Alive & Kicking is happy to report on a successful ‘Orphanage World Cup’ project in Lusaka. The programme was managed by Alive & Kicking’s resident Tackle Africa Coach, Ben Sadler. Over 500 orphans and vulnerable children in the city of Lusaka took part and gained access to life skills training and HIV/AIDS sensitisation. A series of mini leagues were held over a 6 month period which included health awareness coaching sessions. They were followed by a World Cup style tournament running over two weeks and culminating in a thrilling final.
Throughout the event, a total of 450 footballs and netballs were donated, over 500 children received HIV/AIDS awareness sessions, and 109 coaches and teachers received Tackle Africa training on how to disseminate HIV/AIDS awareness through sport. In a city where there are limited opportunities for the most vulnerable children to take part in organised sport, this project has been received with gratitude and smiles by children and their teachers.
Samuel Sibanda, 17, a participant from Dream Runners Orphanage had his message for Alive & Kicking supporters:
“I would like to tell you all that we will not let you down because we are united. The league has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life and has put smiles on the faces of me and all of my friends. We played well and meeting with different kinds of people made me happy because we cooperated and learnt from one another – lack of knowledge leads many people into bad decision making so the HIV games have helped us a lot.”
The finals took place at the Zambian Olympic Youth Development Centre, at which all the participants were given access to mobile Voluntary Counselling and Test Centres so that they could find out their HIV status and learn where to get help if they need it.