Charity of the week: Grassroot Soccer
Grassroot Soccer has educated more than 485,000 girls and boys about HIV prevention.
Grassroot Soccer (grassrootsoccer.org) harnesses the universal language of soccer to teach African youths about the dangers of HIV/AIDS. Launched by several professional soccer players in Zimbabwe in 2002, Grassroot Soccer operates programs in countries including South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and has educated more than 485,000 girls and boys about HIV prevention. The organization uses soccer activities on the field and innovative lessons in the classroom to teach young people how to protect themselves from the disease, deal with peer pressure, and make healthy life decisions, as well as understand the consequences of risky behavior and be resilient in the face of challenges. “When times are bad, you have to bounce back like a ball,” says one young participant.
Each charity we feature has earned a four-star overall rating from Charity Navigator, which ranks not-for-profit organizations on the strength of their finances, their control of administrative and fund-raising expenses, and the transparency of their operations. Four stars is the group’s highest ranking.