GRASSROOT SOCCER INC

Rating: 4.98 stars   43 reviews

Issues: Sports

Location: 198 Church Street P.O. Box 712 Norwich VT 05055 USA

Mission: Using the power of soccer in the fight against AIDS, Grassroot Soccer (GRS) provides African youth with the knowledge, skills and support to stop the spread of HIV. We aim to have a deep impact in the communities where we work; to utilize soccer and powerful role models to their maximum potential to reduce HIV transmission among youth; and to have the most effective HIV prevention education and life-skills curriculum in Africa. Grassroot Soccer directly implements its HIV prevention and life skills curriculum in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and has worked with implementing partners in 23 countries. Since 2002, over 675,000 youth have graduated from GRS programs.
Results: Ten evaluations in seven countries have shown the GRS program to have positive impact on knowledge, attitudes, stigma, and communication related to HIV. One study in Zimbabwe found that after participating in the GRS curriculum. * The percentage of students who could list three people they could talk to about HIV increased from 33% to 72% * The percentage of students who knew where to go for help for HIV related problems increased from 47% to 76% * The percentage of students who said they would feel comfortable providing emotional support for an HIV positive classmate increased from 52% to 73% * The percentage of students who believe condoms were effective increased from 49% to 71%
Geographic areas served: Grassroot Soccer operates flagship sites in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe and as a technical assistance partner have helped design and launch sustainable projects in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Sudan, Tanzania, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Grassroot Soccer is the leader in its field. It seems that every progressive soccer oriented non-profit is run by people who began their careers at Grassroot Soccer. The people that run the organization are smart, innovative, resourceful and passionate about what they do. I have partnered with them on several soccer-based events and they have never failed to say what they do and do what they say. This is an organization of doers not watchers. They are the best.

Dylan Leiner, Co-Founder, NY Film and Entertainment Soccer Tournament and LA Film and Entertainment Soccer Tournament

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Rating: 5 stars  

If you've spent any time in the developing world, you know that soccer rules all. If you've worked in preventative health education in the developing world, you know that it's extremely difficult to get people to show up to, listen to, and learn from health education events.

Grassroot Soccer's health education programs use the language of soccer to convey important preventative health messages. Not only do their programs encourage teamwork, participation, and sportsmanship, they force youth to critically think about what motivates people to behave in unsafe ways and they teach youth how to avoid risky situations through role play.

I implemented both their SKILLZ Malaria and SKILLZ HIV/AIDS program during my service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso, and it was hands down the most effective health education program that I used. What was most impressive was the emphasis the organization places on monitoring and evaluation, a practice that is severely lacking in development work. Their M&E practices were so good that the Peace Corps actually asked the organization to present at an M&E conference held for Directors of Training and Programs in Africa.

Preventative health education is an extremely difficult field to be successful in, but Grassroot Soccer programs actually reach youth and make a meaningful impact. Their programs should be considered a best practice in the field of preventative health education.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Grassroot Soccer uses a unique and innovative approach to tackling the AIDS epidemic. They use the game of soccer to attract at risk youth and then deliver their unique curriculum to ensure these youth live healthy and productive lives. Grassroot Soccer is the premier sport for development organization in the world.

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

My brother has worked for Grassroots Soccer since 2009. While each year he is away brings me great sorrow, I know that the impact he makes is worth every moment. The stories he shares of the education and community care that GRS provide make me so proud. GRS is dedicated to a worthy cause that brings HIV/AIDS prevention education to the forefront of the international community. This is an organization that has earned recognition and respect and deserves as much spotlight as possible!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I worked with GRS from 2008 - 2012 as a consultant helping with their fundraising, business development, and sponsorship. GRS is a leader in the sport for development and HIV/AIDS prevention education space. They set the standards. Still to this day, I find myself talking about the work we did with Ethan and GRS and showcasing them as the best of class.

I wish all of our clients can be like Ethan and GRS.

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Rating: 4 stars  

I joined GRS in 2012 and currently working as Site Coordinator in Soweto. I was inspired by the language of soccer GRS uses to educate, inspire and mobilise communities to fight against the spread of HIV.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I worked as a GRS intern for a year, an experience that brought me into a community that gave me a new standard of just how passionate people can feel towards giving their lives to an issue in their community. The energy and enthusiasm in the programs on the ground is contagious, and these programs perfectly exemplify how effective a sport for development NGO can be. I grew a tremendous amount during my year at GRS, I formed life-long friendships that I value as much as I do those with whom I grew up, and I developed an understanding of what I see as the most effective way to combat the enormous challenge of the spread of HIV: through the world's love of soccer.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I worked for GRS for 2 years as a Grants Manager in Zimbabwe. GRS is the best sport for development organisation that uses evidence based approach to youths' behaviour change education. I have witnessed local soccer stars working with youths in schools and the youths are inspired to change behaviour as directed by their role models. I liked the use of soccer to communicate youths daily challenges and solutions. GRS maximizes learning with fun. All high density schools in Bulawayo want to work with GRS because their kids have less HIV related challenges to deal with. The coaches who work with the youths are amazing in their level of energy, articulation of the issues and engaging conversations. I watched one session called risk field, it explains the daily challenges youths face and have to make decisions. Really the world is missing an approach that could solve halve of the youths problems. I enjoyed my stay at GRS until a more challenging position came about but still my heart is not far away from GRS. I would take an opportunity to work with the family given a chance and would encourage all to go and watch an activity if possible after reading this post.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was a former intern for Grassroot Soccer and was able to see first hand the powerful impact that this program has on communities around the world. It goes far beyond educating youth about HIV/AIDS and infiltrates entire communities. This is an organization where everyone is united through the Universal Language of Soccer and no one is left out for having different passions. It excites and motivates people of all different ages and empowers youth to follow their dreams.

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