• UMKHANYAKUDE DISTRICT, South Africa, August 11, 2009
    • The Umkhanyakude District is the largest and poorest in South Africa; 70% of the population is primary school aged due to the AIDS epidemic. Partly funded by CTAOP (Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project), Mpilonhle has partnered with LAFC to help build sports facilities, provide equipment and professional training for local coaches, referees and administrators at strategically located schools in the district.
    • Mpilonhle’s uses mobile health and education units to provide an innovative integrated program of services to these rural youth. This integrated program provides health education, with a focus on HIV prevention; HIV voluntary counseling and testing; health screening and treatment for major health problems of adolescents, including substance abuse, nutrition and obesity, hypertension, and tuberculosis; support of a social worker for social and psychological problems; and computer training.
    • This is done using three custom designed mobile Health and Computer Education units that regularly visit secondary schools and community centers throughout the district. The health unit comprises a pair of identical but mirrored trailers with fold out screens and a covering tent/awning that forms a ‘teaching space’ between the parked trailers. Each trailer comprises two counseling rooms and three storage lockers for tables, computers and various other items necessary for the operation of Mpilonhle. Docking stations for the mobile health units will be built into the construction of the facilities.
    • LAFC President Don Sheppard and Director of Social Responsibility, Lorrie Fair, visited schools in the district that would benefit from Mpilonhle’s program. LAFC’s aim is to spread the joy of playing soccer to disadvantaged children while encouraging them to achieve at school. Through sport, there is an opportunity for education, tutoring and mentoring children to look beyond high school and improve their lives. The soccer fields are also a benefit for the surrounding communities as they provide a venue for socializing at organized matches.
11 / August / 2009  Mpilonhle