Second Partner Program announced with VAP, Kenya 2010.

Original Post: 9/19/2009

VaplogoFollowing a meeting at the Football for Hope event in Vaal, South Africa, we are excited to announce a new partner for 2010 in Kenya.  VAP representataive, Enouce Ndeche spoke passionately about the VAP program and the incredible challenges faced by local volunteers.  The Coaches across Continents Boards are delighted to select VAP as a partner for 2010 and look forward to learning and sharing new soccer education ideas and methods.

VAP is a Kenyan based organisation, formed in 2000 with the vision of instilling important life and social values to the youth of Nairobi’s slums through the power of football.

VAP operates in an area of Nairobi called Eastland, a district predominantly populated by some of the poorest people in the city. The youth in Eastland faces a myriad of challenges, such as the lure of drug abuse, unemployment, violence and HIV/AIDS. Through VAP the youth of Eastlands are able to participate in various activities that include; peer education and active learning. Such activities help engage the disadvantaged children of Eastlands in issues that directly effect them, such as learning the ways of combating the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Recently the VAP program has benefited from generous funding and support from Street Football World, an organisation that holds a close strategic alliance with footballs world governing body FIFA.
VAP works in areas of Nairobi that have some of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infected and affected youth in Kenya’s capital. Many of the youths come from ‘families’ living in extreme poverty who may have lost one or both parents to the disease.

HIV/AIDS’s prevalence continues to grow in Kenya despite continuing efforts to prevent the spread of the infection. Young people from the ages of 14-25 years are particularly at risk for engaging in behaviors that may lead to them to contracting HIV/AIDS. Current statistics show that 1.4 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, out of whom 2/3 are women. The pandemic has contributed to a sharp rise in numbers of orphaned children, which now stands at 1.8 million.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic has continued to ravage the countryside and inner city slums, threatening to reverse the sauce-economic gains the country has made over the past four decades.
By using football as an educational tool, VAP is employing innovative methods and skills for preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Children need to be taught in more engaging ways than just sat behind a desk. The concept of using sport – specifically football – as a development tool is quickly emerging, and being recognized internationally, as an effective means of reaching youth with ‘health messages’ as it engages them more successfully.

You may ask; Why football?

In Kenya – and the rest of Africa – football is the sport of the masses. Every slum, town and city in Kenya has a team, it is one of very few sports in Kenya that breaks down social and ethnic differences. It is because of this unique effect that football has on the people playing it that we have chosen the sport to aid us in capturing the interest of the youth in Nairobi and help spread the message about ways to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The global football community has a unique responsibility in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We must ALL help towards the goal – using the power of the game we all love – of teaching HIV/AIDS awareness and critical life skills to the youth not only in Kenya, but the whole of Africa.

“Enouce Ndeche is a great spokesperson for VAP and we are excited about providing a new and modern way to use soccer to educate teachers, volunteers and children in the Eastland district.  We are sure that our coaches will also learn from the successes already achieved by VAP.”  Nick Gates, Global Strategist, Coaches across Continents.

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