The appeal of ‘the beautiful game’, as Pelé described it, reaches even to the remote islands of Tanzanian Lake Victoria, where it’s not uncommon to find villagers wearing replica football shirts or see buildings painted with images of teams and players from around the world.
Using this interest in football, the Jubilee Hope medical team has started to organise short matches with the local communities where the aim goes beyond just ‘fun’ but also allows bridge-building and education on some very culturally-sensitive subjects, as Programme Coordinator, Ronald Kebaso reports:
"The aim is to bring together the island community and the Jubilee Hope team. Before the game starts we get an opportunity of talking to the players and the people watching on different topics, particularly in line with our HIV work. Key topics addressed include HIV prevention and control, stopping violence against women and children, stopping drug abuse etc. Indeed, so far this has been a very exciting development and the responses have been encouraging. This team of men playing on the pitch, supported and cheered on by their wives, neighbours and friends has helped bring a oneness within the community and with the Jubilee Hope program. We believe that this team spirit can help us drive the fight against HIV to a higher level and ultimately the woman on the island can live a quiet normal life, free of violence of any nature.”
To learn more about the work of Vine Trust in Tanzania, visit www.vinetrust.org/volunteer/medical-expeditions - where you can also find details of how you can volunteer on one of our trips and/or donate to the ongoing activities - www.vinetrust.org/donate