“Overall, the Grassroot Soccer Program is a culturally appropriate,internationally suitable, creative, and effective way to educate at-risk youth about HIV/AIDS and its prevention… Significant changes in students’ knowledge, attitudes and perceived social support are observed as a result of the program. These changes were sustained after five months.”
- Children’s Health Council, 2004 evaluation
Rigorous Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) has been central to Grassroot Soccer’s success and growth. Ten evaluations in seven countries have shown positive impact on knowledge, attitudes, stigma, and communication related to HIV. The most recent study showed that, compared to a matched peer group at long-term follow-up, GRS graduates in Zimbabwe were 6 times less likely to report early sexual debut, 4 times less likely to report sexual activity in the last year, and 8 times less likely to have had more than one sexual partner.
Numerous formal evaluations—conducted by Stanford University’s Children’s Health Council, consultants from The Population Council and the Harvard School of Public Health, and researchers from Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Cape Town—have documented Grassroot Soccer’s effectiveness in significantly reducing sexual risk behavior, decreasing stigma, and improving students’ knowledge, attitudes, communication, decision-making skills, and perceived social support related to HIV and AIDS. Surveying over 300 students in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Stanford University’s Children’s Health Council concluded that “The GRS Program is a culturally appropriate, internationally suitable, creative, and effective way to educate at-risk youth about HIV/AIDS and its prevention.” Similarly encouraging results have emerged in recent years from formal evaluations in Zambia, South Africa, Sudan, Liberia, Botswana, Ethiopia, and the Dominican Republic.
A 2008 behavioral survey found that 2-5 years after the intervention, GRS graduates in Zimbabwe were nearly six-times less likely than their matched peers to report sexual debut between 12-15 years, four-times less likely to report sexual activity in the last year, and eight-times less likely to report ever having had more than one sexual partner. Six years after incorporation, there already exists substantial evidence documenting GRS’ impact in averting risky behavior, increasing HIV/AIDS knowledge, diminishing stigma, and breaking the silence surrounding HIV.
Ten evaluations in seven countries have shown the GRS program to have positive impact on knowledge, attitudes, stigma, and communication related to HIV. One study in Zimbabwe found that after participating in the GRS curriculum
- The percentage of students who could list three people they could talk to about HIV increased from 33% to 72%
- The percentage of students who knew where to go for help for HIV related problems increased from 47% to 76%
- The percentage of students who said they would feel comfortable providing emotional support for an HIV positive classmate increased from 52% to 73%
- The percentage of students who believe condoms were effective increased from 49% to 71%
(Source Children’s Health Council, 2004 Evaluation)
In the Words of Our Clients
“As Headteacher of Timba School I wish to point out that the impact which Grassroot soccer has elicited at Timba School is great. I’m not ashamed to inform you that the last time I had pregnancies among school girls at Timba School was in 2004, after 2005 I have had no pregnancies at all. This is greatly due to the lessons taught in Grassroot Soccer. I feel that Grassroot Soccer should be put specifically on the school time-table and I feel all schools should incorporate the programme.”- S.Y.B. Mutale, Head Teacher, Timba School, Zambia.
“Now we know we can cure HIV/AIDS with our knowledge and power. Thank you Grassroot Soccer.” - Susan Bulaya, 15 year old GRS Grad from Lusaka, Zambia 2006.
To read the full reports, click on the following links to read the evaluations of Grassroot Soccer
- XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), GOAL Trial Poster
- XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), Skillz Street Poster
- XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), Skillz VCT Event Poster
- XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), Referral Poster
- XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), Perceptions of South African University Athletes Towards PLWH
- 2012 South Africa Basic Education Conference, Generation Skillz Development Poster
- XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010), VCT Soccer Tournament Poster
- XVIII International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2010), Zimbabwe/Botswana Behavioral Study Poster
- 2010 Using Football For HIV/AIDS Prevention in Africa, Football for an HIV Free Generation
- 2010 GRS and Participatory Learning, South Africa
- 2010 British Journal of Sports Medicine, Football For Health
- 2009 IAPAC Conference Presentation, South Africa
- 2009 St. Lucia Evaluation
- 2008 Fútbol Para la Vida, Dominican Republic Evaluation
- 2008 Creating a Youth “Movement” to Combat HIV/AIDS, Ethiopia
- 2008 XVII International AIDS Conference Poster, Dominican Republic
- 2007 New Directions for Youth Development, Resiliency Article
- 2007 MercyCorps Liberia/Sudan Evaluation
- 2008 Extra Time Magazine Evaluation
- 2007 Evaluation of Sports for Life and Youth and Action Kit in Ethiopia
- 2006 AIDS & Behavior Article
- 2006 CARE/USAID Resiliency Evaluation
- 2006 Botswana Diffusion Study
- 2005 Griffith Stanford Monograph
- 2004 Children’s Health Council Zimbabwe Evaluation