Restless Development South Africa has 20 years of experience working with young people, with a specific focus on gender and Sexual Rights. Operating from the Eastern Cape (where Human Development Indices are the lowest in South Africa), programmes are delivered in 24 communities in the O.R. Tambo and Amatole districts. Currently, we have more than 20 staff members supporting 125 young leaders’ work across five projects dedicated to supporting youth employment, improved knowledge and access to sexual health services, using their voice to bring about positive change, and mobilising 20,000 young changemakers in rural communities.
Our View on Living Rights
Restless Development South Africa’s ‘Youth Leaders Today for Tomorrow’ programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and DfID’s International Citizenship Service integrates aspects of economic empowerment and livelihoods opportunities with Sexual Health and Leadership training to address widespread youth unemployment.
Work in this goal area focuses on supporting young people on pathways to both employment in the formal sector and to self-employment by providing a combination of activities including livelihoods and entrepreneurship trainings, supporting young people to take up further education, and in business and financial literacy.
Our View on Sexual Rights
Restless Development South Africa works with young people to realise sexual and reproductive rights are for all. In addition to programme delivery at community level, the aim is to support young people influencing policies at both the National and Regional levels. Restless Development South Africa chairs the National Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Strategic Framework forum made up of partners from across the sector. Through our work we are expanding SRHR access for adolescents and youth, working alongside government, national and regional civil society partners to drive forward the East and Southern Africa Comprehensive Sexuality Education commitments, as well as national policies regarding youth sexual health and rights.
With support from the Big Lottery Fund, the programme ‘Youth Leaders Today for Tomorrow’ supports improved access to SRHR information and services, and addresses sexual and gender-based violence, increasing the number of young people reporting incidents of gender-based violence. A year into the project, 60% of young people have developed safe sex negotiation skills and 70% of both sexes were able to identify three forms of abuse.
Our View on Vocal Rights
Programmes such as the EC funded ‘Towards a more Accountable South Africa’ cut across Restless Development’s Voice, Sexual Rights and Leadership goals. Through the programme, Restless Development South Africa will work with young people to lead in building the capacity of youth-led Community Based Organisations (CBOs) to engage in decision-making processes and to hold government to account for policy and budget commitments affecting youth.
As well as this, we will form a coalition of youth-led Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to engage with decision makers and lead data-driven accountability initiatives, building the Youth Collective to take our work to scale.
Our View on Leadership Rights
Restless Development South Africa works with young people to ensure that communities are better able to respond to both long-term and immediate challenges. Despite South Africa’s rapid economic development, in the Eastern Cape 50% of young people are unemployed and the HIV prevalence rate for young people is 19% against a national average of 12%. Restless Development South Africa is generating youth-led research, where young people take on leadership roles in communities across the Eastern Cape to support community solutions to ingrained problems, such as gender-based violence.