While your support goes directly to support the Maseru Street League, we think it's only fair to shift gears a bit and give an update that focuses on some other projects which are equally important and really help to round out the bigger picture of what Kick4Life does. In fact, many of the other projects at Kick4Life are very much related to the Street League and help provide a more comprehensive approach to our support of children in Lesotho.
To put things in context, the monthly football tournament for OVCs (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) that is the Maseru Street League is simply a part of the larger "OVC Care and Support Initiative". This Initiative hosts a number of unique projects that all serve to provide the support and means for children to move off the streets, find stable living arrangements, and/or go back to school. Recognizing that we can't do everything at Kick4Life, we have trained counselors and mentors who are constantly working hard to utilize a strong referral system for those needs which are out of our capabilities, such as food, nutrition and shelter.
Here is a list of other Kick4Life projects that complement the Street League, all of which are currently underway!
- Recycling Initiative – A new income generating project that uses trailers attached to bikes to deliver a recycling service to citizens of Lesotho. All customer subscription fees and commission rates from the recycling centre will go towards OVC school fees, uniforms, supplies, etc. OVCs ride the bikes to collect the recycling themselves. This program is still in a pilot phase but has already generated quite a buzz around Maseru.
- ICT Campaign - a nationwide awareness campaign using mobile texting technology to increase knowledge about HIV awareness as well as increase access to HIV treatment.
- OVC Care & Support Programme - a mentoring and referral programme for the street children and very vulnerable youth in Maseru. Each child undergoes an in-depth Child Status Index assessment which outlines their areas of most urgent need. A 6 month Care Plan is then put together referring the child to partner organizations and agencies who offer services in those areas of need.
- Red Card Campaign - a series of drama skits performed at community events and to the youth going through the K4L HIV Prevention Curriculum with audience participation demonstrating risky behaviours for HIV.
- Fit4Work - a five day intensive workshop to teach vulnerable youth the essential skills required to obtain a job and succeed in the workforce. The four major themes of the workshop are job-hunting, CV writing, interview/communication skills and workplace conduct. In between these sessions, the workshop includes exercises in problem-solving, teamwork and life-skills. Upon completion of the workshop, each graduate is assigned a work placement for a minimum of one week.
- Women's Ambition for a Better Future - This programme was launched in February 2011 for very vulnerable young women in Maseru who go through the Kick4Life curriculum, participate in various community events, receive mentoring and counseling, and go through our Fit4Work program, which will allow them to get real job experience. The program is designed to give at-risk women, many of whom are sex workers, an opportunity to receive valuable skills and opportunities that will ultimately lead to stable employment and a healthier lifestyle.
Please also keep in mind that Kick4Life trained "coaches" are continuing to deliver our innovative HIV and Life Skills Curriculum in schools and communities around Maseru, and they have already graduated over 1500 youth in 2011 alone! This is really outstanding work done by our coaches and they deserve all the recognition they can get.
And, on top of this, we have just relocated to the new Lesotho Football for Hope Centre, featuring a 7-a-side artificial turf pitch.
The future remains bright for Kick4Life, and you play a big part in making this happen.