Educating young women in Kenya about HIV and sexual & reproductive health through football.
Kilifi is one of Kenya’s poorest districts with 68% of the population living below the poverty line. Kilifi also has the third highest HIV prevalence rate in Kenya at 8.1% with young women aged 15-24 up to four times more likely to be HIV positive (5.6%) than young men of the same age (1.4%).
Traditional gender roles and low retention rates in schools mean most girls and young women in Kilifi do not have the information they need to make informed choices about sex and do not know how to protect themselves or their children from HIV. A 2011 study found that female respondents aged 16-25 were not clear on the definition of ‘safe sex’. When asked to define ‘safe sex’ only 25% referred to condom use whilst 8% said sex that was consensual, with a friend or out of love was ‘safe’.
Tackle Africa is using football to educate young women about HIV and sexual & reproductive health (SRH). Over a three year period 120 football coaches will receive training to add HIV and SRH education to their weekly football sessions reaching more than 6,000 young women. Coaches will progress through a number of modules that improve their football coaching skills, offer comprehensive HIV & SRH knowledge and develop their ability to communicate effectively with their groups, identify specific needs and design & implement effective tools to address them. The strongest coaches will be developed to become coach educators, allowing them to train and support other coaches.
Young women who attend training sessions will leave better equipped to make healthy, safe decisions about their sexual and reproductive health before they become sexually active.