Two of our Gap Year students supported a health and awareness programme in Ghana over the summer.
The Alive and Kicking Health Awareness Programme aims to educate young people about the risks of preventable diseases and encourages them to make healthy life decision using sport as the tool in conveying information.
Similar to the work of Arsenal in the Community, the programme uses football as a hook to engage with young people.
Throughout the summer, two Arsenal Gap Year coaches ran six hours of sessions each day with local schools and football academies. In each session, they worked with 30 different children each day in the schools and academies for one week.
1500 school children and 300 young football players took part in the HIV/AIDS and Malaria football sessions at the schools and academies across the programme this summer, resulting in 1800 young school children from Tema and Cape Coast taking part in the sessions.
The overall programme resulted in 93% of the teachers having a fair understanding of HIV/AIDS and Malaria before the training workshop, but had difficulties knowing some basic history about the disease. However, after the training the figure went up to 98% which shows that there has been increase in knowledge as a result of the training.
300 children from Tema and Cape Coast (250 school children, 45 young football academy players and five children from play soccer) took part in answering the questionnaire (HIV/AIDS and Malaria) before and 290 answered the questionnaire after.
"Having Arsenal Gappers delivering Alive and Kicking's health programme in Ghana is a real positive for us," said Glenn Cummings, CEO of Alive and Kicking.
“The young coaches are enthusiastic and great coaches and just seeing the Arsenal badge on their shirts is a great thrill for the young people they work with.
“Partnering with Arsenal brings great credibility to Alive and Kicking and I have no doubt increases the effectiveness and impact of the programme.
"The coaches also have a great time and even in the few months that they are with us we see them grow as young men and women. Everyone wins from this!”
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