In South Africa, over a million children and about 20 percent of adults are infected with HIV. Nowadays, mostly young people contract HIV. We have to provide education about prevention of HIV/AIDS from an early age.
Orphans and children in need get the chance to play football in training and education centres, where they receive education about HIV/AIDS in a playful way. They learn to develop self-confidence and take care of their wellbeing.
*Stars of Tomorrow uses football as a teaching tool to educate children in South Africa, whose families have been affected by HIV/AIDS, about issues such as the dangers of the virus as well as women’s rights. Participants gather at so-called ‘Satellites’, which are centrally-located football fields complete with training and educational equipment as well as classrooms.
Football as field work
Children love playing football and the children of South Africa are no exception. Here, football is a national sport. South Africa is also home to the largest number of people living with HIV. Infection rates are highest among those aged between 24 and 35 years old, an age group which plays a vital role in both family life and in contributing to the economic power of the country. Contraction of the virus can impoverish families, as can a family member’s death from AIDS. Children whose parents have died from AIDS are orphaned, a situation which befell 15 million children in 2011.
Many young people also live with the virus. In 2011, it was calculated that around 3 million children under 15 in South Africa are living with AIDS while 3.6 million people aged between 15 and 24 are infected with the virus, which accounts for 75 percent of all diagnosed cases worldwide. (Source: UNAIDS - The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Report 2012)
Many children who have lost parents to AIDS often do not receive security or care from their extended families and they are also seldom in the position to care for themselves. Inadeqaute education and poor healthcare mean that many of these children’s futures are uncertain. Helping these children as well as other children in need of protection is the primary goal of *Stars of Tomorrow.
With the help of Kick It’s educational approach, which uses football as its drawcard, the trainers work with children, teaching them about HIV and AIDS. The children learn self-confidence and are able to pass this strength on to others. The program is run multiple times a week at ten Satellites in and around Soshanguve, with more than 1,000 children aged between 6 and 16 years old taking part. The team also coordinates a large, 200-participant football tournament alongside its preventative education classes.
The project enhances children's knowledge and provides meaningful pathways towards societal integration, allowing the children to take control of their lives and avoid further infection.
Kick It is a comprehensive pilot project that *Stars of Tomorrow runs in collaboration with CARE Germany-Luxembourg e.V.
*Stars of Tomorrow
*Stars of Tomorrow focusses on providing assistance to orphans and children in need who have been affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis. Currently, the organisation focusses its efforts on South Africa, which has the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS infection worldwide.
The initiator and CEO of the project is Kai Hill, Managing Director of Berlin marketing agency starcompany* and starcompany healthcare+.
*Stars of Tomorrow e.V.
Schönhauser Allee 10-11
10119 Berlin Mitte / Germany
The *Stars on Facebook.