In partnership with the Western Cape Government and funded by the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation has launched The Zimele Project, a unique multi-dimensional health and social intervention programme for our youth aged 10-24 years. The programme is designed for 20 000+ participants in and out of school and will run for 2 years in the Mitchell’s Plain/Klipfontein health sub-district.

The Zimele project aims to provide healthcare services tailored for adolescent needs, coupled with strong educational support and social empowerment. Zimele will help adolescents come to terms with key life skills and equip young women with the capacity to deal with puberty, impending adulthood and the use of education as a tool for success.

Different projects are aimed at different age groups (see Figure 1), and will include:

  • School-based interventions for 10-14 year old boys and girls modelled on the famous soul Buddyz clubs;
  • School and community-based programs for 15-19 year old girls that will build motivation to remain in school and provide important life skills, health services and educational support;
  • Uplifting monthly empowerment sessions for 19-24 year old women in the process of transitioning to adulthood. Aptly named Women of Worth, this program will aim to ignite these women’s dreams and provide guidance as to how to achieve them;
  • Teen parenting workshops, child protection services, career jamborees and community dialogues will be hosted throughout the program to provide opportunities, reinforce community alliance, and help those most vulnerable, and
  • The provision of convenient and comprehensive adolescent-friendly health services, in local clinics and through DTHF mobile services.


Figure 1: Zimele Project Overview of the programme across the 2nd decade of life.