Changemaker: Freddi Mulli
Project United is a program looking to use football as a means of spreading awareness on the most pressing issues facing society such as HIV/AIDS and drug and alcohol abuse. We aim to work with children between the ages of 11 and 14, and in doing so will instil values and principles that are applicable both on the football field and off it, in the way they lead their lives. Our hope is that by educating them on these issues from an early age, they will be ready to face challenges they will face late in their adolescence . Ways in which we integrate the learning process and the football aspect include:
A. One-on-one talks between coach(es) and player(s).
B. Group discussions before training/during breaks in training/after training.
C. Give handouts and informational sheets.
D. Talks from experienced athletes and prominent figures in the football world.
E. Communicate with players’ parents. In order to achieve this, we prepare our coaches, who will be interacting with the children most frequently, with skills and information prior to the commencement of the football camp.
We have training workshops prior to the start date of the camp, where coaches will be educated on the most effective ways of integrating the education into the sport. The change we intend to effect in the community is that of awareness. We believe that through football, a sport that resonates with many, we can communicate a positive message, and alert them on the struggles they may face later in their lives so that when that time comes, they will make informed choices. In doing so, not only will they benefit from long, healthy lives, but the community will be ready to usher in a generation of change, because as they have been enlightened, they too will enlighten others.