Valentine’s Day was celebrated differently by hundreds of young people from Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality as they marched to Gompo Hall in Duncan Village to unite their local communities through a sexual health awareness campaign.
In a collaboration project with Beyond Zero, Bumb’ingomso and the local municipality invited young people to promoted self-love and raise awareness on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Beyond Zero programme manager Pam Qavile said the event, facilitated by Bumb’ingomso, is a multi-sectoral HIV-prevention project that focuses on promoting behavioural change amongst high-risk groups and young women and girls to reduce the incidents of HIV infections and gender-based violence.
“ The main aim of the march was to mobilise and call upon the community to promote vitality in our young people,” she said
The presence of individuals within the LGBTIQA+ community and commercial sex workers further added to the “Love Without Fear” message of the day.
The LGBTIQA+ community educated the community on the difficulties they faced to be accepted and access of health care services.
Young people were also encouraged to use condoms and taught how to prevent teenage pregnancy.
While celebrating love, attendants enjoyed an educational drama by Aubrey Silinyana about condom use to commemorate the department of health’s Condom Week.
This was accompanied by artistic expressions of poetry and dance from Bumb’ingomso beneficiaries with Siyasanga “Koffie” Zwakala facilitating the programme.