The impact of Grassroot Soccer programming can be traced back to an approachable yet intricate concept: The Three A’s. Each of these pillars – Assets, Access, and Adherence – lend themselves to the shared success of Grassroot Soccer Participants and Coaches. This Three A’s framework means ensuring adolescents develop the assets (knowledge and skills) they need; that they can access youth friendly services; and that they have the necessary support to adhere to medicines and adopt health-seeking behaviors over the long term.

Obriel’s story demonstrates The Three A’s in action, demonstrating learned assets, provided access, and adherence to voluntary medical male circumcision. Obriel is from Zimbabwe. 

My name is Obriel Nyumbu, I was born in 1997. The first time I learnt about VMMC was when I accompanied my uncle Justice Majazi, who is an ambassador for Grassroot Soccer, to their Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) Programme Training at Mufakose Training Centre in Harare. When we got there everyone seemed welcoming and I ended up sitting through the training as they were discussing about VMMC and they were mentioning things I had never heard of before. After the session I went home and asked my uncle if I could join in again the following day and he agreed.

During the piloting of the program I was introduced to Coach Abisha who was presenting the activity Cut and Cover; after the activity I asked Abisha how soon I could get circumcised and was shocked to hear that the following day would be ideal if I was ready. During our discussion I got the impression he understood my anxiety and seemed relaxed at my request. He told me that he had been circumcised and it felt good knowing that the person that I was talking to had gone through the procedure as well. He educated me about the benefits of getting a circumcision, the reduction of the possibility of being infected with HIV and that being circumcised prevents the virus from entering the body.

The following morning Abisha gave me directions to where I would get circumcised. When I got there, I was treated well and the next thing I knew I had been circumcised on that very same day. The whole procedure took about 35 minutes and I was assured that the stitches were neat. […] It’s been only a couple of days now and already the pain is starting to die away slowly.

Already I feel like a boss because I made a boss move! I feel clean and smart and can’t wait to tell my peers to get circumcised too. Thank you Grassroot Soccer!