Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Grassroot Soccer

My counterpart, the rockin' Bobet Motha, demonstrates the limbo!
Today I am going to try and make up for my failure to blog meaningfully about our experiences here  (a little bit, at least). One of the programs we're doing at our school is called Grassroot Soccer (or PC Skillz, but we never call it that). It's a 12 week soccer-themed program that teaches kids about HIV and AIDS. The lessons are engaging and fun and make talking about “vaginal and anal sex” easier. Well, a teensy bit easier. ;) The program focuses on things like abstinence, mutually faithful partners, having partners your own age, and using protection. I was told by a CHOP (health) volunteer that the HIV infection rate is 45% in our area, so this program is particularly valuable and appropriate for our learners.

In our circle
The program also incorporates fun activities called energizers and kilos which build enthusiasm and a sense of community among the participants. My personal favorites are “One coffee, two sugars,” and the “NJ Kilo.” I promise to try and upload some footage of the kids doing kilos. They love them. On the way home from school, we hear the kids doing kilos. They write about kilos in their English journals. And yes, they do retain a lot of the program's content, too!

Today, we did the limbo! Learners had to pass under the limbo bar (HIV) when it was held up high - when limbo-ers (limbobbers? limbologists?) were abstinent. Then the limbobbers (I like that!) had to try to get under the bar when it was held very low – or when they were in a relationship with someone 5-10 years older. We talked about who “got” HIV and why...being involved with an older partner was riskier. That person is much more likely to have had multiple partners and occasions to engage in unprotected sex.

So, while chanting “limbo, limbo, limbo" and clapping our hands, we learned about HIV and AIDS!

PS Where's the soccer theme, you ask? This week wasn't soccer themed, but most of them are!

Lined up and ready to limbo under the high bar!

Limbo, limbo, limbo!


We bad 
Lovely ladies!
Beautiful smiles 
- Elizabeth

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