Current Programs

Support groups
Teen Club Camp
Leadership Training
The Young Heroes Testing Project
Volunteer Appreciation Days
Sunshine Club

Support Groups Back to top
There are currently four Teen Club sites—the original club is based in Mbabane, a second club meets in Manzini, there is a third in Hlatikhulu and our youngest is Siphofaneni – opened in February 2011.  Each month, Teen Club members travel to those sites, where they participate in educational and empowering activities.  Topics covered have included drug fatigue, HIV pathology and how the disease is transmitted, grief and bereavement, disclosure to friends and peers, nutrition and HIV, and how to stay focused on your dreams.

‘Feelings and Emotions’

‘Our Hopes and Dreams’

One of the Peer Leaders leads a group session

With the help of the adult Teen Club Coordinators, the lessons are conducted by Teen Leaders, older members of the Teen Club who have successfully completed the Teen Leadership Training program. The teens are split into different age groups, the younger adolescents participate in activity based lessons, while the older teens can engage in more in-depth discussions with a more mature focus. Support Group meetings always begin with games and ice-breakers that help new members quickly make friends and feel comfortable. We always conclude our meetings by singing and dancing to our Teen Club Anthem “The World’s Greatest.”

One of our teen leaders leads ‘The Worlds Greatest’

‘The Worlds Greatest’ as a large group

The Support Group sessions are held on Saturdays and typically run from 8am to 1pm. Teens are provided with a snack and travel reimbursement for those taking public transport.  The emphasis at Teen Club is learning through play.  The intention is to create an environment where the youth can be free of any stigma and meet others that are going through similar issues to them.  It gives them a chance to see there is support available and they are not alone.

Decentralization Back to top
We plan to open additional support groups in 2011 in order to reach a greater number of adolescents, make Teen Club more community-oriented, and increase its cost-efficiency. We plan to partner with MSF (Medicins Sans Frontiers) in order to open another new Teen Club in Nhlangano.  We plan to continue to search for suitable locations for additional clubs. Our goal is to have 8 sites operational by the end of 2012.

Teen Club Camp Back to top

In December 2009, Baylor partnered with Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, Young Heroes, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatrics AIDS Foundation, and a number of other organizations to host our first Sivivane Camp.  Approximately 80 kids had the opportunity to participate in fun and constructive activities while building new friendships in a supportive environment.  Association of Hole in the Wall Camps has made a three year commitment to hosting camps in Swaziland.  We are working with Association of Hole in the Wall Camps to add more sessions each year. An Association of Hole in the Wall Camps is an organsiation which runs camps for children with chronic medical conditions worldwide. A ‘Sivivane’ is  SiSwati word describing a safe place for travellers to rest, which is indicated by a pile of stones. Those who sought refuge would add another stone to the pile so that the larger the pile of stones, the safer the Sivivane.

Camp welcome

The camp t-shirt

A safe place

Camp Sivivane runs four, one week residential camps in which children living with HIV engage in empowering, educational and fun activities. The activities are aimed at increasing the knowledge and boosting the confidence of the participants while providing them with an environment to forge lasting friendships. We deliberately select younger children who are new to Teen Club and have never been to Camp Sivivane  before. Support Groups provide continuity of programming, reunion with friends, and reinforcement of lessons learned at Camp Sivivane. Coupled together, Camp Sivivane and Teen Club provide a powerful step towards living positively.

Circle games


The yellow group

A Hole in the Wall Camps sends 4 consultants from other countries to Camp Sivivane to train Swazi staff and share ideas on improving the experience for our campers. The benefits include the participation of over 230 campers, as well as the training of over 60 Swazi volunteers on how to interact and relate to adolescents with chronic illnesses, specifically HIV.

Some of the camp leaders welcome the campers

Lessons learnt at the Leader’s training for Camp Sivivane

Fun and games

Leadership Training Back to top

In order to empower our teens to become leaders in their communities, increase the impact of the Teen Club message, and to promote sustainability for Teen Club, we created a Teen Leadership program. This program is training a generation of young Swazi adults living with HIV to become to advocates and leaders in the next decade. Teen Leaders have facilitated the decentralization of Support Groups so that Teen Club operates at a community level. The Teen Leadership Training Program is 3 day intensive, with ongoing skill development and reinforcement sessions, and the creation of New Support Groups.

Some of the Peer Leaders in training

Participants learn peer counselling and active listening techniques, management and leadership styles, problem solving and decision-making skills, public speaking, and application writing.

A group session run by Dr Douglas Blank

The execution of these initiatives has resulted in the creation of community-based, youth-led Teen Clubs that run on cost-efficient budgets. We piloted this program in 2010. Teen Leaders and Staff from the Baylor-Botswana Teen Club traveled to Swaziland to conduct lessons and participate in the trainings. This was the first international meeting of its kind.

The finalists of ‘Squirt’

Already Teen Leaders have risen to the challenges of taking responsibility for Teen Club. Teen Leaders opened the Hlatikhulu and Siphofaneni Support Groups. Teen Leaders have been conducting the monthly lessons of our life skills curriculum since June 2010. Teen Leaders have even become staff members at Camp Sivivane.

This time around we are going through the second Teen Leadership Training and the Sivivane Camp after the May training and camp.This year 2013, we have managed to have 53 Teens trained as Leaders and we are very grateful to ICAP for the support. The Baylor Team and partners are doing a wonderful job. We are planning and starting  preparations for the Graduation ceremony in December.

The Young Heroes Testing Project Back to top

In 2010, Teen Club teamed up with Young Heroes. Young Heroes is a local non-profit organisation, dedicated to the financial, educational and medical support of children who have lost both of their parents. Together we launched the Young Heroes Health Care Initiative, which began with providing confidential, free child focused HIV testing. The project grew into massive pediatric testing days, during which all members of the community were invited to have their children tested for HIV in a child-friendly, educational environment. Teen Club staff conducted the group pre-test counselling; which included games to educate about how HIV affects the body and how antiretrovial medication slows this process.

‘HIV Attacks’

‘HIV Attacks’

The ‘HIV Attacks’ Team

All children who tested positive were immediately enrolled into care and into Teen Club. Caregivers of children were also encouraged to test. To date, the pediatric focused testing days have been conducted in seven different towns and in all 4 regions of Swaziland.

This project marked the first of its kind in Swaziland. Testing for HIV is often a stressful experience especially in the country with the highest rate of HIV in the world. Going through pre-test counselling and education will encourage children to continue to test themselves as adults. Another benefit included the education of testing counselors on how to interact and to discuss results with children.

Volunteer Appreciation Days Back to top

‘Welcome to Volunteer Appreciation Day!’

Each month more than 30 adults spend at least one of their Saturdays volunteering at Teen Club. The volunteers often travel from the rural communities using their own money, just because it is a program they believe in. Teen Club could not succeed without their selfless dedication each month, and the teens would not have these amazing role models in their lives.

Some of the volunteers with one of our peer leaders

It is our goal to take time to thank these volunteers for all their hard work. We also spend time catching up on all the new procedures and guidelines of Teen Club to allow for everyone to be on the same page.

Volunteers listen attentively at one of the VAD day sessions

Sunshine Club Back to top

Sunshine Club is aimed at the younger children waiting at the clinic but all are welcome to attend if they wish. It is run by volunteers and teens from Teen Club who create a welcoming, fun-filled environment while the children wait at the clinic. The clinic can be a scary place for children, so through this program we try to get them to associate the clinic with good memories, making them more likely to return for appointments and collect their medication.

Sunshine Club fun!

Sunshine club promotes learning through play, turning waiting time into a constructive, self esteem building, and educational experience. The activities implemented help improve the children’s fine and gross motor coordination, group building skills, self-esteem, and general attitude toward coming to Baylor Clinic. Singing, dancing, colouring, ball games, and group games are all ways in which this is carried out.

Playing on the swings at Sunshine Club

Currently only operating at the Mbabane clinic, the project has plans to expand to other Swaziland clinics in early 2012. Teens that consistently help out with Sunshine Club will be recognized and awarded certificates.