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A Catalyst for Change

David Kapata

David Kapata progressed from GRS participant, to coach, to program coordinator in our Zambia program.

David Kapata, 23, was born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia, where he has lived his whole life. Like many people in his community, he has been deeply affected by AIDS. He was 19 when his mother passed away; at the time, he did not have a clear explanation of why; shortly afterwards he came to real- ize that AIDS was likely the cause. He also lost a 7-year-old younger sister to the disease.

As a teenager David became involved in Grassroot Soccer as a participant in our HIV prevention education program. He fondly remembers his coaches, Isaac and Nigel, and says “Being a GRS participant was very positive in my life. It has helped me to be resilient and to choose the kind of life I want to lead. It helped to prevent me from contracting HIV. One of the most impor- tant things I learned as a GRS participant was how to depend on myself.”

David grasped the opportunity to become a GRS coach as a way to share his knowledge with other young people. He says the guiding principle of his life can be summarized by Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.” As David puts it, “I wanted to be a GRS coach so I could be the catalyst for change for my friends, my country and the world.”

“As a Grassroot Soccer coach and now a program coordinator, I’ve learned management skills. First and foremost, I’ve learned how to manage my own life. In managing my own life I’ve been able to be a role model to my friends; they look up to me and ask me for advice. I tell them the most important thing is to make positive decisions and healthy choices.” ~ David Kapata

After serving as a coach for a couple of years, David became a Monitoring and Evaluation assistant, and was then offered the position of Program Coordinator for our Barclays Spaces for Sports initiative in Zambia. In this role, he oversees the delivery of programs in communities throughout the city and ensures that we have outstanding coaches as role models. To date, the Barclays Spaces for Sports initiative has reached over 16,500 young Zambians with HIV prevention education and access to voluntary counseling and testing.