POWERING THE FUTURE - loveLife 2010 – 2019 and beyond by David Robbins


A Controversial HIV/Aids programme, loveLife, began in the final few months of 1999 when South Africa’s epidemic was rampaging through the country’s young people, leaving millions dead. In 2019, after 20 years of sustained effort, the organisation is still going strong, but with some significant differences in approach. Large-scale American funding had been guaranteed for five years and was provided for ten. The famous billboards that had characterised the first decade disappeared for economic reasons for the second.

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But the work went on, largely funded by several national government departments. Thanks to complex and rapidly changing socioeconomic circumstances, the focus of loveLife has broadened from the epidemic to the entire environment in which young South Africans were ensnared, and remain ensnared after twenty years. It is an environment, as the third decade of the 21st century begins, of increasing youth poverty, youth unemployment, and youth violence that loveLife’s network of peer educators and their innovative programmes is attempting to combat. This book is required reading for all those interested in or engaged with South Africa’s often darkly-shaded grassroots realities.

About the author:

David Robbins is well-known for his measured writing on South Africa and the continent beyond. In 2010, he published Beyond the Billboards, a detailed account of the ups and downs of the first ten years of loveLife. Powering the Future takes up the story from 2010 to the present time. Beyond the Billboards is still available from Porcupine Press.

David Robbins
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