Fun project helps youth to fight HIV

Canaan Mdletshe

The escalating HIV-Aids pandemic in South Africa has forced Africaid WhizzKids United, a charity organisation, to offer a life skills training programme for the youth to prevent new infections.

This emerged in Durban yesterday when WhizzKids chief executive Marcus McGilvary unveiled the programme involving a 20-hour life skills football course.

"HIV-Aids is a devastating epidemic worldwide, but nowhere more so than in South Africa, with KwaZulu-Natal having the highest new infection rates among the youth in the world," McGilvary said

"Prevention is the best cure. It is especially effective among children entering adolescence and whose values and lifestyles are still developing."

McGilvary said prevention was often neglected and the conventional prevention efforts tend to focus on knowledge alone, without engaging the children or empowering them with skills needed to apply their knowledge.

"The entire course is taught outside the pitch and uses football drills and games as a medium to teach life skills," he said. "Direct analogies are drawn between football and life."