Alive & Kicking Zambia is at the halfway stage of its HIV/AIDS Awareness Roadshow, which is travelling around the Copperbelt region providing young people with football coaching and HIV/AIDS education. The roadshow has already made a huge impact, having visited the cities of Chililabombwe and Kitwe so far.
Throughout the time spent in Chililabombwe and Kitwe, the team, led by Ben Sadler of Tackle Africa, has provided training sessions for 38 football coaches. Cumulatively those coaches train 2,022 children on a regular basis throughout the year, so their new knowledge of HIV/AIDS education football drills from the Tackle Africa syllabus will make them invaluable assets to their communities for years to come.
The newly trained coaches immediately practised their drills with 440 boys and girls, and held HIV/AIDS discussions with a further 630 children throughout their time.
Each week ended with enormous football and netball tournaments that involved 497 young participants and over 3,500 spectators.
Analysis of Alive & Kicking’s monitoring and evaluation questionnaire on children’s levels of HIV/AIDS knowledge before and after the Roadshow’s activities shows that 96% of children improved their understanding. The results are based on a sample size of 102 children so far.
Furthermore, the participants and spectators were all given the opportunity to find out their status at mobile Voluntary Counselling and Testing centres set up at the side of the tournaments. The VCT provider has been amazed at the take up stating a 264% increase on their previous best figure for number of people tested in a day.
The willingness of people to find out their status has been put down to inspirational speeches by a member of the Zambia Network of Religious Leaders living with HIV/AIDS (image of Gersholm below), and due to the HIV/AIDS education drills that occurred throughout the week that played their part in de-stigmatising the process of getting tested.
Finally, when the Roadshow left Chililabombwe and Kitwe it left behind 400 hard wearing leather balls for local schools and football clubs, giving the sports coaches the wherewithal to continue providing high quality coaching going forward.
The next stops for the Roadshow team will be Mufulira and Ndola.
The winners of the tournaments so far are listed below:
Football Winners: Malalo (local team rather than school)
Football Runners Up: Konkola (local team rather than school)
Netball Winners: Mitondo High School
Netball Runners Up: Lubengele School
Football Winners: Mikeshi School
Football Runners Up: Mindolo High
Netball Winners: Salem Community School
Netball Runners Up: Mikeshi School