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AMAZE SA is a collaboration between Advocates for Youth, Answer, YTH and Marie Stopes South Africa. We’ve come together to create an engaging, accurate, age-appropriate online sex education resource for youth. We want to help young adolescents, ages 10-14, develop healthy attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors they need to navigate the critical transition between childhood and older adolescence. We’re doing this by making creative, edgy YouTube videos about health and sex-ed topics that matter to youth.
Most health interventions and campaigns focus on older adolescents. Early adolescence marks a critical transition between childhood and older adolescence. We’ve worked directly with youth to figure out what works for health campaigns, and we’re making it a point to produce content that will make an impact on their lives.
We believe in providing accurate information that is age appropriate and focuses on the many issues youth face today. We highlight issues around body image, healthy relationships, puberty, and sexual health.
From our interactions with youth, we know that current health resources aren’t the best. They can be adult oriented or even worse, be pandering, and aren’t always the most engaging. So we asked youth what actually works. We base our work on the 5 “must haves” of health resources, including: humor, youth narration, colors and music, organization, and professionalism. AMAZE SA has a group of engaged youth advisors that have provided input at every stage of the campaign and we are working with young innovative animators who can help us speak directly to youth. All the content and design direction is based on deep formative research with youth.
Our content is published under the Creative Commons License and is available to be viewed by anyone. We encourage viewers to republish or incorporate our content into other work, or to submit new work or suggestions to us. We’re also supporting parents and educators by developing a more structured website to help adults use these materials with youth.
At AMAZE, we are always looking for valuable partnerships with like-minded people and organizations. If you want to be involved, please go the Get Involved section of this website and send us a note. Alternatively, send us an email with your thoughts at [email protected] or contact any of our operating organizations directly.
That’s great. We are definitely interested in procuring support to scale and replicate AMAZE in countries around the world and would like to hear your thoughts and explore alignment. Thus far, the partners have received their funding from the WestWind Foundation. Please use the Get Involved section of this website to contact us or send an email to [email protected] and we will get back to you with next steps to begin a discussion.
Our team went through the National Curriculum Statements for intermediate and early senior phases and focused on the subjects that were appropriate for our target audience in South Africa. Our team assembled content briefs on each subject to help the animators understand each topic and what material should be covered in the videos.
We also chose a selection of the AMAZE videos created by our colleagues in the US that would be compliment the South African content.
So far we have videos focusing on the following subjects:
• Puberty and Adolescent Development: Changing Bodies, Wet Dreams, Erections, Masturbation, Menstruation, Breast Development, Body Image, Media Literacy, Emotions and Puberty
• Anatomy, Physiology and Reproduction
• Identity: Gender Roles, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Coming Out, Questioning
• Healthy Relationships: Friendship, Love, Communication Skills, Relationships with Caring Adults
• Sex: Sexual Behavior, Knowing When You’re Ready, Consent, Planning for the Future, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, HIV and AIDS
• Personal Safety: Sexual Assault, Internet Safety and Bullying
We expect to continually update our videos and topics to meet the needs of young people, parents and educators.
AMAZE is in the process of going international with partners that include Marie Stopes, IPPF/WHR, and DKT. Our website and ten core videos are currently being translated into ten of the world’s most spoken languages: Arabic, Bengali, French, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Russian, Swahili, Urdu, and Vietnamese. The initial videos will use subtitles, and some will include voice-overs, as well.
AMAZE uses a two track system for content development. For one track, AMAZE worked with five of the top design schools in the country to provide a group of their best animation students or graduates. These young animators are producing excellent, edgy youth-driven content covering a variety of narrow or wide ranging content. Each animator is given a content brief and has a mentor from one of our Partner organizations who assures the material is accurate and age appropriate.
For the other track, we are working with The Moving Company, an Israel-based animation studio. They are producing a standardized series, the “Jane Blog” of more traditional explainer style, educational AMAZE videos that include all of the points in the briefing documents.
In South Africa we worked with a team of animators from across Mzansi to help make the content look and feel relevant to a local audience.
Zero! There is no charge to anyone to use any part of AMAZE. Our videos are published under the Creative Commons License and are available to be viewed by anyone. We encourage viewers to republish or incorporate our content into other work, or to submit new work or suggestions to us.