My Name is Tobi and I am doing an internship at CASL for about 8 weeks to get a better insight in the way how sport can be used as a tool for development.
I was very excited to join the Grass Roots Soccer Curriculum on Tuesday 14th of August. After they played a little soccer on the pitch at Bahati Primary School, the Children, all between 10 an 16 years old, came together to calm down a bit and listen to the things the peer educators tried to explain to them. Sometimes it was not that easy for me to understand what they are talking about, because the peers used their mother tongue Swahili. They use this native language because the kids feel most comfortable when they use their language and this is very important because sex, AIDS and HIV are very sensible issues especially for children in the puberty.
They played a game, which showed them that it is not easy or almost impossible to see if someone is infected with HIV or AIDS. After playing this simple game, the children sat together in small groups and discussed the problems of having sexual relationships and the impossibility to recognize who is has HIV and AIDS.
Two things have been astonishing to me. The first thing was that the children dealt so serious with a subject which is that sensible for them. I think children in Germany would be much more shy and silly. According to this it was also frightening getting to know that every of those Kids had already lost one or even more relatives, neighbors or friends. So I realized that HIV and AIDS is really a topic in the middle of the society.
Second it was nice to see that the idea of using players from the senior team as peer educators is working that good. The children are looking up to them because they are good players. They see them as some kind of role models. So the things the peer educators teach them have more weight and the students trust them.