A method to empower young
people to realise their dreams

What started as a project called “Star program” has now grown into the international organisation we are today. With increased understanding of the specific areas in which we operate, we have created supporting programs – Wellness, Art & Culture and Skills – to strengthen the core program, aiming to empower young people to realise their dreams. Below you can read more about the basic philosophy of the method.

Star for Life Theory of Change

Over a ten year period Star for Life has developed a unique method to create change in young people. The method is based on a “Theory of Change” that has two basic assumptions:

● strong self-esteem is a prerequisite for creating change.
● information alone is not enough to create change.
To change behaviour we must also provide inspiration.
We need to reach both hemispheres – “brain and heart”.

The Theory of Change can be used universally with local adaptations to the material in order to tackle specific problems or cater to different target groups.

This is how we work in schools
in South Africa and Namibia

Art & Culture – Primary School

In Primary Schools the focus of the Star Program is Art & Culture. We aim to develop children’s life skills, creativity and well-being. The goal is to build children’s self-esteem through the creative arts. Art & Culture is conducted in Primary Schools in KwaZulu-Natal.

Health – Grades 8-12

In Secondary Schools and High Schools the focus of the Star Program is Health. Learners range from 12 to 18 years old and it is during these years we teach them about sexual and reproductive health, hiv/aids and other relevant health issues.

These program activities are conducted at schools during an initial period of three years. During this time the Star for Life team will train school staff to continue the work after our organization has left the school.

Model School

In 2012 it was decided that Star for Life would work in each school for more than 3 years. We want to contribute to the full development of a “Model School” that has full capacity to implement our method. We see now that a period of 7-8 years may be needed to achieve this, but after the three initial years our presence in the school is scaled down. As part of this, agreements were signed between provincial governments in South Africa and Namibia and Star for Life. The agreements provide a platform for future partnerships with other actors.

Skills – After school

Star for Life also seeks to train young people to become better prepared for the labor market. Along with the stakeholders associated with the program, we have developed various forms of entrepreneurial education and job training. Volvo offers 3 year apprenticeships for budding mechanics and Thanda Foundation accepts students who wish to train in tourism. We have helped finance a chicken farm where students are trained in chicken farming and in 2014 the program initiated the construction of a sports center at one of our schools financed by the construction company Veidekke. FC Rosengård, a soccer club from Sweden, participated in activities in the center when it was completed. In addition to this, young people are trained in the craft during the construction period.

In March 2017 we embark on a joint project with Hand in Hand Foundation which aims to provide entrepreneurial training to young people after they have left school. The project is scheduled to last three years. We see these Skills-projects as an important share of our choice which ultimately aims to create a sustainable society.

Star program

In the yellow pillar, we work with the understanding of why our brain needs specific target images and dreams in the short and long term and the importance of our subconscious values for the majority of our decisions and behaviors.
The red pillar aims to increase and reinforce a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of hiv and aids, the factors associated with protection and risk as well as to cultivate responsible sexuality and sexual responsibility through the safe use of condoms as a means of preventing unwanted pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV. The pillar also aims to promote HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) as the only sure way of knowing and living meaningfully with one’s HIV status.
The human will can move mountains. But how do you know what you really want as many factors such as stress and peer pressure affect our decisions daily? In the black pillar, we focus on exploring our personal willpower and how we can control it. Cognitive training sessions are alternated with informative sessions about the workings of the human will. The focus is on learning how to stay true to one’s own beliefs and deal with concrete decision situations under peer pressure, ambivalence. etc.
The green pillar focuses on our emotional motivations – how we can influence our motivation, create action from thoughts and be perseverant when life interferes with our initial, well intentioned plans. How can we stay motivated in the long term? How can I push myself to get to the finish?
A big goal can be inspiring, but it can also be crippling if it is too big or far away. When formulating a vision and a goal, it is useful to break it down into a few main objectives and milestones and create support functions in the process. Learning to plan holistically, to practice dealing with setbacks and ultimately keep your motivation alive is a key ingrediens to reaching your goals. This is the focus of the black pillar.

Supporting programs

Arts & Culture

The Art & Culture Porgram is at the heart of our organisation as we develop our youngest learner’s artistic skills and use arts as a catalyst for social transformation. With the help of aestetic learning processes we strive to create social cohesion and an environment where young people dare to dream and are empowered to fight for realising those dreams.

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The Wellness Program

Wellness is the state of health associated to lifestyle and psychology and is one of Star For Life’s essential programs. The Wellness Program provides psycho-social support and facilitates as well as welfare services to all Star for Life-schools and surrounding communities.

The Wellness program is closely linked to the Mobile Health program.

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The Mobile Health Program

The Mobile Health Program deals with the physical well-being of each individual and works to strengthen three main pillars – comprehensive health education, HIV/Aids counselling and testing and proper referrals to external health facilities. Our three Mobile Health Clinics located in South Africa and Namibia inform learners and their communities on how they can live an AIDS-free life and empower and encourage them in make life-affirming decisions and choices.

The Mobile Health Program is closely linked to the Wellness Program dealing with psychological issues.

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The Skills Program

Star for Life Skills Program serves as a vehicle for our youth in the transition from Star for Life-schools to their next step toward fullfilling their dreams. Aside from scholarships to Universities, we stimulate business interest and address skills shortage by helping formers learners with Skills Development, basic education in Business Economics as well as provide Economic Stimulation to students who wish to start their own business.

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