Tuesday, April 25, was World Malaria Day. As part of our approach to the prevention, testing, and treatment of malaria, Grassroot Soccer continues to partner with the ExxonMobil Foundation to develop a soccer-based malaria prevention curriculum to be implemented by local organizations in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and Tanzania. The program has been hugely successful due largely to the strength of our local partners and a passion for soccer among youth in these countries.
Grassroot Soccer provides technical support through curriculum development, training, organizational capacity development, and program design. Our local partners work with ExxonMobil’s local affiliates and governments to provide activity-based educational programs in schools and at soccer pitches in areas that are heavily affected by malaria.
Partners in Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and Tanzania host World Malaria Day activities. Most do typical testing tournaments, where they hold a soccer tournament for multiple teams, and invite health service providers to come and provide health services, primarily HIV and malaria testing. Additionally, most of these partners distribute bed nets to participants and their family members. They also hold song and dance activities and information sessions on the side.
One partner, Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI), is in the process of creating a photo essay and asked participants what SKILLZ means to them and how it helps them prevent malaria transmission. YEDI is a local, Nigerian-run NGO that empowers, educates, and inspires youth and communities using proven models or ideas modified for the Nigerian context. YEDI was founded in 2011 to pilot the West Africa Grassroot Soccer model. The pilot was an immediate success and since then, over 100,000 young people have benefited from it. In addition to the photo essay, YEDI will have a tournament this Saturday, which will take place alongside other activities including free medical checkups, malaria testing and treatment, distribution of long-lasting insecticidal treated nets, key messages and health talk on malaria, music, food, and other activities.
Learn more about Grassroot Soccer malaria prevention, testing, and treatment programs.