The construction site of the first Football for Hope Centre in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, will be full of life on Saturday, 8 August as it prepares to celebrate South Africa's National Women's Day on Sunday.
The future host of the Football for Hope Centre, the NGO Grassroot Soccer, will hold a street soccer tournament for 40 young women. The tournament will be combined with exercises to teach these young women the importance of HIV/AIDS prevention as well as respect, support and communication.
"National Women's Day in South Africa is a wonderful opportunity to talk about the positive impact football can have in tackling issues faced by girls and women. Through the Football for Hope movement, FIFA supports football-based programmes that promote gender equality and empowerment of women, as well as HIV/AIDS prevention in South Africa and worldwide. These programmes are part of our concrete contribution to building a better future," said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
The South African-based NGO Grassroot Soccer empowers young people from disadvantaged African communities especially with the knowledge and skills to live HIV-free. Educating young women is particularly important because they are shown to be at highest risk of HIV infection. In township communities, such as Khayelitsha, football is used as a tool to provide many young women in Africa with the confidence, self-respect and support they need to make the right choices.
The community of Harare in Khayelitsha was once notorious for violent crime and rape, but through active community organising by the Khayelitsha Development Forum and the construction of the Football for Hope Centre, the first of 20 such centres to be constructed through "20 Centres for 2010", the Official Campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the precinct will become a hub for positive community activity including education, public health and football.
The Football for Hope Centres will provide a platform for communities to address social issues such as children's rights, education, health, HIV/AIDS prevention, social integration and environment protection. They will leave a legacy for Africa that will last long after the final whistle of the 2010 FIFA World Cup has been blown.
The Football for Hope movement is led by FIFA and the NGO streetfootballworld as the driving force behind a global network of non-governmental organisations, developing projects on the ground in which football is the common denominator.