The Wilderness Leadership School has formed a partnership with the LoveLife program, South Africa’s National HIV program for youth. WLS is working specifically with the groundBreaker leadership group – youth ages 18-25 who are otherwise unemployed, recruited for a year-long training and service corps. The goal of the partnership is for each groundBreaker to participate in a 5-day wilderness experience. The trail experience will help to build leadership and commitment to a future for both themselves and the environment.
At the current rate of infection, South African teenagers have a 50% chance of contracting HIV over the course of their lives. Half of South Africa’s new HIV infections occur before the age of 25. Relatively modest changes in adolescent sexual behaviour could substantially curtail the HIV epidemic and there are hopeful signs that perhaps the worst-case projections for the scale of the HIV epidemic in South Africa may yet be averted.
The groundBreak program and the wilderness experience component offered by WLS are key to helping to build the next generation of South African leaders!