Barclays S4S LogoBarclays Bank and Grassroot Soccer recently announced the start of a 3-year partnership in Zimbabwe entitled “Skillz for Youth.”  The program, part of Barclays Spaces for Sports initiative, is aimed at harnessing the power of soccer to stop the spread of HIV in Zimbabwe and build self-esteem and self-efficacy of Zimbabwean youth by empowering local role models and increasing community ownership and awareness.

V.P. Nkomo and Methembe

Vice President of Zimbabwe, Honourable John Landa Nkomo (right) shakes hands with GRS Zimbabwe Director Methembe Ndlovu.

Skillz for Youth will impact 100 young adult community role models, 16,000 youth program participants, and up to 100,000 community members.  The program will begin in Bulawayo initially, with plans to spread to Gweru in 2013.   The Grassroot Soccer Skillz curriculum was designed by leading experts in sport, health care, and youth development. Community role models, including professional soccer players and community leaders, will be trained as Barclays Spaces for Sports coaches to implement the lessons. The curriculum focuses on building the basic life skills of boys and girls through a series of interactive soccer-based activities and discussions. The program is implemented outside the classroom, creating a safe and fun space for vital conversation and active learning. The program will create a lasting and life changing effect in the lives of the youth participants. An exciting and unique addition to the curriculum for Skillz for Youth will be a financial literacy component designed with guidance from Barclays.

Vusa Nyoni, GRS participant, and Benjani Mwaruwari

GRS Zimbabwe Ambassadors and professional soccer players Vusa Nyoni (left) and Benjani Mwaruwari (right) pose with a GRS participant.

For more on this exciting new partnership, click here.

Read the full press release of the official program launch here.