The three-year initiative, backed by approximately £155,000 of funding from Barclays Spaces for Sports, will be delivered by international health organisation Grassroot Soccer (GRS), which has operated in Zambia since 2005.
Over three years, 60 local sports coaches will be trained to deliver the GRS curriculum to 18,000 young people aged 12 to 14.
The coaches are talented young members of the organisation’s Peers Educating Peers Football Club, who are expected to serve as positive role models – and they will also benefit from extensive training in HIV awareness and transferable business skills.
As well as attending courses to increase their understanding of HIV prevention and healthy living, the coaches will learn how to improve their communication skills so they can share their knowledge with the young people they will be working with. Tuition in administration, forward-planning and writing a CV will also be provided, and Barclays Zambia will offer advice on financial capability.
“By providing young people with the knowledge, skills and support to prevent themselves from getting HIV, Grassroot Soccer and Barclays Spaces for Sports are using the power of football to contribute towards creating an HIV-free generation,” said Kirk Friedrich, Founder and Managing Director of GRS.