Star For Life distributes computers to schools…

>> Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One of the Star For Life Programmes is the skill development focusing on young people, Star For Life in partnership with Astra Zeneca (Sweden), Itea AB, Sigma AB and Chalmers a Swedish university have just provided 292 pentium4 computers and computer training to 22 high schools where it operates. The computer project began in 2007; in 2008 alone, 350 computers were distributed to 18 schools, within UMkhanyakude District to enhance learners’ development in computer application and IT.

This intervention is in line with the South African Department of Education vision that schools; particularly in rural areas have access to modern technology. “As an organization, we will continue with our partners to support schools and the department in the realization of this vision and this is a step into the right direction”, said Mr. Siphile Mdaka the Director of SFL.

Mr Mngomezulu, principal of Zandlazethu High School in Ngwavuma (KZN), echoed his heart felt gratitude’s: ’’all of my learners will now have an opportunity to learn the basic computer skills as they will take turns in using these computers; where-in it has been only few learners who have been accessing computers’’.

This computer project is one of the many ways in which SFL live up to its goals of inspiring young people towards academic excellence. ’’This year we will enjoy our Computer Applications examination writing since every learner will have access to computers’’ comments a Grade 11 learner at Makhasa High in Hluhluwe.

This project also aimed at introducing internet access to schools to allow learners and teachers to access information and communication with others. Another project that will benefit from this, the Partner School Project initiated by SFL which link local schools with international schools. This will enhance the communication between learners and teachers from different countries and cultures. At Banzana High school in Nongoma learners screamed their lungs in a gesture of showing their appreciation and one among the group, said: “bangani ngizoyifunda kuqala ngoba ngizohlale ngisesikoleni”, loosely translated as; peers I will be the first one to learn basic skills since I will always be present at school.

The project coordination has been the responsibility of Simingaye Zulu who has worked hand in hand with Chalmers University team Jan, Jens and Murkus who provided technical expertise and basic training all the way during project implementation.

The schools that benefited from this project are predominately in deep rural of uMkhanyakude District Municipality and seven schools based in Umlzi and KwaMakhutha township in Durban.

About 50 of these computers will support schools within Star For Life schools project in Namibia.

Interested in making a donation/sponsorship contact Star For Life, or


Star for Life-‘AIDS Free That Me’ Celebrates its Fifth Anniversary

>> Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Star for Life, an AIDS-awareness and prevention programme founded in 2005 by Dan Olofsson, is currently offered at 62 schools in KwaZulu-Natal and 10 in Namibia, and has brought inspiration and educational freedom to approximately 50 000 learners in the province.

In celebration of the programme’s fifth anniversary, and coinciding with the World Cup, guests of honour and learners enrolled in the Star for Life programme will meet at Vukuzakhe High School in Umlazi, Durban to showcase the remarkable achievements the programme has attained to date.

The guests of honour at the event will include Dan Olofsson- founder of Star for Life and chairman of the board, Anders Lindblad- President of Volvo Southern Africa which is a one of the donors to Star for Life and Glenn Stromberg- a well-known Swedish former footballer and television commentator. The guests will enjoy a morning of festivities interacting with learners at Vukuzakhe High School.

In addition to its five year tenure, Star for Life has much to celebrate. An independent impact assessment evaluated the significant effects that the programme has introduced to KwaZulu-Natal learners and revealed that schools participating in the project noted a reduction in the number of teenage pregnancies, their learners showed better academic performances, there had been a marked increase in VCTs (voluntary testing and counseling), and that learners expressed a heightened sense of self esteem after their three-year enrollment in the programme. Star for Life has also recently launched its mobile clinic project in response to the demands from learners and surrounding community for voluntary testing and counseling (VCT)or HCT.

Please feel free to contact us if you need any further information.


Partner School Project is becoming a great success story

>> Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Partner School Project started in 2008 and to date 25 schools are involved, eleven in South Africa, twelve in Sweden, one in England and one in Namibia. This project is a unique link which has been formed between South Africa, Namibia, Sweden and England the purpose is to provide a platform for cross-pollination of skills, ideas, knowledge, information among learners and educators of the participating schools. The interaction between the participants is on individual basis as well as on educational level. This project is in line with Star For Life objective of building the self esteem among young people as the tool in addressing the HIV and AIDS.

There has been quite number of international schools that have visited their sister schools in South Africa, and this has been life learning experience for all the participating schools and the schools in South Africa are also working on visiting their sister schools abroad.

The learners and educators are communicating through Skype, email and mail.

Students from Sundsgymnasiet Vellinge, Sweden during the visit at Cwakeme High school in Hluhluwe, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Student from ProCivitas on their visit to Bukimvelo High School, in Hlabisa, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Ms Hlengiwe Msimango of who is in charge of the project at Siphosabadletshe High school, sees this as an opportunity for learners to share cultural ideas and information about different countries, and this is an important step in understanding who they are. “We are very excited about this project, and our learners in particular they make everything possible to be part of this project and it’s a lifelong experience for all of us’

Mr. Bonginkosi Zondo (, the head of this project is very much encouraged by the level of participation of all schools involved.

Issued by Simingaye Zulu,


Visit by Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, MEC for Health in KwaZulu-Natal

>> Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, Minister of Health for KwaZulu-Natal, showed his support for the Star for Life programme during a drop-in visit on the 12th February. The minister met with Directors of Star For Life, Mr Pierre Delvaux, Mr Siphile Mdaka and Ms Khosi Jiyane (Programme Manager) to learn more about the programme.

From the left: Ms Khosi Jiyane, Dr Sandile Buthelezi, Mr Siphile Mdaka, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, Mr Pierre Delvaux, and adviser to the MEC

Since Star for Life is operating in a high- HIV/AIDS prevalence area, the programme has risen in eminence within the department of Health and has become an important intervention in the region; hence the drop-in visit of the minister.
Dr Dhlomo was updated on the progress of Star for Life and briefed on the progress and results so far.


Star For Life Mobile Clinic making impact in Schools

>> Thursday, May 27, 2010

Star For Life has now introduced the Mobile Health Project under HIV and AIDS Prevention Programme. The launch of the Mobile Clinic is a responsive approach to the ground work laid by SFL coaches in the past 3 years of the Schools Project. The mobile clinic project is to enable young people to know their health status and properly plan for future. The project is responding to a direct call by National Government and Ministry of Health to encourage all citizens to do HIV Counselling & Testing (HCT) better known as VCT (Voluntary Counselling & Testing), so as to curb new incidents of HIV infections and promote healthy life styles.

At Sicelosthu High school in Ingwavuma area, the principal expressed his confidence on this project and was very thrilled by the level of professionalism displayed during the mobile clinic visit to his school. “I find the environment naturally welcoming as we have been prepared for this through workshops and people here are like our family members however they are professional”.

Scebile Nsele the Health Coach (who's a Professional Nurse) was thrilled to see a good turn-out of learners mixed as boys and girls taking this opportunity with enthusiasm. One participant a grade 10 male learner has remarked to the Counsellor on site that it would be better if the clinic could come on monthly basis since their out of school brothers and sisters are interested in using this facility, too.

How it works?
The Health Coach and HIV Counselor organize with the school management to visit schools and do health education in group sessions; then they will do the actual testing using rapid testing kits. The relationship that exist between local health centers make it possible to do referrals for on-going counseling and support as well as doing the CD4 count test.

A grade 10 learner with Health Coach in action

Learners have expressed their excitement in many ways, “I am glad I have used this opportunity and took responsibility about my sexual choices” says a grade 12 learner at Makhasa high school in Hluhluwe, KZN.
The mobile clinic project is a response to the need on the ground as Siphile Mdaka, (SFL Director) put it “after careful consideration regarding the number of cases our Life Skills coaches were handling in schools, we then saw a need to bring this resource close to the where young people schools”.
The project has been made possible through Volvo Trucks and Pfizer partnership with Star For Life to change the life of young people.

issued by Zulu Simingaye, communication officer,


News from Sri Lanka

>> Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dear reader, 2010-02-22

My name is Cecilia Riddeback, 24 years old and living in Stockholm, Sweden. In the Spring year 2009 I was granted a scholarship, from my University Ersta Skondal, called “Minor field studies” (MFS). The MFS scholarship is issued by the International Programme Office and financed by the Swedish organization Sida for smaller field studies in developing countries all over the world.
I had decided that I wanted to carry out both my essay on bachelor level and master level in terms of an evaluating project of the “Star for Life program” in the town Matara, Sri Lanka. The plan is to look further into how the “Star for Life program” in Sri Lanka functions and what kind of impact it has on the children and adolescents in order to compare it to the “Star for Life program” in South Africa. These two countries are in two different continents with differences in cultural context, however with the same Star for Life program. So I find it to be an interesting task to investigate how the “Star for Life concept” works in a world wide perspective.
If you want to share my experiences during my eight weeks here in Matara, Sri Lanka you are more than welcome to read my articles. I will try to keep you updated once a week.


I have now been in the capital Colombo in Sri Lanka for four days. I arrived last Sunday afternoon to this very tropical country. The temperature is around 34 degrees Celsius. When I left Sweden it was a lot of snow on the ground and the temperature was around 24 degrees cold. It was a dramatic change of 58 degrees just a plan trip away.
Sri Lanka is a warm and sunny country, with kind and honest people. Everyone here have taken good care of me and given me a warm welcome. So it has been easy for me to adjust to the new climate and time zone. Just have to remember to drink plenty of water!

My first days here I dedicated to find a gym where I can exercise and fill my mind with harmony and peace (to be honest with you I am an exercising maniac).
I also find it easier to concentrate and write when I have run the treadmill.

Tomorrow morning I am leaving Colombo for Matara. It will take me about four hours with car to drive down there.

I am really excited and looking forward to meet the people of the “Star for Life program” in Matara.

Until I am back with new info take care/Cecilia


Star for Life Gala

>> Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My name is Emmy Ståhl and I am entering the last year at Lund’s dance and musical gymnasium. As a final project work I wanted to do something else in order to help other people in the world. As I heard of Star for Life I decided to put up a charity event named the Star for Life gala in order to raise funds for the organization. The event was amazing and I was able to raise 5597 SEK.

Star for Life would like to express gratitude to Emmy for her valuable contribution in order to support young people to live an Aids-free life and to fulfill their dreams.


The SFL began 2010 roll out on ‘high spirit’

>> Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The Star for Life schools program began last week with workshops. Across KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Windhoek, Namibia similar workshops are now taking place and all our coaches and trainers are working tirelessly to make sure that all the schools are receiving the support that they need.

These workshops are aimed at inspiring the learners and teachers, and to encourage the learner to live an AIDS FREE life.

At Qhakaza High School in Empangeni in KwaZulu Natal, a comprehensive set of learners’ and teachers’ workshops took place in the school over three days. The most senior learners enrolled in the programme at this particular school had reached their third workshop (Grade 9-10), but there were also workshops for new learners and for teachers.

The workshop for the senior learners focused on their personal goals, their plans, and to be disciplined in the pursuit of their dreams. “Workshop 3 brings hope and determination to the learners so that they can fulfil their dreams despite the challenges many learners face in life. Hope and dreams become essential in anything they do”, says Jean-Daniel Kabati, Senior Trainer at Star for Life.

Pictured below are newly enrolled learners of Grade 8 at Qhakaza High School, attending their very first workshop. The learners were inspired to have dreams about the future; they wrote them down in their Dream Book and shared them with their friends.

The coach also emphasised the importance of education and how an unhealthy lifestyle might hinder their efforts to fulfil their dreams.
Jean-Daniel says that Workshop 1 is ”very important for learners because it tells them – it makes them see – that they are still important and that they can be whatever they want to be in life, irrespective of the challenges they face every day.”

The workshop continued by focusing on HIV/AIDS and spoke of the importance of values, self-esteem, and making the right choices. Though running for several hours, the students listened keenly throughout the entire workshop and absorbed as much as they possibly could.

Precious Dlamini, the coach of the school, describes the impact of the workshops: “Our kids are in high school, and some never get to speak about their dreams, however Star for Life provides that platform. For them to have dreams, against a backdrop of a whole lot of challenges, gives them a sense of direction and gives hope to a whole new generation.”

Through these workshops, learners are empowered to make the right decisions while teachers are encouraged to contribute with support and guidance. Indeed, the intense energy harnessed in the workshops constitutes a very powerful instrument for influencing the mind-set of students and teachers alike.


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