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 fifteen 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.
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.