Linda Zondi is a beneficiary at Sinethemba community based organisation in Soweto. Sinethemba is a sub partner of HIVSA. The centre provides a number of services such as beneficiary meals, homework assistance and was previously implementing the DREAMS Program. Sinethemba is currently a PHVP partner, which is a programme that is aimed at Preventing HIV and AIDS in Vulnerable Populations.
Sinethemba received a Choma Innovation Café from HIVSA. The Choma Innovation Cafés aim to support Programmes such as the PHVP Programme that is currently being implemented at Community Based Organisations, this is done by providing online information on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and other health related information as well as creating a safe space for interaction on the abovementioned subjects for 10 – 19 year old Adolescent Girls & Young Women (AGYW) and boys. The Choma Innovation Cafes are funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project. Linda Zondi was one of the young men who accessed the café.
Linda has attended Vhutshilo 2 sessions. Vhutshilo 2 is a structured intervention that aims to keep young people between the ages of 10 and 17 safe from HIV and STIs. In the year 2021 there was an opportunity for all beneficiaries under the PHVP program to apply for the Charlize Theron Africa Outreached Project Youth Leadership Scholarship (CTAOP YLS). Linda together with 4 AGYW were shortlisted for the scholarship. Linda was further provisionally accepted for the scholarship pending his final Matric Results. It came as no surprise when results came out that Linda had passed his Matric. This is what he has to say about the scholarship:
“I would firstly love to thank Sinethemba, HIVSA and CTAOP for the opportunity given to me. I am Linda Zondi and I am a UJ Student studying Diploma in Marketing in the UJ Auckland Park Bunting Campus. CTAOP has changed my life in a big way. Growing up considering my background and my neighbourhood, going into varsity was something which was beyond impossible. I didn't believe that I was going to get in because of the unavailability of funds and I didn't believe that I would go o varsity. That was until I got the application forms of the CTAOP Youth Leadership Scholarship.”
As part of the CTAOP YLS Linda’s tertiary fees are fully paid for and he attends Leadership Seminars. He has had the opportunity to speak to Charlize Theron the founder of CTAOP. He is working towards his goals. Linda is proof that with determination and hard work one can reach the stars.