Sport
 Kenya
Project #1885

Using the power of soccer to fight HIV/AIDS

by Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP)

The commemoration of world’s AIDS day wouldn’t be complete at VAP without the Kick “N” Test VCT football tournament. Twenty eight football teams of mixed gender from different regions of Nairobi had their roads leading to Eastlands Nairobi, the hotbed of Kenyan’s finest grassroot football with a track record of producing majority of Kenya’s great football stars and coaches who have ascended to the echelons of Kenya’s football including playing in the national team. The participants came from far and wide in buses and matatus (Nairobi’s common means of public transportation) with highly pumped up music and their guns blazing, with every team eyeing for the tournament’s trophy by winning the game on the field, and winning the game off the field through HIV testing. The pomp and colour Kick N Test VCT football tournament that was played on a knock-out basis attracted the presence of two health service providers: Eastern Deanery Aids Relief Program (EDARP) and Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) who pitched up VCT tents ready with syringes and other testing paraphernalia. The traveling team fans, team coaches and members of the community had their share of the game by visiting the tents for HIV testing and donating their off the field extra points to their respective teams.

  HIV Ambassadors

The tournament also provided an opportunity for some participants to cap off the event by officially being confirmed as HIV ambassadors in their respective communities after successfully completing SKILLZ Kenya program, an HIV awareness program that’s conducted in schools and communities.The Program targets both boys and girls and creates a simple, but powerful connections between football and life, and helps young people take small steps to achieve their goals, stay strong when faced with challenges, and protect themselves and others from HIV and AIDS. All these is done through a series of interactive games, activities, and discussions where participants gain a tangible understanding of core messages related to HIV/AIDS, and get a chance to practice the skills necessary to sustainable behaviour change and make informed healthy choices for themselves.

HIV Oral-Self Testing Research Study

With the partnership of Medical School of South Carolina and VAP’s monitoring and evaluation team, the event was taken a notch higher with some breaking new grounds of a pilot research study aimed to: assess perpectives of the tournament attendees on HIV testing, self-testing for HIV, barriers to receiving care for HIV, and risk behaviors, estimate proportion of HIV positive subjects who would be interested in a group approach to improving treatment access and adherence, assess proportion of adult subjects who are aware of HIV self-testing, and assess perceptions about self-testing for HIV, identify cultural and religious barriers to practicing safe sex behaviors among adult subjects in the population, assess the proportion of adult subjects attending a community football tournament who tested for HIV at the tournament, estimate the proportion of those subjects who know that they are HIV positive and of those subjects who know that they are HIV positive, estimate the proportion who have been on treatment in the past and proportion currently on treatment. The results of this study is expected to inform future research into improving access to care for HIV positive individuals and serve as evidence of the effectiveness of VAP program in improving HIV testing rates as well as identifying specific needs in the population.

The Most Tested Team

Despite losing on the field, joy could still prevail on the faces of Kayole football team who emerged winners of the ‘Most Tested ‘team. The team bagged the ‘most tested team’ trophy after rallying its team players, coach and fans who jammed VCT tents to know their HIV status and accumulating the bonus points garnered through off the field. Kayole FC which is based in Kayole slum a community with an estimated population of over 298,000 people has a large population of youth who face a myriad of challenges including: lack of jobs, prostitution, teenage pregnancies, involvement in criminal activities, and HIV infections. The team has also been participating in Skillz Kenya program and have gained community role model status in matters concerning HIV.

HIV Status

18 years old, Filisia  who trades her football with Makadara combined football club scores off the field to secure the last minutes crucial bonus points for her team. Filisia who plays in the midfield doubles up as the team captain for her team and has been a Skillz Kenya participant in her school at Kariobangi secondary school.”As a graduate of Skillz Kenya and a captain of my team, I have to lead from the front in the fight against HIV. Am hoping to join VAP as a skillz coach so that I can teach about HIV.” Said Filisia.

  Thank You!

Hardly can we believe that we are on the tail end of the year 2015 and that the year 2016 is now beckoning. Looking at our archive, a lot has been accomplished and a lot of lives have been transformed. This wouldn’t be possible without the combined and the unwavering support of great people: staff, coaches, volunteers, friends, community members and participants even though we acknowledge that there’s work load still awaiting us in 2016. Additionally, we would also like to express our utmost thanks to our esteemed partners, donors, supporters and other like-minded organizations for their key role towards VAP’s movement. As we are on the counting down to the holiday seasons, we would like to wish everyone a happy festive season and a prosperous 2016…

VAP alongside other football for development organizations under the umbrella of Football for Hope network from across Africa converged at MYSA headquarters for a three days interactive Football for Hope and Adidas Exchange Program workshop. The event that ran from 3-5th November triggered a discussion touching on a variety of topics ranging from monitoring and evaluations, proposal writing, and program implementation as well as networking opportunity. Football for Hope network continues to strengthen the impact of all the organizations globally through network meetings, exchange programmes and joint events. The adidas Exchange programme runs in partnership with Adidas and football for Hope. Spearheaded by FIFA and streetfootballworld, a centre of expertise that supports a global network of local organizations in the field of development through football, Football For Hope is a movement that uses the power of the game of football for social development. The team also had an opportunity to visit VAP offices on their last day of the workshop.

Exchange Learning

As one of Grassrootsoccer‘s “old skool” partner, VAP was invited to travel down to Cape Town at Grassroot soccer’s offices for a 5 day learning exchange with partner organizations. The intention of the learning exchange was to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing between partner organizations zeroing in on: monitoring and evaluation, program planning, coach management and development amongst others.VAP including the other 10 organizations represented had an opportunity to present its programs, share, and network and learn from other organizations.VAP truly beliefs that the ripple effects of the workshop will be felt on its programs and the entire organization as it moves on with its crusade of changing the lives of young people through football.

Happy ThanksGiving!

For the generous individual donors and corporates who help us implement our programs and the unwavering support that we get from volunteers towards sustaining our work, we want to say that we are so grateful. On behalf of the thousands of young people from the slums of Nairobi and from Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP), we wonna wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving day..

Teachers and parents affiliated with VAP programs from all the corners of Nairobi were invited by VAP coaches, peer educators and volunteers to come and share their views on VAP programs. Led by the able leadership of the charismatic, senior and master coach Everlyne who possess a community role model status,the parents and teachers were taken through all VAP programs including the economic empowerment facets within VAP.Each and every head of VAP department had time to narrate the way they do their programs and the support that they would expect from teachers and parents. The parents too had an opportunity to ask questions and add input towards strengthening the programs. “My 14 year old daughter can make her own informed decision with less of my commands, thanks to VAP coaches.” Said Mariam.The teachers and parents agreed to work and support the work that's is deliverred by VAP coaches towards enhancing the lives of children in the communities.

Egmont Parner Meeting

Five organizations affiliated to Egmont Trust converged at the shores of Mt.Kenya in Nanyuki for the first substantive meeting of partners. The aim of the meeting was to create a networking platform for the partners to know each other (face to face) and make a discussion focusing on: specific programming best practices, evaluating real impact and peer learning/evaluation processes, closer communication with other partners and beyond, focusing on local and international current key drivers that have an influence either economically, politically and socially as well as learning on Egmont reporting system that could as well be used for internal monitoring. The five organizations with a diverse approach of community programming had to take home a basket full of knowledge gained from a spectrum of program implementations and evaluations from each other and a way forward to keep the spirit of the forum burning.

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

 

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Organization Information

Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​www.vijanaamanipamoja.org
Project Leader:
Nancy Waweru
Founder
Nairobi, Kenya
$31,018 raised of $60,000 goal
 
295 donations
$28,982 to go
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