Coach Aciatu James comes from Kalinga Village in Mangochi, Malawi, and is one of 20 coaches on our “Levelling The Field” programme with partner YONECO. Aciatu spoke to us about the changes she’s seen in the young people on her programme, and why using sport is a great way to reach young people in Mangochi.
“The use of sports to deliver HIV and SRHR information is an effective approach since it attracts many girls who at the end are becoming aware of HIV and SRHR issues. That is helping them to start practicing health-seeking behaviors”
“Now I can be able to compare past days before the project and the present time. It was difficult to have many girls participate in youth groups and access various information particularly that of HIV and SRHR, but now a number of girls from the community are taking part in the sessions that I conduct since they are attracted by sports. Since the start of delivering of the TackleAfrica sessions using the techniques she gained, over 300 girls from her community have participated and accessed HIV and SRHR information. She said that the sessions are helping girls to know how vulnerable they are on HIV and SRHR issues since they demonstrate the realities on HIV and SRHR in every day life.”
Since the start of the project, Aciatu has assisted 14 girls by referring them to health facilities. Aciuatu said girls were coming to her asking for “family planning services”, ie condoms. She realised that on top of delivering her football sessions that talk about the importance of using condoms, she could also distribute them, using the safe space of the football Field as a way of providing a service in a youth-friendly setting. “Again, through these sessions the girls have recognised where they can access health services that are friendly to them” Aciatu told us.
To find out more about our work, take a look at our Latest News on our website, and follow us on social media @TackleAfrica.