Friday, May 18, 2012

ZIMBABWE: Youths bribed with soccer to get circumcised

the Herald (Zimbabwe)
May 17, 2012

Zimbabwe: Changing Lives Through Soccer

THE power of soccer is the ability to keep humans knocking the ball around.


The power of soccer has not only left people in packed stadiums excited, it has marked its place in the management of HIV and Aids by thousands of youths in Zimbabwe's second largest city, Bulawayo.


GRS communications officer Tanya Sibanda said since 2002, more than 25 000 youth have graduated from GRS Zimbabwe programmes


The GRS curriculum, she points out, is also designed to strengthen relationships between the coaches and the youth participants and comprises of ten 90-minute sessions.

Each coaching pair (i.e. a male and a female coach) works with a maximum of 25 youths.

One session is done per week meaning these two role models will see the same 25 youth once a week for 10 weeks, enabling them to build strong, trusting relationships.

Ms Sibanda said the curriculum is also designed to foster maximum interaction between GRS coaches and participants.


GRS received a three-year programme grant in 2005 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its work.

"GRS now operates flagship sites in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Zambia and has worked through partnerships in 18 countries worldwide," she said.


She revealed that GRS and PSI Zimbabwe will be hosting Bulawayo's first-ever male circumcision soccer tournaments to promote male circumcision from April to June.

Ms Sibanda said health partners at the events will offer free referrals for medical male circumcision including appointment bookings and free transportation to the PSI male circumcision clinic on site, with free HIV counselling and testing as well. [So what choice will the boys have?]

Soccer celebrities spearheading this campaign include some of Bulawayo's hottest talent -- Bantu Rovers' squad, which is fresh from a tour of the United States. From April 1 to 8, Bantu represented Zimbabwe at the 33rd annual Dallas Cup tournament in Dallas, Texas.


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