VHEMBE. – Young people in Matavhela village here have expressed their worry and disappointment about the closure of the Love Life site at their local clinic.
"I feel very sad now that we no longer have a Love Life site here in our area. We used to keep ourselves busy with the activities we got from Love Life, but now that the site has been shut down we are going to have lots of problems with the youth around the community," said Zwivhuya Ndou, a 17-year-old girl from Matavhela village.
"We have heard rumours that the site closed down because of the GroundBreaker who was representing Love Life last year. We realised that she was not that active, but it was not enough reason to shut down the site," said a concerned 15-year-old Lucky Ramapala.
For the youth in the area, the Love Life site was a safe place in their community that helped keep them away from bad behaviours like doing drugs, drinking alcohol or risky sex.
"To us it was very important to have a Love Life site in our community because Love Life teaches young people how to behave and take care of themselves. We were learning so much from Love Life and now that the site was shut down, we have no other place around the community that we can go and feel free to talk about our personal issues. At Love Life they had ambassadors that were very friendly in such a way that we felt comfortable to confront them with our problems. It is very bad for the community now that the site is no more," said Ifa Ramuthelo.
Bridget Ndou is another one of the concerned young people around the community. "I wish Love Life could reconsider their decision and reopen the site. We used to enjoy ourselves playing lots of games because of Love Life and we don’t have that anymore," said Ndou.
"We as the youth of the community would really appreciate it if Love Life comes back to us because it is very educating in lots of things like HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy, drugs and alcohol abuse, etc. and now that it is gone, there is going to be a huge problem with some young people around the community because they no longer have an organisation like that in their area to encourage them to keep away from bad behaviours. We really want Love Life back in our community," she concluded.
Suprise Nemalale is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Vhembe health district in Limpopo.