Since 2011, the DTHF Youth Centre has provided adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health services alongside educational and recreational activities for youth living in the community of Masiphumelele and surrounding areas. The mission of the DTHF Youth Centre is to give young people the tools and confidence needed to make healthy life choices.
An average of 4 500 young people aged 12-23 benefit from the Youth Centre services each year. The Centre offers youth living in Masiphumelele and surrounding neighbourhoods opportunities to participate in educational and recreational programmes, receive help with homework, access the computer lab and socialise in a safe space with friends. In addition, youth can visit the youth-friendly clinic providing sexual and reproductive health services.
In 2017, more than 1 800 HIV tests were administered and over 180 young women enrolled into the contraception programme. Youth Centre attendance, educational and recreational programme participation and other data are collected on a high-tech biometric fingerprint tracking system. Data gathered from this process suggests that convenient, confidential, youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services associated with youth social spaces and activities can increase healthcare utilisation, specifically contraception.
In addition to offering young people a safe space, the Youth Centre partners with other non-profit organisations in the area to arrange fun excursions such as hikes into South African National Parks, visits to museums, sailing with the Zeekoevlei Yacht Club, soccer games, gumboot dancing and similar trips. The Youth Centre also offers six internship placements each year designed to train young adults for the next step in their career of choice and their inclusion in the workforce.