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Nelson Mandela and loveLife Launch National Youth Corps to fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Nelson Mandela and loveLife Launch National Youth Corps to fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Former President Nelson Mandela has announced the establishment of a national youth service corps dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS. Known as Groundbreakers, the corps will be a major new component of loveLife – South Africa’s national HIV prevention program for youth. Mr. Mandela announced the initiative, a partnership between loveLife and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, during the presentation of the 2002 Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights in Cape Town.

“The Groundbreakers will help young South Africans take an active role in reducing the spread of HIV, while developing skills to build healthy futures,” said John Samuel, Chief Executive of the Mandela Foundation. “If HIV infections continue at their current rate, over 50% of today’s young South Africans could become HIV infected. The Groundbreakers will play a key role in motivating young people to take control of their lives, get the information they need and to stop the epidemic in its tracks.”

Groundbreakers volunteers, all between 18 and 25 years of age, will give one year of service in loveLife in return for personal and professional skills training that will help them secure future employment. Over the next three years, the Groundbreakers youth corps is expected to grow to about 600 members.

The Groundbreakers initiative will complement loveLife‘s comprehensive approach to HIV prevention for young people, which includes:

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