By: Jessica Bennett
Who are they?
Tackle Africa is an organization focusing on educating youth on HIV through soccer coaching and the power of sport. They currently have long term projects in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and support a further group of coaches in Zambia. In total they support an active network of 465 coaches across East Africa working regularly with 18,000 young people.
What do they do?
Tackle Africa works with both boys and girls (roughly a 50/50 split currently) with an age range of 12-18 years old. Their goal is to reach youth before and as they become sexually active to ensure that they are fully informed and empowered to make safe decisions. Their program includes interactive soccer drills incorporated with material to educate youth on dangers of HIV/ AIDS and how to protect against this devastating yet prevalent disease. Drills are designed so that young people learn through play, in a way they enjoy, remember and understand. Through the messages in these drills, they educate and challenge young players to make safer decisions, limiting the impact of HIV in their families and communities.
Why focus on Africa and this NGO?
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to over 90% of the world’s HIV positive children and over two thirds of all people living with HIV live here. With the majority of the world’s population living with HIV/ AIDS in Africa, Tackle Africa knew it was their civic duty to help confront and diminish this issue. With such a large at risk community , TackleAfrica uses the power and popularity of football to deliver HIV education to young people on football pitches across the continent. Specifically, they train African coaches to use fun, interactive football drills with the young people in their clubs and communities.
How individuals support this organization?
TackleAfrica hosts Football Marathons in London, Brighton, Lancaster and Jersey and teams play six on six for a twelve-hour event dedicated to raising money for Tackle Africa and HIV education.The money is used towards combatting against HIV myths youth and adults believe and creating HIV awareness.
The Football Marathons unites fans of the beautiful game through our shared love of football. Here in the UK we use it to raise cash, in Africa we’re using it to raise awareness about HIV.
“The potential of the model is mind-blowing… The act of taking one cohort of 20 coaches through the whole program therefore has the potential to give thousands of young people access to HIV and AIDS education in their community.”
2010 London Football Marathon winners The Hawks visited Kenya to see their cash in action.
TackleAfrica activity: From Refugees to Role Models
Many refugees flee from conflicting African countries. Especially the Democratic of Congo to Uganda due to their fairly welcoming policies. Particularly, refugees from the Democratic of Congo who may be safe from unjust conflict, however they still lack basic access to education. This is where TackleAfrica jumps in: TackleAfrica not only trains and educates these refugees on HIV awareness, but also transforms these individuals into TackleAfrica coaches who can inspire HIV awareness to African youth through football. These individuals leave the program inspired to educate youth at risk of HIV and to keep learning through the power of sport.
Tackle Africa was featured in Issue 4 of our magazine and will be featured in Issue 5 as well. Click here to order yours today!
Learn more about the organization by clicking on the link below: