Grassroot Soccer is changing the course of AIDS by using the power of soccer to increase HIV education, reduce stigma and empower young people to adopt healthy behaviours to prevent the spread of HIV in South Africa and across the world.
Through soccer-based activities and discussions, young people gain a comprehensive knowledge of HIV and AIDS and have the opportunity to practise the skills necessary for sustainable behaviour change.
Young people in South Africa are disproportionately affected by HIV, but they are also the greatest force for change. Grassroot Soccer’s programmes focus on building basic life skills that help youth adopt healthy behaviours and live risk-free.
In order to reach youth in a language that speaks to them, Grassroot Soccer delivers its programmes through soccer—an integral part of local cultures across the world. Influential role models train to be HIV educators and Caring Coaches in their communities, providing participants with a safe and fun environment in which to build and strengthen relationships, and for the youth to learn and take personal action in the fight against HIV.
Grassroot Soccer was founded in 2002 by former professional soccer players in Zimbabwe and has been headquartered in Cape Town since 2008. Today Grassroot Soccer works in four sites in South Africa and in 43 other countries across the world. By capitalising on the power of play and using the sport’s popularity to engage young people, Grassroot Soccer has reached over 630,000 youth worldwide to date, with 42,000 youth in South Africa in 2013.