The “BOKANG BATSHA” project (Sesotho for ‘rejoice in young people') launched “CHOMA” in July 2013. CHOMA is an interactive mobile phone magazine with its main objective being to engage with South African girl adolescents in order for them to stay free from HIV. Prevention of new HIV infections and a HIV free generation, is the main goal of this innovative project. Choma's mobile magazine focuses on young girls and women between the ages of 15 and 25 years, whether they are at school, unemployed or employed, or single, in a relationship, or married.
This particular age group of women accounts for 40% of all new HIV infections in South Africa today, with teenage pregnancy reaching alarming levels (100,000 school pregnancies in 2011). It is therefore quite obvious that these young girls and women bear the brunt of gender-based violence executed in many forms, thereby limiting their ability take their rightful place in South Africa’s workplace and marketplace. The unemployment rate of females in South Africa is 34.6% - an alarming figure for a developing country.
Eighty-five percent of 15 – 24 year olds have a mobile phone so it is not surprising that South Africans lead as one of the highest users of mobile technology and mobile social networking on the continent. Advances in social media applications, including mobile phone usage and uptake, provide us with an unrivaled opportunity to engage with and invest in the future of young people in South Africa. Governments cannot do this alone and therefore need to leverage the support of corporate companies, private foundations and non-government organisations.
CHOMA interacts with its target audience through Facebook, Mobi, Mxit, twitter and hi4LIFE, a mobile portal operated by HIVSA, which provides information on sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS, TB and a host of other health-related issues.
The BOKANG BATSHA project is funded by the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Click here to watch "Charlize Theron presents Choma"
Click here to watch "Charlize Theron presents Choma"