11 for Health – F-MARC, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mauritius- In South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mauritius, Grassroot Soccer was contracted by FIFA-Medical Assessment Research Centre (F-MARC) to develop an innovative sport-based curriculum to educate youth on basic health issues like malaria, hygiene, and nutrition. Initially pilot tested in South Africa, the program is now being transferred to Zimbabwe and Mauritius to inform FIFA’s scale up strategy. To date, 76 mentors have been trained and the program has reached 1,187 youth. Participants showed statistically significant increases on most health issues and these increases were maintained three months post intervention.
Sports for Peace and Life – Mercy Corps, southern Sudan- In southern Sudan, Grassroot Soccer partnered with Mercy Corps to design a sport-based HIV prevention and conflict management curriculum and train representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport from the ten southern Sudan states. Over nine months, the program trained 366 facilitators through 14 ToTs. These facilitators graduated over 5,500 youth through the curriculum. Findings from internal and independent evaluations showed that youth participants gained considerable protective knowledge and attitudes and sustained those gains.
Skillz – Football for an HIV Free Generation, South Africa- In South Africa, a 3-year, $4.1MM grant from USAID/PEPFAR, is enabling Grassroot Soccer to reach 80,000 youth ages 12-14 through our Skillz curriculum. Designed to align with the Department of Education Life Orientation course, Skillz is a comprehensive HIV prevention and life skills package consisting of a curriculum used at the community level, supplemental national and international mass media messaging, and a global coordinated advocacy campaign that uses soccer to promote healthy living and responsible choices among African youth.
Generation Skillz- South Africa, Zambia, and Lesotho- Relying on the latest epidemiological research and input from the Grassroot Soccer Research Advisory Committee, GRS identified the need to develop programming specifically for older teens (15-19). GRS has developed a 10-session intervention aimed at complex issues specific to this age cohort, including multiple sexual partners, cross-generational sex, transactional sex, gender-based violence, and substance abuse. Generation Skillz activities are now being rolled out in Zambia, Lesotho, and South Africa. GRS will measure changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours post-intervention, 6-months, and 1-year out in South Africa.
Red Cards: South Africa- Based on similar interventions in Madagascar and Ethiopia, GRS has developed Red Cards, a one-hour, one-off drama-based HIV education intervention in collaboration with a mass-media campaign. GRS will conduct a study to measure the impact and cost-effectiveness of this new type of programming. If found effective, Red Cards has the potential to be implemented on a large scale due to low time constraints of both coaches and learners and low costs of materials, training, and implementation.
Resiliency – CARE USA, Zambia & South Africa- In 2005, Grassroot Soccer developed a sport-based curriculum to develop resiliency among youth in Zambia and South Africa, where many young people face emotional stress and trauma caused by the chronic and acute hardship associated with AIDS. With the support of USAID and CARE USA, Grassroot Soccer enhanced its existing activity-based curriculum to develop a six-week resiliency-focused HIV/AIDS education and life skills pilot program for 670 youth. The evaluation findings indicated that the Grassroot Soccer resiliency pilot program affected decision-making and strategies for building resiliency in the lives of the participants.
Skillz 4 Life – Namibia- Working with Special Olympics Namibia, Grassroot Soccer modified its Skillz Curriculum to create the first known sport-based health education for African youth with intellectual disabilities. People with disabilities are especially vulnerable to HIV infection because they are at a higher risk of sexual abuse and are often excluded from HIV and health education programmes.
Skillz Street- Skillz Street is a girls-targeted intervention that engages adolescent girls in informal soccer leagues. Skillz Street combines interactive life skills and HIV education activities with non-competitive soccer and peer-led community outreach activities. GRS launched in early 2010 in response to overwhelming research that shows HIV is disproportionately concentrated among women and girls and that participation in sport among adolescent females correlates to a range of health benefits.
Kick4Life – Kick4Life, Lesotho- In Lesotho, Kick4Life identified the need to incorporate cutting-edge research on behaviour change interventions and the HIV epidemic into their programs and hired Grassroot Soccer to produce a curriculum for youth 12-18 across the country. Through a three-day Curriculum Development Workshop, participants engaged in a mind-map (a visual representation of the connectivity and causal relationships between concepts) to identify the major drivers of the HIV epidemic in their own communities. This process helped identify and troubleshoot important cultural and linguistic issues, and gain buy-in from local implementers to a degree difficult to obtain through a top-down approach.