Winning 30,000 USD Rumah Cemara beat off 293 initiatives from 60 countries. Using football to overcome local stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV Rumah Cemara hosts weekly football matches across West Java in Indonesia that engage both HIV positive and HIV negative players.
“Our programme uses football for social change,” said Adit Taslim, Rumah Cemara’s Grants Manager and the team’s goalkeeper. “Football is a universal language accepted by many people. With football, we are able to provide a space to normalise HIV and AIDS more widely.”
The ‘Changing Lives Through Football’ competition encourages individuals or organisations to showcase innovative ideas on how football can make a difference.
Rumah Cemara was particularly commended for their brilliant use of Facebook as a social networking tool. They appealed directly to online users to beat stigma and discrimination against HIV/AIDS by voting. They also invited all Rumah Cemara’s networks locally, nationally and internationally to raise awareness and be part of the solution.
“We proposed this idea because we love
football!” said Ginan Koesmayadi the captain of Rumah Cemara’s football
team and the organisation’s director. “When we do something we love, we
share positive energy and we use this energy to eliminate the stigma and
discrimination against people living with HIV in this world.”
Rumah Cemara is the largest network of people living with HIV and people who use drugs in West Java. The organisation has over 5,500 members in 61 peer support groups who are either affected by drugs and or living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
The money that the organisation has won is very important. It will enable Rumah Cemara to develop their football programme to incorporate more players to tackle HIV stigma and discrimination and to publicise the work. It will also be used for a referral programme that means people who learn their status can be referred to health centres and hospitals in the region, to nutritional counsellors, support groups and if they are interested in joining, to the Rumah Cemara Football Programme.
“Football isn’t only about sport. It teaches us many things like how collective change comes when every person is aware of their role and position. Results will be achieved through hard work and pulling together,” concludes Ginan.
we use positive energy to eliminate the stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV