U.S. donates sports equipment to prevent HIV, sexual violence among boys
The U.S. Government-funded Namibia Adherence and Retention Project (NARP) donated 100 footballs, 24 whistles, two-goal nets, two stopwatches and 20 chess boards to Learners of the Moses van der Bijl Primary School in Katutura, Windhoek, and seven other Khomas schools.
The other beneficiary schools comprise Hillside Primary, Mandume Primary, Faith Primarty, Auas Primary, Theo Katjimune Primary, Olof Palme Primary and Moses //Garoeb Primary.
This is one of seven donations to six Regional Education Offices country-wide in support of a curriculum called “Coaching Boys into Men” that helps to prevent HIV infection, sexual violence, and early sexual debut among boys aged 9-14.
The program aims to positively influence how young men think and behave, both on and off the field. The curriculum, implemented by Project Hope Namibia, is funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“USAID is proud to be part of ‘Coaching Boys Into Men’, an initiative that will reach over 7,200 boys in the next 12 months and will help prevent sexual violence, delay sexual debut, and prevent HIV. The program is designed to help break the pattern of abuse in our communities and will result in a reduction of gender-based violence,” said Mark Anthony White, the Acting USAID Country Representative, who also joined the children testing the new soccer balls at the handover event.
Trained coaches and sports teachers will use the donated equipment in primary prevention program sessions.
At a brief ceremony earlier this week, the Khomas Director of Education, Paulus Nghikembua said this donation will help his ministry to combat many social evils as it now affords more children the opportunity to participate in sport. The Deputy Director for Lifelong Learning, Steve Kaangundue said sport help children to develop self-discipline, to keep themselves busy and to maintain a healthy lifestyle, adding that sport is integral part of growth.
He commended Project Hope, saying that this NGO as a partner in the Health Task Force, is a key driver of young people’s health, their wellness, and their ability to understand and address sexual and gender issues.
Project Hope’s Director, Rosalia Indongo called the donation a token of goodwill in response to the needs of learners. Being able to play a sport is a vital component to help young boys with anger and conflict management, and for young girls, it contributes to a positive self image.
Since 2013, the NARP project has been providing services to over 37,000 orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers in 18 districts in the Kavango East, Kavango West, Khomas, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, and Zambezi regions.
The Deputy Director of Lifelong Learning at the Khomas Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture, Steve Kaangundue (second from left), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s acting representative, Mark White (third from left), the Director at Project Hope, Rosalia Indongo (middle), Senior Health, Wellness and HIV Prevention Coordinator at the Khomas directorate of education, Emilie Haipinge (third from right), Moses van der Bijl Primary’s Principal, Siegfrid Tjihambuma. (Photograph by David Adetona).