Media releases

Cell C and Miss SA support Youth Month and Choma Dreams Cafe's

Monday, 11 June 2018

Cell C has come aboard to support the lauded Choma Dreams Café project, comprising 40 innovative youth hubs, which aim to reach vulnerable adolescent girls and young women with HIV prevention and social asset building programmes in a safe and friendly environment.

Cell C has donated 100GB of data per Café per month as well as free usage of the online magazine, Choma, for all Cell C customers.

Choma Dreams was launched last year by the non-profit organisation HIVSA and is funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) through grants manager JSI Research & Training Institute Inc. and the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), as part of the Dreams Innovation Challenge Grant. 

“To make a difference in young women’s lives and to empower them to be HIV-free, we needed to think differently about how we approach and engage with them, which is where the idea of Choma and the Choma Dreams Cafés was born. So far, we have seen great progress among the many young women who have embraced the Café as a safe and empowering space.” said CEO of HIVSA, Yashmita Naidoo. “We are delighted that Cell C has come on board as our data partner.”

Speaking about Cell C’s involvement at a launch held at the Ratang Bana Choma Dreams Café in Alexandra, Juliet Mhango Chief Human Resources Officer at Cell C said: “Choma Dreams Cafés complement Cell C’s Gender Equality programmes that address women empowerment, education and employability. These include our acclaimed Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day® and the Cell C Girl Child Bursary Fund.”

She continued: “Our partnership with Coma Dreams Cafés will connect young people to vital online

information, educational resources and many opportunities.  The impact of this will be far-reaching.  Our wish is to enable young people, specifically disadvantaged young women, to become vibrant contributors to the economy and leading job creators in South Africa.”

Speaking at the event, reigning Miss South Africa 2018, Tamaryn Green had a message for the youth: “It’s Youth Month and this year’s theme is Live the Legacy towards a Socio-Economically Empowered Youth. As a young South African, I believe there has been a lot of positive growth in South Africa since 1976.  I applaud Choma Dreams Cafés and Cell C for their partnership that will connect and expose more young people to information that will help them make positive and informed choices.”



Young women aged between 15 and 25 account for 40% of new infections in South Africa and it is clear that innovative strategies are required to address this as our existing prevention efforts to date have failed this group and continue to drive new infections in the country.

One of the major challenges many youth face, particularly young women, is accessing online information and educational resources. The high costs of mobile data and digital devices, particularly in vulnerable impoverished communities, makes it challenging for youth to receive sexual reproductive health information to make informed healthy lifestyle choices and prevent HIV.


HIVSA, a South African non-profit organisation, was established in 2002 with the main aim of improving the lives of people and communities infected and affected with HIV and Aids by increasing access to HIV prevention, treatment and support. HIVSA and its partners empower individuals, organisations and communities by developing their capacity and resilience to effectively address psycho-social and health issues related to HIV and Aids and contribute to an HIV-free generation.  Through their website CHOMA they share their content with the young girls and women between the ages of 15-35.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

PEPFAR is the United States government’s response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, which represents the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history. Through the compassion and generosity of the American people, PEPFAR has saved and improved millions of lives, accelerating progress toward controlling and ultimately ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat. For more information, please visit www.pepfar.gov, and connect with PEPFAR on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.


CTAOP’s mission is to invest in African youth to keep themselves safe from HIV/Aids. This is achieved by providing funding and other resources to community-based, African organisations that use innovative ways to engage youth and empower them to keep themselves and their peers safe from the virus. CTAOP and HIVSA’s partnership started in 2013 and has focused particularly on adolescent girls.

In 2013, CTAOP worked with HIVSA to establish the successful online magazine Choma, which has reached more than one million adolescent girls and young women and is aimed at empowering them to remain HIV free. In 2016, this project then expanded to the development of the Choma Dreams Cafés under the Dreams Innovation Challenge, supported by PEPFAR and CTAOP.

Choma Dreams Cafes Gauteng

Ikusasa Lethu Youth Project, Freedom Park

PUSH, Eldorado Park

Sizanani HBC, Meadowlands

SADAAC, Maseru Zone 9

St Joseph Ithuteng Campaign, Meadowlands

Diakonia Aids Ministry, Soweto 

Tshilidzi (Enkolweni Primary School),     Dobsonville     

DAPP (Humana), Doornkop

Siyanakekela, Braamfischerville

HAPY D, Jabulani

Tsogang Sechaba Community Project, Tsaiwelo

Klipspruit West Family Centre, Klipspruit

Eldorado Park Family Crisis Centre, Kliptown    

Mount Olive Outreach, Lehae    

Khomanani Health Group, Vlakfontein

Siyabonga, Orange Farm

Usizo Tuso, Lawley

Maitiso Primary School, Meadowlands

Zenzele CP, Finetown   

Thiboloha Bophelong

Holiness Christian Revival Ministries, Diepsloot

Vukuzenzele, Kya Sands, Fourways

Zenezeleni After School Care, Orange Farm

Mikateka Primary School, Ivory Park

Ratang Bana, Alexandra

Alexandra CC & SC, Alexandra

Philani Support Group   , Ivory Park      

Khanyisani HBC, Malvern         

Ikageng Itireleng AIDS Ministry, Orlando West

Friends Mayibuye Site, Mayibuye

Choma Dreams Cafes KZN

Community Care Projects, Copesville Secondary School, Msunduzi

Community Care Projects, Mbambangalo Secondary School, Mkhambathini Maqongqo

Community Care Projects, Phayiphini Secondary School, Sweetwaters Maritzburg

Youth for Christ, Siyahlomula Secondary School, Edendale, Maritzburg

Life Line, Matomela Secondary School, Impendle

Youth for Christ, Chibelihle Secondary School, Impendle

Life Line, Ikusaselihle Secondary School, Msunduzi       

Life Line Indala, Secondary School, Richmond   

Youth for Christ, Mjele Secondary School, Mshwathi      

Youth for Christ, Swayimane Secondary School, Swayimane      

For more information about HIVSA contact 011 494 1900 or visit www.hivsa.com. Connect with Choma Magazine on:

This press release was funded [in part] by a grant from the United States Department of State as part of the DREAMS Innovation Challenge, managed by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI). The opinions, findings, and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State or JSI.

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