Another crucial year in TackleAfrica’s development saw us provide regular skills, support, information and services to young people across Africa.Over 9,000 young people took part in regular sexual health through football sessions delivered by the 525 African coaches trained and supported by TackleAfrica and our partners. Over half of these young people are young women/girls – allowing us to reach those most affected by and at risk of HIV and related sexual health issues.
These sessions integrate locally relevant sexual health messaging into effective and enjoyable football coaching sessions, creating a safe space for young people to learn about and discuss sensitive issues in a way that they enjoy, remember and understand.
At tournaments and some sessions we also provide free access to youth-friendly mobile clinical services such as voluntary HIV testing and counselling (VCT), contraception (including condoms, emergency pills and implants), and in some cases the chance to sign up for voluntary male medical circumcision, a procedure that can reduce men’s chances of catching HIV through sex by up to 60%.
Last year 2,739 young people chose (with no incentives or pressure) to learn their HIV status at a TackleAfrica tournament or session, and nearly 24,000 contraceptive items were given out to young people. 458 young men underwent voluntary male medical circumcision after signing up at one of our tournaments in Blantyre or Nairobi.
In Burkina Faso and Tanzania we continued our work on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and aswell as directly working with young people in football sessions, we supported our partners to engage with important community stakeholders through a range of outreach activities designed to reduce the chances of young girls being forced or pressured into FGM. Over 2,500 Burkinabe schoolteachers and parents took part in End FGM meetings during our last financial year.
This year we have already started work in 2 new countries – Burundi and Lesotho – to add to our programming in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire. With funding already in place to expand our West African programming into 2 new countries over the coming years, we look forward to supporting tens of thousands more young people in the future.
On data collection:
We count the number of young people engaged in regular sessions by comparing session registers with survey data collections. It’s likely this number is conservative as some young people may drop in and out of sessions but miss data collections.
A similar process is used to count the number of parents and teachers engaged in End FGM sessions in Burkina Faso.
Our clinical provider partners give us data on the number of young people accessing services at tournaments or sessions – as well as providing a support pathway for those who require it – and the number of contraceptives distributed. The number for voluntary testing and counselling is the number of testing and counselling sessions delivered, rather than unique individuals.