Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Football fights back against HIV in Kenya


Football and HIV training in Kenya (c) Albion in the Community

Young people from countries across East Africa spent last week learning how football can help tackle AIDS and HIV prevention as part of the Alliance and Albion in the Community’s (AITC) unique ‘Football Fighting Back’ project.

The event took place in Watamu in Kenya at the Medina Palms resort. AITC coaches worked alongside local health experts to deliver a week-long programme of activity to 26 young coaches, mostly from Kenya and Rwanda.

The intensive course is designed to help participants use football as a way of reaching young people in their communities to stop the spread of HIV, de-stigmatise the subject, and reduce harm.

Leading football and HIV charity, Tackle Africa, Alliance Linking Organisation the Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO) and the Medina Palms Resort also supported this year’s project where participants developed their skills in football coaching, leadership and understanding of HIV prevention.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event which saw 20 coaches from Africa, Asia and Europe come to Brighton and the Amex Stadium, the organisers decided to take this year’s programme to Kenya to work closer with coaches and projects supported by the initiative.

Jacob Naish, head of AITC’s international department said:

“It was always the aim of this project to take it closer to the people who are working on the ground and dealing with the day to day impact that HIV/AIDS has in their communities, so it was great to able to do this after last year’s event in Brighton. The enthusiasm and dedication of those who took part was awe-inspiring and the plan is for them to now roll-out the programme in their own communities.”

“This is our second year working together and we love the fact that two Brighton-based organisations have come together, and stayed together, to help support the global fight against the spread of HIV,” said Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.  "When it comes to new infections 40% are among 15-24 year old and the numbers will continue to grow unless we can prevent the spread of HIV. In this instance football is a fantastic way of reaching young people."

Moses Kamilick, a 28-year-old project officer from local Kenyan NGO CINCO (Community Initiative Concern)  who took part in the course added:

"The whole week was fantastic and I learned so much from the different workshops and training sessions with the Albion in the Community coaches. Football can be such an effective way to educate young people about HIV and AIDS and to get them to at least acknowledge the epidemic. It can also be a powerful tool in giving young people in our communities the life skills they need to survive.”

    Football is a fantastic way of reaching young people