addition, she asked whether LoveLife had any initiatives to tackle substance abuse.

Ms H Lamoela (DA) wanted to know what percentage of the budget went into administration cost. She also wanted to know about the LoveLife Train and whether it went into the rural areas. She also wanted to know if there accommodation made for disabled persons.

Ms S Kopane (DA) wanted to know whether the trustees were remunerated. Thereafter, she asked a breakdown of the organogram by Department and the number of individuals in those departments. Thirdly, she asked whether LoveLife had plans to meet the challenges stated in the presentation. Finally, what criteria was used to identify the school that were to be targeted?

The Chairperson asked an explanation on the difference between the new LoveLife and the old LoveLife. She wanted to know more about the scheduling of the LoveLife Train so that the members could witness of the impact of the train. The Chairperson also wanted to know about substance abuse programmes. The Chairperson wanted more information about the exact locations of all the sites with contact numbers so that the members could visit these centres. She also wanted to know if there were any plans to grow the goGogetters programme.

Ms Mathape replied that the stipend given to groundBREAKERS was R 880 per month and it was standard for all provinces. She stated the organisation had a relationship with the DSD on the national level through which they received R 40 million per annum. This money was used to run programmes in all provinces irrespective of whether the province provided the money or not. However some provinces have provided more funding that first allocated because they wanted more people on the ground working.

With regards to visibility all provinces were given individual emphasis. The provinces with high infection rates were given more attention that those with lower infection rates.

In response to the marketing of LoveLife it was determined by the organisation that the funds allocated for media should be used to finance more programmes. While LoveLife may not advertise with the same intensity as before, the face-to-face programmes have received a large boost. Also, the funding structure of the LoveLife had not changed over the last few years as such there were area where they had to make sacrifices. Nonetheless, LoveLife always aimed to reduce its costs of delivery while maintaining high quality standards.

She added that LoveLife was working with several local and rural NGOs in capacity building programmes and have used the groundBREAKERS to reach as many NGOs as possible. However, she stated that with more funding they would be able to reach more NGOs especially in rural areas.

She said that it was important to note that while rural areas were important most of the infections occur in poor urban areas and LoveLife would continue to maintain large part of its focus on these areas.

With respect to substance abuse the organisation, through its programs, had implemented within its outreach strategy to combat substance abuse. As new information came in the programmes were moulded accordingly. More importantly it was more important to know why young people take drugs in the first place. It was more important to get to the root of the problem while continues to support the young who were already addicted to get over their addiction.

She stated that according to the Annual Report 24% of the budget was used to cover administration costs.

She said that the train schedule would be provided to the members. She also added that due to the poor maintenance of rail networks in the rural areas it was difficult and in some cases impossible to take the train remote areas where the track had not been maintained.

Finally she stated that the trustees were not remunerated for their work.

Mr Scott Burnett, Group Directors: Programmes; LoveLife, stated that creating access for disabled people was challenge because it had not been able to design a program suitable for them. However, this was on top of the priority list for LoveLife and they were working on developing programmes and instruments so that the disabled could use LoveLife’s facilities.

In terms of school, there were no schools that were excluded. However schools in areas where there were high risks of infection were given first priority.

The issue of the new LoveLife as compared to the old was just a matter of technicality. It was a matter of establishing itself separate from the section 21 of the Constitution. As such they had to register a new trust but the company and its structure remained the same.

The Chairperson thanked the presenters and stated that they would visit the sites and the train and then invite LoveLife again for a follow up meeting.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting.





 

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