South African-born actress, Charlize Theron and her foundation, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), announced the development of the CTAOP Youth Leaders Scholarship Fund.
The announcement comes in the wake of CTAOP’s 10th anniversary.
The scholarships will focus on raising up young leaders to become the next generation of change makers.
The foundation says the expanded mission is to provide scholarships to young South Africans is part of its vision of a generation of healthy change makers who are able to lead their peers and communities
It says it will continue to have the aim of preventing HIV, but this programmatic addition recognises the fact that the challenges that allow HIV to continue to have a grip on the country require solutions from strong young leaders who can drive change from within communities.
The foundation says it has reached over 300 000 young people living with HIV/AIDS through the programs it supports.
“It was devastating to grow up watching this epidemic destroy my home country,” says Theron.
“The good news is that today we have the opportunity to see the end of AIDS in our lifetime, but it’s going to take all of us. We all need to look honestly at the stigma and societal inequality that still exist and that continue to prevent us from stopping the spread of the virus.
“The leadership of young people is going to be critical at tackling these difficult issues. They will lead today’s fight against HIV, and we have to do what we can to support them. Individuals, non-profits, governments, researchers, and community members must all help invest in this young generation.”