The Khayelitsha district suffers from unemployment and a lack of housing, with over half of the population out of work and nearly 65 per cent living in informal accomodation.
Members of the community who are employed, mainly in unskilled labour, suffer from poverty, with the majority earning less than $200 a month and most families in the area surviving on less than South Africa's minimum subsistence level of $2,300 per year. Khayelitsha also suffers greatly from the effects of crime and disease.
HIV/Aids is a major health challenge, and the community has some of the highest levels of crime in the country. Over a quarter of the population are aged between ten and 14, and young people in the community are often both the perpetrators and victims of criminal acts.
These disadvantaged young people are the target group for the host organisation Grassroot Soccer, who will use the facilities provided by the Football for Hope Centre. The centre will act as a dedicated space for Grassroot Soccer to carry out its HIV/Aids awareness programmes and to equip football coaches and others working with children with the tools to promote life skills and health awareness amongst the youngsters they work with.
The organisation also hopes to encourage communication with parents, care-givers and other members of the 320,000-strong community through newsletters, notice boards and events.
Grassroot Soccer has previously engaged Football for Hope support in their existing HIV/Aids prevention programmes at their southern African regional flagship sites (primarily Zimbabwe and Zambia). The HIV/Aids awareness programme involves training professional African footballers to go into schools and run football skills workshops which incorporate HIV/Aids prevention education.