VSO and Tackle are using the power and popularity of football to deliver HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information and services to prison populations throughout southern Africa. Watch the webinar recording to find out how this innovative project is transforming the lives of prisoners.
Prison populations have high rates of HIV, poorer mental health and complex vulnerabilities, which may impact their attitudes and behaviours related to sexual health, HIV, gender-based violence and gender equality.
For decades the global health community have strived to find cost effective social behaviour change interventions that can instil positive values on gender and health, especially amongst amongst men and boys and marginalised groups. In this project, we harnessed the power of football, together with VSO’s Volunteering for Development (VfD) methodology, to explore issues of HIV, sexual health, mental wellbeing and gender-based violence.
Football provides a platform for regular sexual health education with a respected and informed coach and creates a safe space for young people to discuss sensitive issues, whilst building life skills and getting fit.
A recent evaluation showed remarkable impacts on inmates’ attitudes and practices related to health and gender equality, but also improved wellbeing and reduced recidivism. Being part of the VfD programme has led to sustainable impacts, and former inmates and prison officers have continued the approach in their communities.
Watch the recording to find out more about how this innovative project has transformed the lives of prisoners through volunteering and the power of football.
Watch the recording
Hear first hand from inmates in Zimbabwe how the programme has impacted their lives
Tackle (formally Tackle Africa) was founded in May 2002 by a group of young people from the UK who had all lived or worked in Africa at some point in their lives. They recognised the potential of football as a means of bringing people together and providing a platform from which to convey hugely important messages about HIV and AIDS.
So far we have achieved...
98% of inmates participated with 22% reporting an improved knowledge of attitudes towards HIV and how to access services.
94% acquired positive beliefs about SGBV, with 54.4% accessing SRHR services as a result.
76.5% took an HIV test with participants also experiencing better mental and reduced re-offending.
In this webinar, project partners and participants came together to share the results, and direct experience of the potential to use football to transform social attitudes around sexual health and HIV. We heard from the programme staff, prison officers, football coaches and inmates on how the project has impacted their lives. The panel of speakers included:
Charlie Gamble, CEO of Tackle
Polly Walker, Global Technical lead, Health, VSO
Jed Haney, Regional Programme Manager, Tackle
Simba Guzha, VSO Project Manager
Tafadzwa Sekesu, SANOP Project Manager
Teclah Ponde, VSO Projects Implementation Lead
Zimbabwe Prison Correction Services Director
We also heard directly from football coaches via pitch-side live stream in Zambia and listened to the testimonies of current and former inmates from Zimbabwe.
This programme was supported by: UKAID, BT Sports Supporters Club and Comic Relief and implemented by VSO and Tackle.