Mercy Corps’ “YES to Soccer” program in Liberia is based on a curriculum designed by Grassroot Soccer that combines young people’s passion for the sport with drills, role plays and discussions about HIV/AIDS. Currently, 3,000 Liberians between the ages of 16 and 30 participate in the program.
“The idea behind ‘YES to Soccer’ is to use role models who young people trust – like soccer players and coaches – to confirm what they’re hearing about AIDS and integrate it into their behavior,” says Jessica Quarles, Mercy Corps HIV/AIDS program officer. “Grassroot Soccer has combined social theory, public-health methodologies, rigorous evaluation and a huge dose of passion. It knows that behavior change takes skills and practice, and its curriculum reflects this.”
Read more about Mercy Corps’ efforts in Liberia here. (Photo: Emmy Lang-Kennedy/Mercy Corps)