I've been enormously impressed with the accomplishments of Grassrootsoccer. I've been aware of them since their inception, have watched with admiration as they grew and matured into what can only be called a great organization. They could be a case study about how a trio of young people with an idea worked tirelessly to achieve their clearly stated goals.
Robert M. Reece, MD
Retired ClinicalProfessor of Pediatrics
Tufts University School of Medicine
Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS is a top priority in world public health. Grassrootsoccer has, for over 12 years, used the game of soccer (football) as a vehicle to teach middle school- aged youth about what causes HIV/AIDS and how to protect themselves from getting it and how to tell their peers what they've learned. The success of Grassrootsoccer at reaching their audience has been overwhelming and their replicable model for teaching has been embraced by numerous other organizations to disseminate information. As a medical professional I believe Grassrootsoccer to be on the the truly "Great Non-profits."
So inspired by the work of Grassroots Soccer and the positive impact its work has on young people's lives in educating and providing positive leadership.
This is such an inspirational organisation doing great things in Africa. Keep up the amazing work.
Amazing charity doing fantastic work. They seem to be making a real difference. Really excited to be volunteering at an event they are hosting in December.
Grassroot Soccer is an amazing organization that empowers and educates youth. I continue to be impressed by their innovation and dedication to adolescent health. Their new website is very informative and user friendly. My cousin is running the NYC marathon for the GRS fundraiser. I am proud to support her and GRS.
Amazing organization doing a fantastic job working with and teaching adolescents.
Amazing organization that continuously innovates and finds new ways to stay relevant in their field. I've seen first hand while volunteering for GRS in South Africa the incredible work they do to change the lives of adolescents!
I recently heard about Grassroots Soccer and was impressed by their great initiatives for the community. I wanted to get involved, so I will be volunteering for an event in December for the first time. I look forward to assisting in some small way with all of the great work they do.
I have been involved with GRS for the past few years and a donor. What they are doing to help young people in africa to make healthier decisions is amazing. Soccer and Sports is a really effective way to create change.
I was fortunate to travel to South Africa to witness Grassroot Soccer in action during the month of October of 2014. Everything they do is making a huge difference in the lives of young people, but the program they have developed specifically targeting the health of young girls is a game changer. Its called Skillz Street and its amazing! If you have not gotten involved, please do!!!
I have heard about the fantastic work they do and have been inspired to volunteer for them for an event in December
Great programs for a great cause. I visited Malawi and saw firsthand the good influence GRS has on youth, both boys and girls. Keep up the good work!
i love women empowerment . As a teenager i used to play ladies soccer in my country ( in Lesotho). Back in the days female players were never taken into consideration. Unfortunately never went far with my dream and talent. But this year when i heard of R.V United, ladies playing soccer!! I was thrilled and my dream got revived and these girls are awesome. I watched their game in Athlone Stadium in the past weeks( competing for the Coca Cola Cup), they really have a potential and deserve to be given a chance. I invited my friends to support them and brought with us posters to give them a moral support.
I gave up a year of my life back in 2007/2008 to volunteer for Grassroot Soccer after a life changing event in my life. This was one of the most rewarding experience I had ever experienced and it has led me to where I am today.
Since then, I consider GRS like family and I have been supporting them any chance I get. When you see the impact they have on the ground and the amazing job the entire team is doing, you really have no choice but to want to help.
Incredible organization. I was a field intern from 2009-2010 and working for GRS absolutely changed me to the core - introducing me to the idea that my "game" could absolutely change people's lives. That simple lesson has reverberated throughout the rest of my career and life.
Its hard to know where to start with the impact this organization has and the culture it fosters in the communities it serves. But I'll start by saying I find it hard to imagine working with more positive and inspiring group of people out to create genuine change in an industry that is usually more concerned with grant chasing while creating little real solutions. GRS's work often creates a cultural impact more than concrete impacts, but from my first hand experience its abundantly clear that evidence of positive change is found in the individuals an environments they improve wherever they go.
I was an intern for GRS two years ago. Just today, I was speaking about GRS and my role in coach development in one of my classes (I am currently getting my masters of public and social work). The skills I learned working one on one with coaches to help them find employment and job opportunities was challenging and rewarding all at once. Working at GRS inspired me to go back to graduate school. The foundation I gained at GRS, has helped me stand out in my classes and be able to make real world connections.
The organization truly stands towards it mission. I am currently in a nonprofit management class, and as I learn about the best practices of a board/CEO, I see them reflected at GRS.
I miss everyone both in Cape Town and Soweto, and working at GRS was a lifechanging experience. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to serve such an amazing NGO.
Uganda benefited from a training in July 2016 in partnership with Grassroot Soccer. I was amazed at how so many critical messages could be communicated and put across in a fun and interactive way for the participants. I am excited that our participants are using the skills and knowledge that they received and I cannot wait to work with GRS on another training. Please keep up the great work!
When I first started with Grassroot Soccer it was about helping young people know about HIV in Zimbabwe. However it became more about empowering myself. I realized that I was now a role model which meant a change also in my own behaviour. GRS changed my life, I would not be the person I am today if it wasn't for GRS. It gave me purpose and opportunity to add value to young people and I am currently studying psychology just so I can continue having an impact to my society. Thank you Grassroot soccer
I am running the NYC marathon with the GSR team and have had a fantastic experience so far. This is my third marathon, and the consistent encouragement from the GSR marathon staff has been wonderful. The positive team vibe on the emails and phone calls is super motivating, and I am looking forward to meeting everyone on October 31!
My counterpart and I completed a Grassroot Soccer training in South Africa in February 2014 during my Peace Corps service. I had never been exposed to GRS before that training, and I found it to be such an interactive, comprehensive way to teach children about HIV. After returning to the school I worked at, I conducted two Grassroot Soccer interventions to provide HIV-prevention education for approximately 50 students. My students improved their knowledge from pre-test to post-test by more than 70%, and they had a great time doing it. It also helped to slightly de-stigmatize HIV within the school.
I am a Board member and have been involved for many years. Started off as a donor but liked what they did and how they did it that I joined the Board and am now the Deputy Chairman. Great youth leadership program with equally great results
My connection with GRS started as an internship with the sole intention of adding a line to my CV. I ended up meeting a group of incredibly selfless people all striving for the goal of eliminating HIV/AIDS. No matter how cliched it is to say, the GRS experience changed the direction of my life for the better, as it does for thousands of people every year. I continue to spread the good work of Grassroot Soccer in the UK.
I have been fortunate to work for GRS both as an intern in South Africa and as a staff member in the US, so I have seen first hand the impact this organization has across the globe. The organization is filled with passionate, inspiring people who are changing the way we view the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Using the power of sport to change lives is proven to make a lasting impact and GRS is an organization leading the way in sport for development. I am proud to support this organization and I hope others will too.
My daughter is currently an intern with Grassroot Soccer Inc. From the moment of her first inquiry I have been so astounded by the character and organization of this group. The staff are dedicated to helping the youth of South Africa and have found such an unbelievable method to reach out and educate. Everything about Grassroot Soccer is SO positive. They seem to be able to accomplish whatever they can dream up with an attitude that is so inspiring. They not only enable but they also ennoble, working hard to motivate people to help themselves. This is a group that works not only in the present but also looks to the future. Community support is a powerful thing and Grassroot Soccer has tapped that.
GRS is an Amazon organizatio. Promoting healthy living past just sexuak education. GRS teachings so many valuable lessons in a way that is fun for kids of all ages as well as the coaches that hold practices. Its easy to implement and requries no outside materials which is great for schools or orgs that have limited resources. The staff at GRS is easy to get in touch with and are really supportive. I LOVE GRS!
I am very impressed with organizations that mobilize youth to make a difference in a world. I'd like to see Grassroots Soccer as more than an option for young people. How can we truly understand what it means to accept and support globally without touching the lives of others?
Barbara and Simon Smith
Grassroots Soccer's innovative strategy of using soccer as a tool for education is what drew me to implementing their SKILLZ program while serving as a Youth Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps in rural Morocco. The GRS team has created a health education methodology that is both engaging and easily understandable, and working with the GRS team and teaching the SKILLZ program was one of the most successful and personally rewarding projects of my Peace Corps service. More importantly, the program helped empower young men and women in my community to take charge of their personal health, and the curriculum and related activities created avenues for discussing community health issues which were previously taboo and ignored.
I have also found the team at Grassroots Soccer to be very dedicated to their work, and it has been inspiring to volunteer with them over the last couple years. This is a fantastic organization with some great minds and passionate hearts striving to make the world a safer and better place. Five stars!
Grassroot Soccer turns small investments into big impact. I got to know GRS while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa. They gave me basic free resources and guidance to implement their HIV education programs in my rural village, and it was one of the most impactful parts of my service. My students learned a great deal about a critical issue in their lives, and it was a very rewarding experience for my co-coach, a local sports coach who'd always wanted to get involved in helping his community but had never been given the right opportunity to shine. Later I volunteered at GRS headquarters in Cape Town to help with their Peace Corps partnership and it cemented to me what a powerful program it is and how dedicated the staff are. I'm proud to continue to support Grassroot Soccer to this day.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia, I initiated the Grassroot Soccer SKILLZ program in my town with nearly 300 youth. The GRS staff are highly supportive and responsive, and the GRS SKILLZ curriculum is fact based and an excellent resource for adolescents. The kids I worked with gained tons of knowledge about HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Gender-based violence. They formed friendships with other kids participating in the program and had lots of laughs making their own KILOS. The GRS SKILLZ program really enhanced my Peace Corps experience and made a lasting impact in my community. They are a great nonprofit!
The genius of Grassroot Soccer is reaching those it serves -- middle school and adolescent girls and boys in Africa and beyond -- with the sport that is their passion. Education and prevention are not easy, but the curriculum of this organization combines fun with learning in a way that makes sense and encourages young people and their families to take responsibility for combating HIV-AIDS before it begins. Watching the program in action, I can attest to the fact that it works. The system of recruiting staff and spreading the program to other organizational partners also has worked very well. Also, the members of the Board of Directors have done a great job!
I recognize the positive impact GRS can have on a community. I grew up in South Africa and know how important sport is in the lives of people young and old there. Unfortunately, young people in our country face a ton of challenges, and have seen first-hand the terrible results of HIV, TB, and other massive health issues. GRS is one of the most accomplished organizations working to end the HIV epidemic by using soccer to engage youth. Their dedication as individuals and an organization is an inspiration to my community.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer with Grassroot Soccer for a year in Cape Town, South Africa. It was easily one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Seeing the impact this organizations has on the lives of young people every day was life changing and incredibly inspiring.
I volunteered with Grassroot Soccer (GRS) in South Africa in August 2013-2014. It was an incredible year. My favorite GRS curriculum was called "Skillz Street", a girl-focused initiative centered on reducing HIV infection rates and building self-efficacy. Watching young women graduate from the program with a light in their eyes that said, “I have control over my future,” has been one of the most powerful moments of my life. GRS is an amazing organization.
I was able to travel to South Africa & see firsthand what a great organization GRS is. I love that they incorporate soccer with teaching children how to over come AIDS/HIV.
Grassroot Soccer is a top notch organization with the tools to grow and scope and size in the future. The organization is filled with high quality people who work tirelessly to promote real changes in communities across Africa.
I was fortunate enough to work for Grassroot Soccer for a year as an intern. It is an incredible organization with dedicated staff at every level. GRS goes above and beyond HIV/AIDS education to an all encompassing transformative experience for youth. I truly believe they are changing the lives of youth across the globe.
From the top down, GRS presents an intuitive and successful model for attracting participants to the amazing program to tackle a global epidemic.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was an intern in Cape Town and was deeply impressed by Grassroot Soccer. The staff is so passionate and the Coaches are truly inspiring. They had such energy and devotion towards working with youth, and it was clear they took great pride in their responsibility for educating young people in their communities about healthy behaviors. The programs focused on Coach Development and girls' empowerment were especially inspiring and I believe they made a true impact on Coaches and participants alike.
My daughter works for GRS in South Africa. Her stories of this organization fill me with amazement...these people care so much, they give so much. There is so much yet to do and accomplish. HIV/AIDS reduction is the most important public health challenge of our times and this organization goes above and beyond. They need more funds and much more recognition. Thank you.
I am a semester abroad student from the United States and I heard about this program through friends of mine. I think it's a great way for kids to get involved with their community, but also to promote their health. It is so important for kids to learn about safe sex and keep active in order to help the overall growth of a community. Grassroots Soccer combines fun, learning, and activity for the kids of the townships surrounding Cape Town.
I am a current exchange student who is spending just one semester abroad in Cape Town and I have already heard so much about this organization. It is truly an incredible group of people who set out to make a difference and are really getting results. Many local citizens who I have talked to praise the work that is being done in the townships across the country. Grassroots Soccer is an organization that genuinely cares about the well being of South Africa and is making great strides against HIV/AIDS.
I was a short term intern in the partnerships office in Cape Town and it was one of my best experiences. Everyone that is involved with GRS is so passionate and energetic about the organization and it is no surprise since their mission and work is fabulous. I absolutely love everything about GRS and I support them 100% especially after working in the office and seeing how the organization works from inside out.
I was a field intern in Kimberley, South Africa for Grassroot Soccer, where I had an extremely valuable experience. The project coordination experience I gained was excellent, and the Grassroot Soccer staff and volunteers are all helpful, thoughtful, and always happy to help you with whatever you need.
I interacted with Grassroot Soccer in early 2013. I was amazed and inspired by the organizations ability to combine a universal language of football and a sound Public Health, Human Rights and Gender Responsive approach to bring to the forefront the issue of HIV and GBV prevention. I am super proud of GRS's ability to produce such high impact results and reach such high numbers. I know you will continue to soar to new heights. I know this is the start of even greater things.
I was a short term Operations intern for the GRS Partners division for a summer in Cape Town. I had been working on a master's of public policy degree and the amazing staff at GRS took me on to help out. They made sure I had a positive, rewarding experience while helping the mission of the organization. More than anywhere I worked, GRS truly felt like a family. I was welcomed instantly and I was extremely sad to leave when my internship ended. GRS is the best non-profit I have ever had the privilege to work for. They have a family type environment while being able to run things with efficiency of a fortune 500 company. The perfect mix of seriousness and fun while having a passion for their work.
I volunteered through GRS for one year, 2011-2012. I was placed at an implementing partner, Kick4Life, who was using the GRS HIV education curriculum. I found the GRS mentor driven, small group model to be an extremely effective way of teaching for youth in Lesotho. I have nothing but respect for all of the GRS staff in South Africa who I had the pleasure of working with.
I spent an amazing year volunteering with GRS in Kimberley, South Africa. I met so many talented, driven, and passionate people who inspired me and continue to inspire me to this day. As an intern in a small, remote site, I immersed myself in the local culture. I played with a local soccer team, at meals at our coaches houses, watched soccer at the township taverns, and built relationship with our staff and coaches. My time with GRS helped remind me that the HIV/AIDS crisis isn't about statistics and percentages, but about the people who are affected by the disease everyday.
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!
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.
Grassroot Soccer has been an amazing experience and continues to be an important part of my life. I have worked for them for more than a year and I got to see pretty much all of the aspects of the organization as it was till a startup back then. What is really exciting nowadays is the way that the team has put in place processes and uses technology to improve the overall organization's efficiency. Finally, one of the aspects that makes it even more impressive is the amount of money that actually got towards projects. The organization put most of its resources on the ground where it matters most.
Spent an amazing year in there intern program based out of South Africa. It was an incredible life experience to be able to witness and take part in positive change in the live of everyone involved. The organization has amazing energy and that energy shows in the programs it runs.
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.
Though not professionally involved with non-profits myself, over the last 3 years I have had significant social interaction with 10+ Grassroots volunteers. They are all exceedingly caring, thoughtful and intelligent humans, and I can echo Arvind's sentiment below that GRS is in good hands if it is continually attracting such people to work for them.