The MTV Staying Alive Foundation (MTV SAF) officially launched in South Africa at a star-studded benefit event that included performances by award-winning artist Master KG alongside songstress Nomcebo. The virtual benefit event aimed to raise funds to support the newly registered South African arm of the Foundation and the Peer Educator program. South African-born Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron made an appearance on behalf of her foundation the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) to honour the Peer Educator of the Year.
MTV SAF is a media movement that believes in young people and for over 20 years’ has empowered youth through game-changing content that has proven to have a positive impact on their health and social behaviour. MTV SAF has been doing the groundwork in partnership with its peer educators who have had a wide-reaching impact on the young people the initiative has touched. To date, MTV Shuga Peer Educators in South Africa and across the continent has reached over 200,000 young people with sexuality education related to HIV testing, prevention, adherence to treatment, stigma, disclosure, contraceptives, gender-based violence, and family planning.
Georgia Arnold, Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation commented “South Africa is home to some of our most impactful projects and campaigns creating a legacy in health that has influenced and shaped our work far beyond its borders. Our peer education program started right here in South Africa helping us to drive essential health messaging to those we otherwise couldn’t reach. We look forward to this exciting new chapter in our foundation’s history”
Actress Charlize Theron honoured the Peer Educator of the Year which was awarded to Nomvuyo Bhengu. The Peer Educator thanked Charlize and the foundation for the honour commenting “The reason I became a peer educator is because I wanted to teach young people inside and outside my community about life’s challenges and give them advice on how to overcome those challenges. Being selected for this award means a lot to me and means that I was able to achieve all my aims when I became a Peer Educator. So many young people’s lives have been destroyed because they have no one to turn to, especially the ones coming from disadvantaged homes. This program has been impactful because it’s helped so many young bloods face different issues”.
The benefit event was hosted by MTV Shuga actress and MTV SAF board member Stephanie Ndlovu alongside her husband actor Hungani Ndlovu and co-founder of the Ndlovu Foundation which is an NPO that focuses on youth empowerment and helping youth find their purpose. Attendees were encouraged to support the foundation by bidding on the available auction items and donating to support its programmes. Master KG and songstress Nomcebo entertained with the performance of their hit songs including the world-renowned “Jerusalema.”