Soul Buddyz Clubs

Children‟s rights are enshrined in Section 28 of the South African Constitution, adopted in 1996. Child participation refers to the active involvement of girls and boys in decisions and actions that concern them and that affect their lives and those of their families.

From very early on in the history of the organisation the Institute recognised that it was important to work with younger girls and boys before negative social norms around gender and violence were internalised (Goldstein et al., 2001). Soul City Institute implements Soul Buddyz Clubs in 8 provinces of South Africa targeting children 10 -14 years old.

The Goal of Soul Buddyz Clubs is to:

Work with children and adults to create a platform that gives voice to and promotes real action for children’s health and wellbeing.

Through the club’s meetings and participating in activities the members of the clubs can impart knowledge and skills amongst youth to enable them to make healthy and safe choices. Furthermore, the clubs create a “safe space” and create an environment of ongoing learning with peer support and help mobilise children and build agency to tackle issues affecting them in their schools and communities.

Boys Mentoring Programme (BMP)

The Boys in the Soul Buddyz Clubs participate in the Boys Mentoring Programme aimed at deconstructing the socialisation of boys that associates masculinity with violence against women and girls. The programme model uses mentors who help boys redefine manhood through influencing their values and behaviours and by assisting them with their developmental and emotional needs.

The programmes overall goals are to:

  • Develop boys who understand what it means to be equal with girls and who want to behave in a way that helps to make this happen.
  • Help boys strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence to help them make good choices.
  • Promote positive gender norms and behaviours amongst young boys.
  • Promote agency amongst young boys.
  • Decrease HIV infection later in life.
  • Decrease gender-based violence later in life. Thereby, reducing all violence so that we create happier, more peaceful people, homes, schools and communities in the long run.

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