Youth Alive is a Non-profit, interdenominational peer support organization formed in 1999 to promote peace in Zimbabwe through implementing educational interventions in our communities. Their programmes are aimed at empowering young people with essential life skills and age appropriate SRH information so that they shun idleness and the risk of being recruited by politicians to campaign for them through violent means. Main programming areas include - HIV and AIDS, Sexual reproductive health and Life skills development.
Young people in Manicaland (Zimbabwe) are affected by several social problems. A greater percentage of these challenges have been attributed to inadequate life skills training and Sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR) information. Due to limited access to comprehensive SRH information, young men and women remain vulnerable to HIV, violence and Abuse. The most vulnerable are young girls from marginalized farming communities who find themselves in abusive relationships or with unplanned pregnancies.
Their work also involves assisting adolescents to deal with everyday challenges associated with growing up. We use age specific and youth friendly interventions designed to improve self- worth, confidence, good communication skills and assertiveness. These skills and information enable young people to fight off negative pressures. Young people are thus empowered to protect themselves and reach their full potential in life.
Youth Alive work with children and young adults aged 7-35, including vulnerable and marginalized groups such as Children living and/or working on the streets. Originally, the organization was established in response to the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS and the high number of deaths from the disease. Their work extended to include peace because of the violent nature of political campaigns during elections in the country, and the key roles that young people were playing in that violence. In many cases across the country, young people were and are still used by politicians to beat up and crush their opponents. The result of this, among others is that the youth get arrested and spend years in prison, or they are targeted for revenge. In all cases the youth lose their freedom and rights to contribute meaningfully to their lives and communities.
Today, Youth Alive is working with youth through partnerships with schools, churches, government departments and tertiary institutions. The experiences over the years have enabled the organization to have a strong understanding of youth programming and to be responsive to new needs by developing relevant peace programmes. Their Programmes have managed to transform young people into confident and responsible individuals, not determined by what they have but by how they mould their character." Youth Alive also understands that the challenges faced by young people are as a result of risky behaviour. As such they promote value-based, risk avoidance approaches to help young people avoid engaging in risky social behaviour. Their programming goes beyond giving facts; they seek to empower people and strive for personal human development in our participants – and sustainable peace in Zimbabwean communities , and to see change in the well -being of every individual they come in contact with.