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Mission and Vision


“Grassroot Soccer’s work is a refreshing and highly promising effort that can help turn the tide against HIV. Soccer is like a universal language…Grassroot Soccer thus reaches large numbers of young people with HIV education, and bases its programs on the best available evidence.

- Helen Epstein, author, The Invisible Cure

Our Mission: Grassroot Soccer uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize young people to stop the spread of HIV.

Our Vision: A world mobilized through soccer to create an AIDS free generation.

Our Principles: 

1. Young people have a vast potential to create meaningful change and play a significant role in realizing an AIDS-free generation.

2. Soccer is an ideal way to reach, educate, and inspire young people in a language they understand and enjoy.

3. Eradicating HIV and AIDS requires an integrated, collaborative, holistic, and community-wide approach.


Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and empower young people to stop the spread of HIV. Founded by four professional soccer players, Grassroot Soccer is mobilizing the most vulnerable population of youth, ages 13-18, to break the cycle of AIDS by engaging local coaches who equip young people with the knowledge, skills and support they need to avoid HIV. GRS has a global reach, with flagship sites in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

To date over 1.2 million participants in 40 countries have taken part in GRS programming. GRS impacts approximately 100,000 youth per year.


1. To continually improve our innovative, culturally sensitive and fun ‘SKILLZ’ curriculum.
2. To effectively share our curriculum and concept with local implementing partners, allowing us to achieve scale in a sustainable way while making use of local capacity and infrastructure.
3. To empower local community role models (professional soccer players, youth sport coaches, teachers, peer educators, etc.) with the tools to educate the youth in their communities.


With an annual budget of $8 million, 75 employees and over 500 volunteers in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the United States, and partners throughout the globe, GRS delivers its SKILLZ interventions to youth between the ages of 13-18 every day across this geography and regularly hosts training events for staff and volunteers.

GRS’s activities are divided into two areas: global activities and in-country activities. Globally, GRS focuses on curriculum development, measurement and evaluation, strategic development and financial management. In-country, our teams execute on the GRS and partner funded programs, managing all aspects required to fulfill our mission and satisfy the funders’ financial and programmatic needs. In addition, outside GRS’s three affiliate countries (South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe), the global team provides technical assistance to implementing partners who deliver SKILLZ interventions. GRS’s global team identifies partners capable of sustaining a football-based HIV prevention program, matches them with funders, provides in-country training and ongoing technical assistance and assists in the overall capacity building of these organizations.

Through these activities, GRS engages hundreds of young role model educators (coaches, teachers and peer educators) on a part time or volunteer basis in several African countries.


Grassroot Soccer’s funding continues to come from multiple sources: individuals, corporations and foundations, and government agencies. Visit our Supporters page to see our great funding partners.