Our programs seek to address the unique needs of girls and young women, challenge negative gender norms, decrease gender-based violence, and engage boys and young men in creating more gender-equitable communities.
IN SOUTH AFRICA, BY AGE 16
GRS implements a girls-centred initiative that uses soccer to create a safe space for young women and girls, aged 13-16, where they can openly discuss their unique health issues and risks. The program aims to bring about change at both the individual and community level. GRS selects and trains demonstrated female leaders to be mentors (“Coaches”) for girls in their communities. These Coaches implement the GRS evidence-based life skills and HIV prevention curriculum and develop strong relationships with the girls in their program.
GRS additionally implements a single-sex program for boys, ages 15-18, in a soccer league format run by older male Coaches. This program focuses on encouraging healthy behavior, social accountability, and equitable gender norms among adolescent boys. GRS works with local service providers to deliver weekly drug and alcohol counseling and testing to participants, as well as referrals to other health services.
GRS has also created a mixed-sex curriculum to combat negative gender stereotypes that contribute to the HIV epidemic and foster violence against women and girls. Through GRS’s programs, young people are able to transcend traditional gender barriers and take part in open discussions focused on sex, sexuality, empowerment and gender-specific issues including SRHR, gender stereotypes, and gender-based violence.
GRS partners with two women’s soccer clubs in South Africa, RV United in Khayelitsha and the Bluebirds in Alexandra. These competitive clubs provide ongoing opportunities for girls and women to continue to play soccer and develop life skills, to access safe spaces, and to become role models in their communities.
report a higher sense of self-efficacy, confidence, and knowledge about the risk factors for sexual and gender based violence and HIV
are more capable of identifying harmful gender norms and examples of physical and intimate partner violence
in gender-equitable beliefs among graduates of GRS girl-focused program
have shown improved gender equitable attitudes