Call for Youth Voices for #ActionAgainstPoverty on Nelson Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela International Day commemorates the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. It was launched on his birthday, 18 July, in 2009 via a unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year's Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty

It has been widely acknowledged that poverty exposes children in poor developmental outcomes, emotional issues, higher risk of violence and higher risk of HIV infection. Family poverty significantly limits households’ capacity to protect children against the effects of HIV and AIDS. Once HIV enters the household, it pushes affected families deeper into poverty, with severe consequences for children’s wellbeing. Supporting children through their families requires making family poverty a central policy concern. Family poverty and gender inequality must be tackled to improve the outcomes for children affected by HIV and AIDS. (JLICA 2009.)

This International Nelson Mandela day we invite young people to join us on #YouthAction by posting or sending us a brief video blog, voice note, or written blog about what they are doing, or what they would like to do for Nelson Mandela International Day. The blogs can be posted on Facebook or twitter using the hashtag #YouthAction, #MandelaDay #ActionAgainstPoverty or sent it via email to Angelita on angelita.silva@repssi.org.

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Tanzania Bans Pregnant Pupils from Returning to School

President of Tanzania John Magufuli on Thursday said girls who got pregnant should stay away from school even after giving birth. He said by getting pregnant they had chosen parenting over schooling and thus they should stay home and cater for their children. Speaking at a public rally in Chalinze town, about 100km west of the capital, Dar es Salaam, the president added that men who impregnate the girls should also be given jail terms so that they can put their energies to good use while serving time. Click here to read the full news report

In a joint statement, on all Africa news, 29 women's groups said that any move to deny girls the opportunity to go back to school after giving birth would only punish them, their children - and the nation.

Taking away young girls education will have detrimental impact not only on the vulnerable girls, but on their children and the entire country. Calculations show that for each additional year of schooling, a girl in a low-income country will increase her future income by 10−20 per cent (Hanushek, EA et al., 2011). Access to education promotes health, has the potential to reduce poverty, reduces risk of violence, abuse, child marriage and HIV. Basic education empowers young girls, enables them to make better life choices and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women establish it as a basic human right.

Congratulations to Prof Lucie Cluver for being awarded the ESRC 'Outstanding International Impact Award' 

Prof Lucie Cluver, Lecturer at Universities of Oxford and Cape Town, has been awarded the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 'Outstanding International Impact Award'. Professor Cluver's research on adolescents infected with HIV and AIDS in Africa showed that young people's risk of contracting the illness could be vastly reduced by providing poor families with social welfare payments, and also increasing the support they are given by their parents.

Programme Assistant Internship

REPSSI is inviting young, passionate and highly organized graduates to apply for a paid Programme Assistant Internship for the period July to December 2017. The internship will be hosted within REPSSI’s APSI (Africa Psychosocial Support Institute) Team and based at its Head Office in Randburg, South Africa. Closing date 12 July 2017

To apply please send the following to carmel.gaillard@repssi.org before 12 July 2017: (1) a motivational letter; (2) updated curriculum vitae listing 3 contactable references; and (3) Certified copy of national diploma/degree.

REPSSI (Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative) is the leading African psychosocial support organisation. REPSSI’s vision is that all girls, boys and youth have the right to enjoy psychosocial and mental wellbeing. REPSSI has strong partnerships with governments (particularly the ministries responsible for social services, education and health), development partners, international organisations and NGOs in thirteen countries of East and Southern Africa.

FOCUS OF INTERNSHIP: § Administrative support to the Senior Technical Specialist: APSI. § Project planning and reporting. § Project document preparation, including contracts and PowerPoint presentations for Course, Development, Delivery & Accreditation and Research. § Electronic Project file/knowledge management for manual development and facilitator endorsement processes. § Learner database management. § Programme workshops and meetings coordination.

WORK STATION/WORKING HOURS: § The intern will work a standard 40-hour week and may be required to work extra hours at busy times. § The intern will be based at the Head Office in Randburg, South Africa, with approximately 20% travel nationally and within the East & Southern Africa region.

REMUNERATION: § R5 000 monthly allowance. REQUIRED EDUCATION, SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE: § A national diploma/degree in Project Management/Education/Social Sciences. § Proficiency in Microsoft Office. § Excellent ability to read, write and speak English. § No experience required.

APPLICATION PROCESS To apply please send the following to carmel.gaillard@repssi.org before 12 July 2017: (1) a motivational letter; (2) updated curriculum vitae listing 3 contactable references; and (3) Certified copy of national diploma/degree.

Consultancy Opportunity for Country Experts to Develop a Child Rights Barometer for Southern Africa

World Vision and CRNSA are preparing a Child Rights barometer to assess the current state
of children’s rights in Southern Africa. There is need for in-country experts for data collection, validation and reporting on the findings. Volunteers are also welcome.

Key responsibilities

  • Data collection and validation. Data collection will primarily be a desk study.
  • Data analysis and reporting of final findings
  • Contribute to the overall narrative
  • Contribute to the country report

Applications including 2 page CV and cover letter, must be submitted to musa.chibwana@crnsa.net and pamela.ngwira@gmail.com by the 30th of June 2017.

For more information click here.

Short Term Technical Assistance for the SADC Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth (OVCY) Programme

REPSSI is supporting SADC to secure a consultant to provide short term technical assistance (TA) for the orphans, vulnerable children and youth programme. The consultant will provide overall advisory and programme management support to ensure that child and youth vulnerability, development and empowerment take centre stage in a systematic manner, in the social, economic and political development agenda of SADC at regional and national levels.

The consultancy is for 6 months from July – December 2017.

Applications must be submitted to: hradmin@repssi.org by the 23rd of June 2017.

For more information click here. 

Webinar: Ending Child Marriage and Stopping the Spread of HIV in Africa

Research by the African Union Commission and RIATT-ESA examines some of the existing literature to highlight what is known about the links between child marriage and HIV, and spotlights opportunities for further action.

This webinar explores the findings of the research and examines the implications for programmes and advocacy.  

  • Moderator by Ms Nyaradzayi, Gumbonzvanda - CEO, Rozaria Memorial Trust and AU Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage.
  • Presenter: Dr.Kwalombota M.Kwalombota- Researcher
  • Presenter: Ruth Koshal- The Senior Africa Engagement Officer at Girls Not Brides the Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, based in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to joining Girls Not Brides, she was the Director of Social Enterprise at Africa Centre for Entrepreneurship and Leadership in Kenya.  Ruth previously worked with Save the Children International as a Senior Manager and World Vision International as a Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor. 
  • Presenter: Ramatou Tore- Merlo- The Regional Senior Child Protection Specialist for UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office located in Dakar. In her capacity she oversees and provides strategic direction and guidance on UNICEF programmes addressing Child Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, Violence against Children and Child Protection Systems Strengtheningin 24 countries across West and Central Africa. Prior to this position, she was the UNICEF Chief of the Child Protection programme in Rwanda from 2012 to 2016. Ramatou Toure also served as a Child Protection Specialist in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi from 2008 to 2011. From 2006 to 2008 she worked in the Global Emergency Office at UNICEF Headquarters in New York, USA, as a Policy and Advocacy Officer in charge of children affected by armed conflict. Before joining UNICEF, she worked with government institutions and non-governmental organizations across Europe and Africa.

Click here to register

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Webinar hosted by RIATT-ESA and The African Union

PATA Promising Practices of HIV Adherence and Support for your People Living with HIV

PATA has recently published a series of promising practices of HIV adherence and support for your people living with HIV. These series highlights the calls for:

  • Health care provider sensitisation, to improve treatment of adolescents to make them feel appreciated, accepted and respected.
  • Care giver support, a crucial part of improving adolescents mental health, adherence and resilience.
  • A renewed focus on peer support, as AYPLHIV are well-placed to understand, support and respond to the needs of other young people in their communities. 
  • HIV and SRH services that are comprehensive, amongst others this should include psychosocial support and family planning services.

Click on the links below to read the full papers.

Press release: Less words, more action required to improve the wellbeing of children in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, 12 May 2017 - The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), in collaboration with Graça Machel Trust, launched the 4th edition of its flagship report series today in Johannesburg, South Africa. The report entitled “The African Report on Child Wellbeing 2016, Getting It Rights: Bridging the gap between policy and practice” examines efforts being made in various African countries to implement children’s rights and ensure their wellbeing. It reveals that while governments have made significant stride to put appropriate laws and policies, weak enforcement remains a major barrier to enhance children’s protection from abuse and exploitation and ensure their overall wellbeing.

The report finds that government institutions responsible for children’s affairs in a number of African countries have very weak institutional authority and capacity to carry out their responsibilities. It also shows that allocation of inadequate budgets and human resources to these structures further exacerbated the problem and seriously affected their ability to effectively coordinate national programmes benefiting children and achieve better results.

While launching the report, Ms Graça Machel, Founder of the Graça Machel Trust and Chairperson of the International Board of Trustees of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) said, “Here in Africa, we are not short of laws and policies, as we have done tremendous work in this regard over the last decades. What we fundamentally lack is implementation, commitment and capacity to translate them into action and improve the situation of women and children. She added, “Despite the visible and pressing challenges we have in effectively implementing laws and policies, there are very limited initiatives to explore and understand the underlying causes and barriers. This report provides a glimpse into these issues and suggests solutions to address the gaps between policy and practice”.

The report makes the case that after nearly three decades of interventions to realise children’s rights, it is unacceptable that two-thirds of children in Africa experience multiple deprivations that are detrimental to their survival and development. It highlights that there are countries where half of children under the age of five are stunted and where access to healthcare and education, especially at a secondary level, is inequitable and of very poor quality. The report identifies these realities as manifestations of institutional and systemic challenges that hinder effective implementation of laws, policies and programmes targeting children.

Mr Theophane Nikyema, Executive Director of the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) says, “Enhancing effectiveness of implementation efforts requires thorough planning and continuous review of performance of implementing agencies to learn what is working and what is not working. It also requires commitment to take corrective measures to strengthen and support these institutions to improve efficiency and deliver quality services to children”. 


As evidenced from the experience of countries that have made relative advances in promotion of child rights, effective implementation rests, among other things, on having functional accountability systems with appropriate mechanisms for monitoring progress and imposing sanctions in times of unsatisfactory performance. “Encouraging efforts are being made to enhance transparency and accountability in Africa”, says Professor Julia Sloth-Nielsen from University of Western Cape. “However, lack of good governance at all levels still lies at the heart of the failure to fulfil human rights obligations including commitments to children and women in the African context”, Professor Sloth-Nielsen underscores.


Ensuring the wellbeing of all children is not an easy task, the report argues. It highlights that such endeavour demands unwavering commitment to change the status quo and transform the way business is done in the public sector, particularly in sectors targeting vulnerable groups such as children and women. “Urgent action is long overdue” says Ms Nomsa Daniels, Chief Executive Officer of the Graça Machel Trust, “Conscious effort needs to be made at all levels to build capacity and improve services to children and mothers, in terms of both quality and outreach, to lift them out of poverty and deprivations”.

Source: African Child Policy Forum