Zimbabwe is Grassroot Soccer’s maiden program and was launched in January of 2003. To date, over 41,000 youth have graduated from our Zimbabwe program. In addition, GRS Zimbabwe and our strategic partners have tested 1700 people for HIV through our Voluntary Counseling and Testing tournaments.
Since its establishment, Grassroot Soccer Zimbabwe has been working with many professional soccer players from several teams, including Bantu Rovers and Highlanders. GRSZ has had an exceptional relationship with Bantu Rovers, who have a strong youth policy and social mission. Bantu has allowed GRS access to its soccer professional players and adjusted its training schedule to cater for GRS programming.
GRS Zimbabwe works with a number of schools in both Bulawayo and Harare, targeting mainly families with low socio-economic status, orphans and vulnerable children.
GRS Zimbabwe also enjoys a strong and diverse funding stream. Current partners include Comic Relief, Nike, Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Gilead Foundation, and the RCRT Foundation. Barclays Bank and GRSZ have partnered to help communities have access to good soccer fields by upgrading the Inyathi Youth Centre and Magwegwe Primary School grounds.
GRS Zimbabwe has three main curricula:
- Skillz Core is GRS’s first curriculum, developed in 2003. It targets youth between the ages of 11 to 14 years and focuses on basic HIV prevention and behavior change.
- Generation Skillz, first implemented in 2011, targets youth ages 14 to 19. It focuses on gender based violence, dangers of multiple sexual concurrent partners, and cross generational sex, utilizing communication and discussions among youth.
- Generation Skillz with Financial Literacy is similar to Generation Skillz, but also includes a component addressing financial literacy, which encompasses issues such as identifying and pursuing goals and basic budgeting.
Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Tournaments: GRS Zimbabwe commenced its first ever VCT tournament in October 2011. VCT tournaments are a way for GRS to bring services to the community. Soccer celebrities mobilize the community through door to door campaigns, raising awareness about the up coming soccer tournament. At the tournament, GRS facilitates and mobilizes different health service providers to provide free HIV testing services, family planning, referrals (including Medical Male Circumcision) and TB screening, all in the atmosphere of a fun and competitive day of soccer.
Latest and New Activities: With the program’s continued success, here are some activities coming up in GRS Zimbabwe:
- In late 2012, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation, GRS began a randomized controlled trial to investigate uptake of MMC services after delivery of an innovative interactive 90 minute intervention.Planned expansion of activities in Gweru in 2013.
- Planned expansion of activities into Gweru in 2013.
- Piloting of Generation Skillz with Financial Literacy.
- GRS has been selected by FIFA and street football world to manage and run a Football for Hope Centre that will be built in Luveve township in Bulawayo – one of only 20 centres being built by FIFA in Africa. This centre will create a community space for GRS programming.
Contact GRS Zimbabwe:
56 Old Exchange Building
Tel: +263-9-203324 or +263-9-203325