Grace is a very motivated young woman. She is one of Cedar Tanzania’s community activists for the SASA! Community empowerment program. But recently Grace joined Tackle Africa’s football initiative, as its only female coach.
Tackle Africa uses football drills as an educational tool to teach young people about sexual health. Ash Phillips, Tackle Africa’s Program Manager says, “We don’t try and ever impart our own belief systems upon young people in Tanzania. We purely want to give them the chances and the education to make better choices for their own lives.”
Grace begins by introducing herself, “My full name is Grace Ngufuli. I am twenty three years old and I am currently living in Kamanga at Nyakazuzu hamlet, together with my husband and our two lovely children, Patricia and Gerald.
I was born in Kahama Tanzania and I finished Form Four (17 years old) at Nyasubi Secondary School in Kahama.
I like sports and I like offering education within the community, especially to young people. So when I first heard about Tackle Africa, at the SASA! Community event in Kamanga early this year, I got really excited about getting involved.
I first thought that the program dealt with providing education to young people concerning violence, but when I attended the first coaching session I found that it was about much more than that.
One of the football drills that I like the most, explains to young people about how to overcome behaviours that might put them at risk of getting HIV/AIDs. It explains to them how they should put themselves in a safe space, how they should learn to make right decisions and how they should test for HIV whenever they find themselves involved in risky behaviour, i.e having sexual intercourse without a condom.
My hope is that young people in Kamanga will begin to understand and learn more about VCT, (Voluntary Counselling and Testing for HIV/AIDs). I think this will empower them to exercise their right to be tested and also their right to take control over their sexual health.”
Cedar Tanzania and Tackle Africa refer the young people to Kamanga Health Centre for voluntary testing. This partnership between Cedar Tanzania and Tackle Africa promises to have a life changing impact in the lives of young people in Kamanga and the Nyamatongo ward.