On Saturday the 12th of February, NFA’s Galz & Goals football program in partnership with UNICEF and SCORE will reach out to community members, providing VCT services and important healthy lifestyle messages to adolescent girls.
The Khomasdal stadium in Windhoek will be hosting a one day NFA Galz & Goals football festival, with a focus on addressing one of Namibia’s biggest development challenges - HIV/AIDS.
For the first time, HIV counseling and testing services will be offered during the festival. A number of organizations have pulled together to offer various health related services and activities. Participants, supporters and members of the community 16 or older are encouraged to enjoy the festival and get tested.
Not only will the young Galz & Goals participants be sharpening their football skills but they will be taking part in ‘healthy lifestyle’ activities and gaining important information about health. Professional health staff from New Start will offer testing services and information while Childline/Lifeline will stage educational shows and distribute information to the community throughout the event.
The popular youth radio show Uitani will be interviewing young girls from the program throughout the day. Each girl will participate in Kicking AIDS Out activities with the projects partner SCORE, in order to motivate behavioral change and raise the awareness of HIV/AIDS in Namibia.
Players from the Women’s National team, the Brave Gladiators, will also be making an appearance on the day. Head coach Jacqui Shipanga is proud of her players wanting to attend such an event ‘they are setting an example for the rest of the nation towards advocating and raising the awareness of HIV. I will be tested alongside my players come this Saturday’
Voluntary Services Overseas - Regional AIDS Initiative of Southern Africa (VSO RAISA) has awarded the project with a small grant for the festival as part of their small grants awards that support grassroots operations addressing HIV.
According to the latest National HIV Sentinel Survey 2010 published by the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women remains at an alarming 18.8%. There is a need for young girls to be taught how to protect themselves from unwanted sexual advances from an early age, they must understand about HIV and know how to protect themselves from infection.
The one day festival will take place at the Khomasdal Stadium from 8am to 3pm.