Within South Africa there is much interest in expanding youth center programs, particularly in the nongovernmental sector, in part because of recognition that the HIV/AIDS crisis is disproportionately affecting young South Africans. This study was designed to give implementing agencies and donors a broad view of how the youth centers function, who they reach, and the quality of information and services. The assessment underscored the importance of monitoring the performance of programs and understanding who is being reached with what interventions. Youth centers that focus on providing recreational facilities attract a large number of clients, often boys who are repeat visitors, however, linkages between providing recreation and positive health outcomes are not clearcut. Centers should not lose sight of their health objectives and should recognize that a significant proportion of young people are in need of quality reproductive health (RH) information and services. The report further recommends that attention be paid to the specific needs and circumstances of boys and girls in designing programs that satisfy their distinct RH needs.
Erulkar, Annabel, Mags Beksinska, and Queen Cebekhulu. 2001. "An assessment of youth centres in South Africa," FRONTIERS Final Report. Nairobi: Population Council.
Frontiers in Reproductive Health