In line with its widely publicised mission, Grassroot Soccer (GRS), in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Local Government, Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) and Standard Bank, will educate and inspire the community at this year’s Youth Day HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing (HCT)/ Health Fair event at the Football for Hope Centre in Khayelitsha from 8:30am – 5pm on 16 June.
Through the power of soccer, the HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing (HCT) event will educate people on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and the importance of knowing one’s HIV status. To encourage community involvement, community members with a passion for the game were invited to participate in a friendly soccer tournament, as well as get free HIV tests. Entrepreneur turned full-time Philanthropist Bobby Sager and his wife Elaine of the Sager Family Foundation will be showing support at the event as part of their worldwide initiatives aimed at assisting people through conflict resolution dialogues, educational drives and overall community building.
Also set to attend is Ignacio Pratt, owner and General Manager of the Events and Travel Barcelona Group and passionate and active member of FC Barcelona, along with soccer icon, former Bafana Bafana Captain, Thabo Mngomeni. Mngomeni will be there interacting and offering coaching to those participating in the tournament in the U/15 and senior divisions. Players will receive points when getting tested with the over-all winners of the day walking away with soccer boots.
As part of the days’ education and community upliftment drive, the Department of Home Affairs and Social Services will provide their services free of charge to first time ID applicants. False Bay and Northlink Colleges will offer their brochures and course information to youth interested in inquiring about tertiary level studies. Standard Bank will also be there to exhibit and facilitate account applications for first time users.
Life Choices, the Desmond Tutu Foundation and Partners in Sexual Health (PSH) will provide and facilitate the free counseling and testing on the day. Testing is anonymous and strictly confidential with results obtainable within 35 minutes, making the process an easy one.
“Through this event we hope to strengthen ties between Grassroot Soccer, the community, government institutions and other partner organisations to promote the importance of living a healthy and informed lifestyle, especially amongst our youth,” says Lunga Sidzumo, Community Project Co-ordinator at Grassroot Soccer.
About Grassroot Soccer
Conceptualised in 2002 Grassroot Soccer is a South African non-profit organisation that educates the youth about life skills and HIV/AIDS through soccer. At GRS soccer is seen as an integral part of local cultures across the world. With it comes a ray of positivity that can be seen even in the worst of circumstances. It is only fitting that this organisation works with professional soccer players, who are heroes to the kids who watch them play, to bring serious issues to the fore. Such is the case with Mathew Booth and this initiative.
VPUU is committed to work according to a set of principles and follows a set of steps from analysing a situation through to operation and maintenance. These steps and the principles want to support the participatory approach of VPUU in order to allow the residents of the four Safe Node Areas to interact and engage with VPUU as a programme in order to take ownership of the urban environment and the social interventions of the programme.
For more information on VPU visit www.vpuu.org.