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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EIN 43-1957920
(802) 649-2900
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Community Reviews

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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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  

1 person found this review helpful

GRS rocks! As Director of Programming and Training for the U.S. Peace Corps in South Africa, I have had the priveledge to work with the wonderful and committed staff of GRS for the past two years. Our partnerships have supported numerous Volunteers in the field, as well as their community counterparts, and thousands of youth beneficiaries throughout South Africa. GRS's PC Skillz package is an off-the-shelf evidence based intervention that can be implemented by Volunteers and Counterparts with minimal training and support, and with fantastic results. I don't know anyone who leaves an interaction with GRS who doesn't want to shout out a kilo in support of GRS. Thanks for all that you do!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've had the pleasure to work with Grassroot Soccer through one of their partner programs in the Dominican Republic. The interactive methodology used in the curriculum is one of the greatest factors for the program's success. I have extensive experience working with children and youth in educational setting, and Grassroot Soccer curriculum is one of the best ways to both engage students and help them learn how to prevent HIV/AIDS. I've watched many of our young students grow from being participants, to being leaders and coaches in the program, teaching others the same lessons that helped transform their lives. The Grassroot Soccer team is a joy to work with. They are efficient, visionary, creative, evidence-based and, although they've seen significant growth, they still maintain that grassroots feel.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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

1 person found this review helpful

Grassroot Soccer (GRS) has worked as a partner with the organizaiton I work with for the last two years. The entire partnership has been hugley successful. In all of our work together, they continuously put the beneficiaries first and put a high emphasis on quality. This results in projects that are succesful because there is local support, excitement by beneficiaries, and tangible outcomes for participants. GRS is an organization that prides itself as evidence-based, with a strong culture of monitoring and evaluation that guarantees top-tier programming and training. The people who work at GRS are extremely responsive and supportive of our two organizations' mutual goals and understanding of the differences between them. I would readily suggest working with this organization (as a partner, beneficiary, or donor) to anyone that is interested in HIV/AIDS, sports for development, and internationl devleopment issues.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have them working in more countries around the world, and have them develop curiculums for other sports in addition to soccer.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

What impresses most about GrassRoot Soccer is the organization's seamless integration of the most important aspects of education, behavior change, capacity-building and project management into one memorable and effective methodology and package. Every detail of their work is considered, piloted and reviewed with stakeholders through a participative and evidence-based approach. Behind the solid methodology lies a team of individuals who make things happen - I have been nothing short of impressed in each and every interaction with this crackerjack team. They have fun, and they can demonstrate their impact. One big Ethiopian "kee-low" for this fantastic organization.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Do more fundraising.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Positive Tracks works with Grassroot Soccer as a partner who helps to support youth fundraising efforts of GRS youth 3v3 Soccer Tournaments across the USA. On top of their global work with AIDS/HIV Prevention, GRS is a highly respected leader in the field of Sports-Based Youth Development. Their entire staff is amazingly collaborative, forward thinking, and very willing to share excellent GRS models/systems with other charities like Positive Tracks and its partners. GRS has developed and launched very successful (and global) peer-to-peer engagement strategies and mentoring programs over several years time to continually inspire tremendous passion and commitment from volunteers, partners, and staff. They are a savvy, capable, particularly generous organization, and bring a contagious spirit of fun to helping the world. Positive Tracks is also deeply impressed with GRS tracking systems, growth strategies, and measurement of tangible outcomes. Positive Tracks is beyond thrilled to be working with GRS, and have learned a great deal from this organization.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

GRS' programs provide kids with a chance to think for themselves and to engage with each other in meaningful dialogue about the massive pressures they face... all in a supported environment. Beyond the initial success of the program, GRS has truly been results-driven and open to criticism and adaptation since day one--they're really doing things the right way.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Since its inception, Grassroot Soccer has pushed the envelop in results-based health education. This is evident now by their 2012-2013 randomized control trial with health outcomes. On the execution level, Grassroot Soccer has people and processes to provide education tools to make a tremendous impact. They are leading by example amongst international non-profit organizations.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

A truly cutting edge and innovative organization, GRS focuses on results. They apply a refreshing approach to public health and HIV prevention, using the powerful game of soccer to catalyze youth as community changemakers. The dynamic and driven GRS team views their work through a critical lens at all levels -- Coaches educating youth are continually evaluating their impact in the field while senior leadership ensures the programming is based on the latest research developments in HIV prevention. For these reasons alone, GRS is truly a leader in the HIV prevention field!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?