Working to Advance Health Equity in Africa

Research project

Vukuzakhe, ‘Arise and build yourself’: Self-development as a tool for strengthening sexual decision-making, focusing on young people in the KwaSani area near Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal


The study investigates the local community’s response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Particular reference is given to the Vukuzakhe project, which focuses on mitigating the impact and spread of HIV and AIDS through education, health care and personal empowerment in the Himeville/Underberg area in the Sisonke district, KwaZulu-Natal


  • Provide a better theoretical and practical understanding of community and local NGOs and CBOs response HIV and Aids
  • Influence local policy in managing the pandemic

Methodological Approach:

The research project adopts an integrated approach, employing ethnographic and quantitative methods. There is a strong focus on advocacy, capacity building and planning and management of the epidemic at the local level.

Key research questions:
How does the community get involved in and perceive the project?
Is there a direct relationship between the project and youth risk taking behaviour?