Teaching What We Know:  A Knowledge-Sharing Conference in Jo’burg

Required Investment: $10,000

Project Goals: Global Camps Africa has long sought opportunities to share what we have learned in the field over the last 15 years of implementing successful youth development programs.  We have often been invited to speak at American camp conferences, have been selected as national partners by USAID-funded agencies in South Africa, and have been consulted as experts by The Peace Corps and other international organizations.  In the next year, Global Camps Africa and Camp Sizanani would like to expand our strategy for partnership and knowledge sharing through hosting “The Sizanani Conference.” The conference will strengthen the knowledge base and relationships between organizations and key influencers that participate in the support system for children and youth affected by HIV/AIDS.

Project Duration:  8 months (planning, implementation, and evaluation)

Target Population Group: In order to facilitate the most positive outcomes for orphans and vulnerable youth, Global Camps Africa believes that stakeholders from all affected communities, civil society, government, implementing organizations, and funders must communicate effectively.  The Sizanani Conference would include participants from these various stakeholders: Youth development professionals; key decision makers at implementing organizations and Government entities providing emotional, material, healthcare and educational support to children and youth affected by HIV/AIDS (vulnerable to HIV infection); representatives from the populations impacted by youth development programs in South Africa, including youth representatives; and members of the community of donors who support various youth services organizations in South Africa.

Project Location: Johannesburg , South Africa

Project Impact (projection):  Global Camps Africa and Camp Sizanani will engage 50 delegates to participate in the conference.  The delegates may, in turn, impact hundreds or thousands of youth with the knowledge, tools, and strategic relationships they gain through the conference.

Project Description:  UNICEF recommends that children and youth affected by HIV/AIDS have a support system that includes healthcare, emotional, material, and educational support. Although there are over 50 organizations providing some form of support in the communities in which Global Camps Africa (GCA) operates, GCA is among the very few organizations with programs that have, to a certain extent, all the elements of the holistic support system recommended by UNICEF.

In Zulu, the word “Sizanani” means “to help one another.” GCA  recognizes that in order to broaden its impact and strengthen the support system for children and youth affected by HIV/AIDS in its communities of operation we must create opportunities to share learning and best practices among all stakeholders in the network of support for vulnerable children.  To that end, the Sizanani Conference will facilitate presentations, panel discussions and networking sessions. GCA will share its unique approach to teaching children and youth life skills, as well as its “lessons learned” from our recent experience formalizing the program curriculum for South Africa’s Sectoral Education and Training Authorities (SETA) accreditation. Other notable organizations and influencers will present their insights and participate in panel discussions on children’s health, youth empowerment, and HIV/AIDS prevention education.

GCA  believes that the Sizanani Conference will enrich, foster cohesion, and open the opportunity for greater coordination within the support system for children and youth affected by HIV/AIDS.  To pilot the Sizanani Conference, an investment of $10,000 is required. With this investment 50 delegates will be sponsored to participate in the conference for 2 days at no cost to them beyond transport to and from the conference venue.