My motivation to join SaferSpaces:
Grassroot Soccer is an adolescent health organisation that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilise youth to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives, and be agents for change in their communities. Grassroot Soccer South Africa (GRS South Africa) is an independent, locally registered NPO with a South African Board of Directors. Grassroot Soccer first began programmes in South Africa in 2006, and has steadily built a very strong local infrastructure.
Flagship sites in South Africa are located in Alexandra and Khayelitsha (FIFA Football for Hope Centres), and in Soweto at the Nike Training Centre, all with full-time staff and peer mentors. The multi-faceted nature of Grassroot Soccer’s approach (health, education, soccer, youth development, child protection) puts GRS South Africa in a unique position to work with a wide variety of trusted local partners, including Childline, Thuthuzela Care Centers (TCC), Sonke Gender Justice, WITS Reproductive Health Institute, University of Western Cape, University of Cape Town, University of Witswaterstrand, the Soul City Institute for Social Justice, and the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading. The organisation has established relationships at multiple levels of South Africa’s government, as well as a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Basic Education and the South African Football Association (SAFA).