Using the power of soccer to fight HIV/AIDS

 
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VAP's  community Anthem

As one of Global Giving user and long-time partner, VAP was invited by Global Giving foundation to speak about its online fundraising experience on what works, what could be better and how the usage of technology could further and add value to community programs. The Yetu initiative workshop managed by Aga Khan foundation and funded by USAID invited Global Giving foundation to share their expertise on online fundraising. Yetu Initiative is a four year activity aimed at sparking more online philanthropy in East Africa as well as empowering Kenyan civil society organizations to jointly tackle the country’s most pressing challenges. ’Yetu’ which means ‘ours’ in Kiswahili, will build local ownership and support for civil society and non-governmental organizations their advocacy for the Kenyan people over a long run. Yetu will also engage communities in fundraising or awareness-raising campaigns, connect NGOs, capacity building platform and mentoring opportunities, and develop online and mobile philanthropy platforms for Kenyans to donate money, time, and skills to support Kenyan NGOs and civil society organizations.

VAP Speaks At Yetu Initiative

As one of Global Giving user and long-time partner, VAP was invited by Global Giving foundation to speak about its online fundraising experience on what works, what could be better and how the usage of technology could further and add value to community programs. The Yetu initiative workshop managed by Aga Khan foundation and funded by USAID invited Global Giving foundation to share their expertise on online fundraising. Yetu Initiative is a four year activity aimed at sparking more online philanthropy in East Africa as well as empowering Kenyan civil society organizations to jointly tackle the country’s most pressing challenges. ’Yetu’ which means ‘ours’ in Kiswahili, will build local ownership and support for civil society and non-governmental organizations their advocacy for the Kenyan people over a long run. Yetu will also engage communities in fundraising or awareness-raising campaigns, connect NGOs, capacity building platform and mentoring opportunities, and develop online and mobile philanthropy platforms for Kenyans to donate money, time, and skills to support Kenyan NGOs and civil society organizations.

Taking time off the busy, tiresome and gruelling Kenya football premier league to participate in a community scheme event and especially when your team is so much in demand of your services,  and it’s on the verge of being declared the champions is something that many football managers and football clubs wouldn’t let it flow easily with their most dependable players.However,Kenya’s national football team player and Gor Mahia FC, the designated Kenya premier league and back to back 2015 champions Sharava who is enjoying a stellar  campaign for his club was amongst the first individuals to lead  Mukuru residents to know their HIV status during the Kick N Test VCT football tournament held on 11th 2015 at Kenya Railways Institute. As VAP’s HIV ambassador and football role model, the youth and residents of mukuru slums were inspired by the presence and participation of Haron who made them rally behind him all the way to VCT tent. “Caring about my health and career completes my stardomity”.laments Haron.

Action On The Field

Played on a different venue and a more improved facility, Kenya Railway Institute ground sits between the two larger slum areas of: Mukuru kayaba slum (on the west) and Mukuru kwa njenga slum (on the east). The tournament was brought to the door steps of Mukuru residents for the first time with an aim of reaching out to a complete outfit of new testers and a different age group of both boys and girls. The games which were played under the same rules and regulations of Kick N Test: scoring points on and off the field attracted 16 teams of mixed gender from all the corners of mukuru slum as well as community members who all got an opportunity to get tested and receive other health services and information including voluntary medical male circumcision as a discount despite being entertained with an El-classico football. For the second time VAP’s newly developed testing tools captured all the data of the participants  and community members who got  tested.

New Leaders In The Fight Against Hiv

Everyone who is not yet infected must know what they need to do to avoid infection. We must give young people the knowledge and power to protect themselves. We need to inform, inspire and mobilize them, through an awareness campaign such as the world has never seen -- using radio, television and professional marketing techniques, as well as more conventional tools of education.” Former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan. These words are well reserved under the belt of Skillz Kenya program. After a successful completion of Skillz program at St. Anne’s primary school, participants were awarded with certificates and officially empowered as community change agents who will regularly be engaged in peer education, spreading the knowledge they’ve gained and ultimately amplifying the impact of the program. “I used to fear talking about HIV but now I can freely talk about it with my family and friends.” Remarked 14 years old Jerusa  from St. Anne’s primary school

Sport for social impact is something that’s new and trending so fast but the larger society is still grappling to understand the combination.However,there’s light at the end of this tunnel as VAP will be in charge of the 'switch' light and making sure that the lights are always on by publishing a one page article of its football based awareness activities that will be appearing on ‘Sports’ monthly, Kenya’s authoritative sports magazine.VAP is determined to take the advantage of this opportunity by amplifying the importance of using the power and popularity of the game of football to inform the larger audience of the Kenya’s population on how effective sports/football can be used to change lives of young people. Already the publishing process has begun and a one page covering of VAP’s activity is on page 15 through www.sportsmonthly.co.ke June magazine. The magazine which is a monthly publication is sold by newsvendors in the shops and the streets of Kenya’s big cities.

Refresher Course For Coaches

A bunch of VAP coaches mostly consisting of new coaches and volunteers who joined in this year, underwent a 4 day training of trainers refresher course. The training which was quite interactive created an opportunity for these set of coaches to express their experiences, lessons learnt, challenges and successes of their first half debut as Skillz coaches. With the focus point of the training being on: peer education, participatory facilitation method, and personal connection with the participants, the aim of the training was to keep every coach abreast with the program expectations, trending issues surrounding program implementation,activities,and how to mitigate challenges encountered during interventions as well as making sure that everyone is reading on the same page." I have built a lot of confidence and self esteem in delivering programs to my fellow youth, and I feel proud of teaching what was taught to me when I was a program participant." Said Leah Ayoti a former program graduate.

The month of May begun on a super duper note for VAP as it was confirmed a ‘superstar ‘status on Global Giving fundraising platform. It has been a roller coaster ride for VAP on Global Giving ladder of partner rewards with the previous status being a ‘Leaders ‘status. Global Giving was the first partner for VAP and lest we forget, the first second hand Pentium four old skool computer that was purchased at $160 out of $250 Global Giving first funds. That being the first computer to VAP through first funding, it has revolutionized and left a significant mark into VAP’s development up todate.The confirmation of a ‘superstar’ status now positions VAP to: most likely be recommended to a corporate partner, featured in Global Giving social media, and in donor communications, eligible for donor interaction and events, eligible for future trainings, matching campaigns, and other opportunities special for superstars. Besides that VAP will still maintain its existing partner benefits: permanent access to Global Giving’s online fundraising and donor management tools, free monthly training covering topics such as financial management for non-profits, reporting on progress reports etc,inclusion on Global Giving’s employee giving programs with corporate partners, access to Global Giving’s site-wide matching campaigns, eligibility to receive gift card redemptions from donors and ability to post volunteer opportunities on the Global Giving site and its volunteer partner sites.

Training With Coaches Across Continents

For the fifth year VAP played host to Coaches Across continents who conducted a 5 day sports for social impact trainings with 40 coaches drawn from various local clubs and institutions. With social issues crowding our communities and being the focus point, coaches had an opportunity to learn new football themed games geared towards tackling and preventing them. Amongst the new football skills for life games learnt were on: HIV/AIDS, Financial literacy, female empowerment, and environment. With vast majority of the coaches coming from various local teams and institutions that partner with VAP, the learning opportunity created a surplus to their football for life skills buckets already filled in by VAP coaches. For VAP coaches who are widely perceived as local experts and oftenly sought out and consulted by myriad of community members for more information, support or referrals, the trainings supplemented more knowledge and skills in delivering sport based intervention programs.

Coach Of The Month

I came, I saw, I conquered is what would best describe 21 year old, Carol who just joined VAP a couple of months ago. Carol has successfully undergone a training of coaches’ workshop and other monthly meetings and has quickly melted into VAP’s life skills coaching program system. Her rapid learning skills, confidence, self esteem and ability to contextualize programs have been effectively impacting the lives of program participants.”Youth are particularly vulnerable to AIDS .Even though we are hardly hit by AIDS, we are also the greatest force for change and I feel as one of the youth i have a responsibility of changing the lives of young people in this world, and using football is one of the quickest methodologies I love most.”Said Carol

Activities at Kiambiu community slum were brought to a halt for some hours as attention was focused on the community football field where an extra ordinary football showdown pitting world’s most popular sports playing against world’s most common enemy.16 teams comprising of girls from different parts of Nairobi were armed with their football gears ready to play against each other but score against team HIV. The camaraderie of the teams and their quest in scoring against HIV was perfected by not only getting points for winning or drawing in their matches ,but also for participating in the Skillz Kenya activities as well as visiting VCT for HIV testing,TB screening and other services that added extra bonus points to their respective teams.

Off The Pitch Goals

Community members of Kiambiu and its environs were not only entertained by watching team football playing against team HIV, but they also took part supporting and rallying behind team football playing against team HIV.They also had an opportunity of scoring off the pitch by visiting VCT tents to know their HIV status and donating their bonus points to their respective favorite teams. For the first time ever, VAP were putting their new testing tools into work and a total of 181 girls and young women majority of them being first time testers were tested including community members who also benefited from the voluntary medical male circumcision services.Despite Kiambiu community being regarded as a high rising house hold name and a hub for producing best young footballers in the larger Kamukunji constituency, VAP was in the business of doubling up these skills to make Kiambiu football fraternity and the community as a whole to be well known in the attack and prevention of HIV both on and off the field.

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Project Leader

Nancy Waweru

Founder
Nairobi, Kenya

Where is this project located?

Kenya   Sport
Map of Using the power of soccer to fight HIV/AIDS