TackleAfrica uses the power and popularity of football to deliver sexual health education to young people on football pitches across the continent. We train African coaches to use fun, interactive football drills with inbuilt health messaging with young people in their clubs and communities.
Football is a great way to engage with young people regularly – something that traditional health programmes and clinics often struggle to do. It provides a platform for regular health education with a respected and informed coach, and creates a safe space for young people to discuss sensitive issues. Our programmes improve understanding of key sexual health issues, give young people the skills and confidence to make safe decisions, and provide access to youth friendly services such as HIV testing and counselling.
HIV is still the number one killer of adolescents in Africa
As a result our programmes target HIV and related sexual and reproductive health rights issues – including contraception, family planning, gender-based violence (including FGM and child marriage) and girls’ empowerment. Building resilience to HIV often requires an holistic approach that helps young people overcome challenges in their communities, and our programmes aim to give young people the tools to take control of their own sexual health.
Each drill contains a sexual health message that unfolds as they play. Drills are designed so that young people learn through play, in a way they enjoy, remember and understand. Through the messages in these drills, we educate and challenge young players to make safer decisions, limiting the impact of HIV in their families and communities.
We work closely with a range of local partners, from grassroots community based organisations to international NGOs and government ministries. These partners advise us on local HIV and sexual health priorities, and help us find and develop football coaches in their regions, and allow us to reach thousands of young Africans every year.