Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative
Play ˖ Educate ˖ Inspire




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YEDI’s first program, the Grassroot Soccer West Africa program, is currently implemented in over 500 sites in Lagos, Akwa-Ibom and Ogun States and has had more than 110,000 young graduates so far. The program adapted the highly effective football for development model piloted by YEDI’s international NGO partner, Grassroot Soccer for Nigeria.

GRS has for more than a decade successfully used the power of football to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV, malaria and other diseases and provide children and youth in disadvantaged communities with life and coping skills.

Initiated by former professional soccer players in 2002 in Zimbabwe, GRS trains African soccer stars, coaches, teachers, and peer educators in the world's most HIV-affected countries to deliver an interactive HIV prevention and life skills curriculum to youth. The program attracts and engages young people through schools, community outreaches, and social media. Children and youth in disadvantaged communities are trained in life and coping skills and empowered to act as community leaders to spread health and life skills messages to their peers.

To date, more than 700,000 children in more than 15 Southern and Central African countries have graduated from the highly popular and effective programme delivered in the school and out-of-school setting.

Under the GRS model are the Skillz-based Programmes namely: Basic SKILLZ, Advanced SKILLZ, SKILLZ Girl, and SKILLZ Guyz

BASIC SKILLZ - a youth-based and evidence-supported interactive HIV and malaria prevention, and life skills curriculum designed for ages 10 to 13.

ADVANCED SKILLZ - which targets Nigerian adolescents aged 13 to16 using soccer, its language, and metaphors and other physical activities to address key behaviours that drive the spread of HIV/AIDS, other STIs as well as malaria education.

SKILLZ GIRL - an evidence-based intervention for girls aged 13-19, educating them on HIV prevention, sexuality and life skills and empowering them with basic information to make healthy choices about their sexual and reproductive health using the game of soccer and other physical activities which help them to build interpersonal relationships, encourage positive self-image, and develop negotiation and leadership skills.

SKILLZ GUYZ - an adopted curriculum for boys aged 13 to 19, tailored to provide information on HIV prevention, Sexual, Reproductive Health, gender inequality issues, substance abuse, and sexual violence.

(Learn more about GRS here:

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